The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

May 12, 2014

Energy bill caught up in wrangling over Keystone pipeline

WASHINGTON — Days after President Barack Obama touted executive actions aimed at increasing energy efficiency, a bill with similar goals is expected to fall victim to partisan gridlock in the Senate.

A bipartisan bill to promote many of the same efficiency goals Obama touted Friday in California is expected to go down in defeat Monday amid a dispute over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Co-sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the energy bill would tighten efficiency guidelines for new federal buildings and provide tax incentives to make homes and commercial buildings more efficient.

The measure is widely popular in the Senate and easily cleared a procedural hurdle last week. But then politics — and the dispute over the Keystone XL pipeline — intervened.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used a parliamentary maneuver to block amendments on the bill, including a measure that would approve construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the United States. Supporters say the measure is needed to end years of delay by the Obama administration on whether to approve the project.

Republicans also were seeking an amendment to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing new greenhouse gas regulations on coal-burning power plants.

Reid’s actions came after Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell objected to Reid’s offer to call an up-or-down vote on the energy bill, with a promise for a separate vote on Keystone later.

Pipeline supporters — including a number of Republicans — initially had called for a separate, up-or-down vote on Keystone, as a way to move the project forward or at least embarrass the president by making him veto a measure supported by at least 11 Democrats. Polls show widespread public support for the project, which Obama has delayed several times. Obama delayed the project indefinitely last month, citing uncertainty over the pipeline’s route though Nebraska.

Republicans later shifted gears and pushed to include the pipeline vote in the energy bill — a move that angered some pipeline supporters, including Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. Landrieu, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, has pushed for Keystone approval as a key part of her closely contested re-election campaign.

“If Mitch McConnell wants to have a vote on Keystone straight up or down, where he may get 60 votes, he most certainly has the power in his caucus to make that happen,” Landrieu said last week as negotiations for energy legislation began to break down. “They’re going to probably blow the opportunity to get a vote on Keystone, because they just can’t help themselves.”

McConnell and other Republicans say the issue is one of fairness: Republicans deserve a chance to amend the energy bill. McConnell accused Reid of stifling the voice of middle-class Americans who need relief from “rising energy costs and over-the-top government regulations.”

The White House said the congressional stalemate over energy made it important for Obama to take action where he can.

“We’d love to see Congress move forward with the Shaheen-Portman bill — and it’s unfortunate that Republicans are standing in the way,” said Dan Utech, Obama’s climate and energy adviser. “But yes, we’re going to be doing everything we can with the tools that we have to move forward on energy efficiency.”

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.