House Appropriations Bills Try To Block Obama’s Anti-Energy Climate Agenda

The Interior-EPA appropriations bill, which the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider on the floor next week, contains a number of riders that if enacted would block the Obama Administration’s regulatory onslaught against fossil fuel energy.  These include provisions to suspend the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules for new and existing power plants, ozone rule, methane rules, and stream protection rule.

Over 140 amendments have been filed on the bill.  The House Rules Committee on Monday will decide which amendments to make in order.  Several amendments add more riders, and several amendments remove riders currently in the bill. 

A House Appropriations subcommittee marked up the State Department and Foreign Operations appropriations bill on 6th July.  The bill provides no funds for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and includes a prohibition on sending any funds to the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund.

The 2016 Omnibus appropriations bill enacted last December included no funds for the GCF, but in March the State Department took $500 million out of the Economic Support Fund and sent it to the GCF.  Any further funding of the UNFCCC and the GCF violates Public Law 103-236 enacted in 1994 that prohibits funding any UN affiliated organization that accepts Palestine as a full member.  Palestine became a full member of the UNFCCC and thereby of the GCF on 17th March. 

A similar provision prohibiting funding of the GCF contained in the Senate’s appropriations bill for the State Department was removed and $500 million for the GCF was added by a vote of the full Appropriations Committee last week.  All fourteen Democrats on the committee plus Republican Senators Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Susan Collins (Me.) supported the $500 million payment to the GCF.

The House on 7th July voted 230 to 193 on an amendment offered by Representative Bill Posey (R-Fla.) that would block the Securities and Exchange Commission from implementing guidelines for publicly-traded companies on disclosing climate-related risks.  All 230 votes in favor were Republicans.  Twelve Republicans joined 181 Democrats to vote no.  The House then passed the underlying bill making appropriations for Financial Services and Government Operations.