Biobased and Renewable Products News: Capitol Hill

June 13, 2013
House Subcommittee Hearing On Title I Of TSCA
On Thursday, June 13, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and Economy held a hearing on Title I of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Witness testimony and an archived webcast of the hearing are available online. Witnesses included Kathleen M. Roberts, Vice President of B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (BCCM manages the Biobased Products Advocacy Consortium (B2PAC) and Charles M. Auer of Charles Auer & Associates, LLC, also an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. Other witnesses ... read more >
June 6, 2013
Senate Continues Consideration Of Farm Bill Legislation
On May 31, 2013, the U.S. Senate continued consideration of its version of the next five-year Farm Bill reauthorization legislation, S. 954, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 954 or the Farm Bill). As we have reported, on May 14, 2013, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (Senate Agriculture Committee), led by Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), marked-up and passed S. 954 by a vote of 15-5. The legislation includes significant support for renewable energy. As amended by the Senate Agriculture Committee, it includes an energy title with $900 ... read more >
June 6, 2013
TSCA Reform Legislation
The death of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) earlier this week could affect the speed with which the bi-partisan Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation, S.1009, that he recently introduced with Senator David Vitter (R-LA) moves forward. Though Senator Lautenberg had championed efforts to reform the 1976 TSCA for more than a decade, passage of S.1009 has been seen as more promising given its bipartisan sponsorship. Critics of the bill have expressed concerns about the bill's noticeable absence of deadlines and funding provisions, as well as its provisions allowing the bill ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Senate May Vote On McCarthy Nomination This Summer
While Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) continues his hold on Gina McCarthy's nomination to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has stated publicly that he intends to force full Senate consideration of her nomination as early as the week after the July Fourth recess. As we have reported, on May 16, 2013, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved McCarthy's nomination by a 10-8 vote along party lines. Senator Blunt has placed a hold on the nomination until he is satisfied that the Obama Administration will move ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Group Of Democratic Senators Work Toward Climate Legislation
A group of Democratic Senators have formed a "clearinghouse" group that meets with key stakeholders in their effort to build support and develop a strategy to move climate change legislation this year. The group is co-chaired by Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ron Wyden (D-OR). Members of the clearinghouse include Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Brian ... read more >
May 24, 2013
Farm Bill
Full Senate consideration began this week of its version of the next five-year Farm Bill, S. 964, the Agriculture, Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013. As we reported last week, on May 14, S. 964 was passed out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry by a vote of 15-5. Importantly, it includes an energy title with mandatory funding and eligibility for renewable chemicals. The Senate continues to debate amendments to the bill. It has been reported that Senate leadership is still processing which of the nearly 200 amendments to the bill will receive a vote. For this ... read more >
May 24, 2013
McCarthy Nomination
On May 16, 2013, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted 10-8 to approve President Obama's nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy. McCarthy is currently EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. The vote was along party lines, with ten Democrats voting for her nomination and eight Republicans against it. McCarthy has worked for moderate Republicans in the past, and she is generally respected for her knowledge and fair approach. Among the Republicans on the Senate EPW Committee, Ranking Member David Vitter ... read more >
May 24, 2013
Foreign Fuels Reduction Act
Last week, Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced S. 977, the Foreign Fuels Reduction Act. The purpose of the bill is to help prevent sugarcane ethanol imported from Brazil from being used to fulfill the annual advanced renewable volume obligations (RVO). Under the RFS, EPA may lower the cellulosic RVOs each year, while maintaining the overall advanced RVOs. To date, EPA has chosen this way to implement the RFS so lowered cellulosic volumes could be made up by advanced fuels. Imported sugarcane ethanol has largely made up the difference. S.977 would require EPA to ... read more >
May 17, 2013
Farm Bill
  This week, the Agriculture Committees in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed their versions of the next five-year Farm Bill. The full Senate is expected to consider its version of the Farm Bill on May 20, while the full House is not expected to consider its version until later this year. Below, please find brief summaries of Farm Bill activities this week, particularly as they relate to renewable chemicals and biofuels. Senate On May 14, 2013, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, led by Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), marked-up ... read more >
May 17, 2013
McCarthy Nomination Moves Forward
The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee voted 10-8 along party lines May 16 to advance Gina McCarthy's nomination for EPA Administrator. No Republicans voted in support of McCarthy, although the Committee's top Republican, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), indicated he would vote for McCarthy when her nomination reaches the Senate floor if EPA responds in the next two weeks to his specific requests for answers on EPA's transparency. McCarthy's nomination has been delayed since May 9, when Republicans boycotted a scheduled vote and left the Committee without a ... read more >
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