Energy & Environment

Texas Rep. Kay Granger grabs spotlight with tough primary ahead
Granger led effort condemning Pelosi for ripping up Trump's State of the Union text

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, is facing a competitive primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to rip up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on live television enraged House Republicans. But it was Rep. Kay Granger, who once said Trump doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as war veterans, who led the effort to defend the president.

The Texas Republican introduced the resolution condemning Pelosi on Wednesday after talking with Minority Whip Steve Scalise about how “appalled they were by the Speaker’s actions,” according to a person familiar with their thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Interior moves to speed energy development on formerly protected Utah land
Plans pave way for areas removed from national monuments to be made available for logging, drilling, mining

White Canyon in Natural Bridges National Monument, which borders the Bears Ears National Monument outside Blanding, Utah, on June 15, 2019. (George Frey/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump drew the ire of tribes and environmentalists when he issued proclamations in December 2017 significantly reducing the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments, two sites designated by previous Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

[Obama declares Bears Ears national monument while Utah lawmakers pledge fight]

Auction off Pelosi’s ripped speech? Only he would think of it
Billy Long isn’t the only former professional auctioneer in Congress, but lately he’s been the most creative

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., shakes hands with President Donald Trump after 2019 the State of the Union address. (Doug Mills/The New York Times file photo)

Rep. Billy Long, the proud owner of verified Twitter handle “auctnr1,” reminded us again this week why his colleagues call him Congress’ “auctioneer in residence.”

As President Donald Trump finished his third State of the Union speech Tuesday night and Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore her copy in half, Long was stationed in the center-right aisle of the chamber to get the president to sign his tie.

Republicans attack bill to block Minnesota wilderness mining
Mining in Boundary Waters, bill critics say, will help meet U.S. renewable energy needs

Gosar led Republican attacks on the bill to protect a Minnesota wilderness from mining. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Wednesday ripped into a bill that would block mining in about 340 square miles of sprawling wilderness in northeast Minnesota, arguing the legislation would harm the expansion of renewable energy sources.

Leading the attack at a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing was Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. At times bordering on shouting, Gosar said failing to ramp up U.S. mining would leave the country beholden to foreign powers and lead to exploitation of child workers abroad.

Trump scales down once-grand infrastructure ambitions
Infrastructure gets passing mention on State of the Union address; Democrats' ambitious proposal not mentioned at all

Infrastructure is among the areas where Trump and congressional Democrats don’t see eye-to-eye. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump used 189 words of his 2018 State of the Union address to call for a $1.5 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure.

On Tuesday night, the former real estate mogul signaled how much times have changed.

Trump popularity reigns in Ohio county tying its future to natural gas
‘I’m not tired of winning,’ car wash owner says

Many in Washington County, Ohio, see the region’s natural gas reserves as a bright point in its economy. (Jessica Wehrman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ohio — The oldest county in Ohio was founded two years before the other Washington — the nation’s capital.

Back then, the pioneers placed their hopes in a rich swath of unsettled land.

Iowa congressional campaigns try to tap presidential energy
Both parties use gatherings to collect signatures, enlist volunteers for House and Senate battles ahead

Theresa Greenfield’s Senate campaign is launching a digital ad targeting Democratic Iowa caucus-goers and deploying volunteers to gather petition signatures for her bid to challenge Republican incumbent Joni Ernst. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats scrolling through their social media feeds at Monday night’s Iowa caucuses may encounter an ad for “Caucus Trivia Night,” a game where they can answer trivia questions via text message.

But the game wasn’t devised by a presidential candidate hoping to make a last-minute voter connection. It was the work of Democrat Theresa Greenfield’s Senate campaign.

Liberal group endorses Democrats in competitive primaries
PCCC says its backing includes outreach to supporters seeking grassroots donations

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton’s district in Michigan is one of the Republican seats Democrats are seeking to capture this year. A liberal advocacy group endorsed one of the Democrats vying to unseat him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Five Democrats in competitive House primaries in four states were endorsed Friday by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group pushing for liberal policies including the Green New Deal and expansion of Medicare and Social Security. 

The group called the move a “show of progressive energy,” in a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call, and said its endorsements follow those by preferred presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator earlier this week endorsed two of the PCCC-backed candidates, Mondaire Jones in New York’s 17th District and Candace Valenzuela in Texas’s 24th. A third, Georgette Gómez  in California’s 53rd, was endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren’s rival for the progressive mantle in the Democratic presidential primaries.

View from the gallery: Impeachment trial end in sight, senators fight common cold
Outside the chamber and in galleries, much talk of the “Senate plague”

Artists Art Lien, left, and William J. Hennessy Jr. sketch scenes from the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the Capitol on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood up to send a question to President Donald Trump’s defense team around 6:45 p.m. Thursday, but first he suggested an upcoming 45-minute break for dinner.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., instead of his usual response of “without objection,” changed it to a phrase that resonated with the haggard senators and others in the chamber. “I’m sure there’s no objection,” Roberts said, causing a murmur of laughter to spread even to the page delivering the paper card with McConnell’s question to the rostrum.

Lawmakers fret over China’s virus info as US local case emerges
The newest case is the husband of an Illinois woman who was confirmed as sick last week

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., talks with an aide during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health markup in July 2019. Lawmakers on the subcommittee were briefed Thursday on the spread of coronavirus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers briefed by the Trump administration Thursday expressed confidence in the United States government’s approach to the spread of coronavirus, although not necessarily China’s response, as officials confirmed the first person infected in the U.S. who had not traveled to China.

The morning briefing for Energy and Commerce Committee members came hours before the World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international public health emergency. Committee members in the briefing expressed concerns that China may not be providing enough information about the outbreak and worried that a severe flu season could strain the U.S. response if coronavirus spreads here. Lawmakers expressed a willingness to provide more resources if needed.

At the Races: Iowa still matters after Monday

By Stephanie Akin, Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathé 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

House Republicans sound fundraising alarm. What now?
Two kinds of candidates: ‘Those who raise money and losers’

Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, shown at his 2018 campaign office in Mankato, Minn., says he raised $1 million last year for his 2020 reelection. Republican leaders are urging members to step up fundraising to keep pace with Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn, a freshman Republican from Minnesota who says he raised $1 million last year, isn’t worried about fundraising.

“That’s pretty good for a rural district,” he said Tuesday outside the House chamber.

Five ways Democrats vying for president differ on climate and energy
Taxes, emergency powers and nuclear among the dividing lines

Protesters calling for more action by the government to combat climate change, gathered on the steps of the earlier this month.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Wrack your brain. What issue or bundle of issues do President Donald Trump and the Democratic presidential candidates see the most differently? Go on. It’s not easy.

But consider the twin topics of energy and the environment.

In Florida, Democrats aim to wrap Trump in his offshore drilling plan
Plan to open Florida’s coast to oil and gas drilling was put on hold, but it wasn’t killed

People hold hands on a beach in Pensacola, Fla., in June 2010 to protest offshore oil drilling. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

After the Trump administration proposed opening Florida’s coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, even elected Republicans in the state sent a loud message to Washington: Stay away from our coasts.

The proposal was set aside by the White House, but not disposed of. And Democrats plan to keep voters in the battleground state reminded that the plan remains on a shelf at the Interior Department, ready to be put into effect in President Donald Trump’s second term if he is reelected.

Anonymous staffer meme accounts are taking over Capitol Hill
Anxious, bored, disgruntled? There’s a meme for that

@americas_staff_assistant and a group of meme accounts are finding a hilarious way to cope with Capitol Hill life. (Screenshot)

Updated, 11:05 a.m. | What happens when a creative young staffer with a monotonous job and hours to kill takes to Instagram? A hilarious meditation on Hill life told through the language of our time: memes.

Hungover mornings, angry constituents, awkward interactions and career anxiety are all being meticulously documented by a group of meme accounts taking over Capitol Hill. There’s one for almost every position in a congressional office — staff assistant, legislative correspondent, press secretary, communications director and scheduler. Even campaign fundraisers and committee staffers get a nod.