Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has officially joined the ranks of Senate Republicans saying they will support Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) plan to place a two-year
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has officially joined the ranks of Senate Republicans saying they will support Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) plan to place a two-year moratorium on earmarks in today’s Republican Conference vote. His remarks — much like those of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) yesterday — hint at his inherent uneasiness with the plan, however, as well as the possibility that some GOP senators may later find it in their interest to renege:
I know that while some earmarks have been employed for important purposes, like my funding request for the production of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles to protect our troops in battle, there have been abuses. These abuses have led many to question our willingness to get our nation’s fiscal house in order. [...]
I respect the spirit in which this moratorium has been agreed to and hope it will lead to a better use of taxpayer dollars. However, I maintain the right to seek funding to protect our national security or where the jobs and economy of South Carolina are at risk. If the Obama Administration and their bureaucrats in the federal agencies take action against the best interests of South Carolina, I will take swift action to correct their wrongs.
With both Republican senators from South Carolina now on board with the idea, Graham is essentially trying to hold onto an escape clause should he feel his state is in dire need and the Obama administration is giving it the cold shoulder. His concerns mainly focus on a single project for which he’s advocated tirelessly in the past — deepening the harbor of the Port of Charleston — and his vow (included elsewhere in his statement) to “use every option at my disposal to ensure funding is made available” for the project illustrates nicely how the earmark moratorium will likely generate conflicts for a number Republican senators during the next Congress. Graham, who feels the port is essential but fears a Tea Party challenge as well, is now caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to advocating for the project, and it will be interesting to see if he manages to keep both sides happy.
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill
New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S
EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too
The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents