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«Will Hurd (TX-23) Research Report The following report contains research on Will Hurd, a Republican member of Congress in Texas’ 23rd district. ...»

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“The bill would reduce or eliminate environmental reviews, and give mining companies control over the timing of permitting decisions, for virtually all types of mining operations on federal public land… [I]t requires the Interior Department to waive compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) if the federal or state permitting process is deemed ‘adequate’… Dingell Amendment … [e]nsures that mining permits are fully reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act.” The amendment failed, 181 to 248. [HR 1937, Vote #561, 10/11/15; CQ Floor Votes, 10/22/15; Office of the Democratic Whip, 10/22/15] Evidence Of “Environmental Damage” From Rare Earth Mining. “Republicans pushed a bill through the House Thursday that allows the government to exempt gold, copper, silver and uranium mining on federal land from formal environmental reviews. … China is by far the world's largest producer of rare earth minerals. But in June, China's cabinet issued a paper saying that poor regulation of mining there had caused widespread environmental damage. In the U.S., there has also been evidence of environmental damage. The process not only disturbs land, uncovering naturally radioactive materials and toxic metals in rock and soil, but the chemicals and compounds used to refine the minerals can also cause contamination.” [Associated Press, 7/12/12] Voted For Resolution Disapproving Of New Regulations Mandating Steep Cuts In Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing U.S. Power Plants Voted For Resolution Disapproving Of New Regulations Forcing Steep Cuts In Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing U.S. Power Plants. In December 2015, Hurd voted for a resolution that would “disapprove of the Environmental Protection Agency emissions rule for existing power plants issued on Oct. 23, 2015. The resolution provides that the rule will have no force or effect. The EPA rule sets different emissions targets for 49 states based on their existing energy profile and requires each state to reduce emissions by a certain amount by 2030. Under the rule, states are required to submit proposed plans on how to reduce emissions to the EPA by June 2016, with the agency evaluating whether the plans reduce emissions and are enforceable.” The resolution was adopted by a vote of 242-180: [S J RES 24, Vote #650, 12/1/15; CQ Floor Votes, 12/01/15] Voted For Resolution Disapproving Of New Regulations Mandating Steep Cuts In Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Future U.S. Power Plants Voted For Resolution Disapproving Of New Regulations Mandating Steep Cuts In Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Future U.S. Power Plants. In December 2015, Hurd voted for the passage of a resolution that would “disapprove of the Environmental Protection Agency emissions rule for new power plants issued on Oct. 23, 2015. The resolution provides that the rule will have no force or effect. The EPA rule sets specific emission limits for new fossil-fuel electrical power plants, limiting large new naturalgas-fired turbines to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour and smaller turbines to 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, with the option of averaging emissions over multiple years to allow for operational flexibility.” The resolution was adopted 235-188. [S J RES 23, Vote #651, 12/1/15; CQ Floor Votes, 12/01/15] Voted For An Amendment To Allow Some Voluntary Vegetation Management Without Being Held Liable For Wildlife Damage Voted For An Amendment To Allow Some Voluntary Vegetation Management Without Being Held Liable For Wildlife Damage. In December 2015, Hurd voted for an amendment to the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act that would “permit voluntary vegetation management within 150 feet of certain right-of-ways near structures for selective thinning and fuel reduction without being held liable for wildlife damage, loss, or injury, including the cost of fire suppression, except in cases of gross negligence or criminal misconduct.” The amendment was adopted 252-170. [HR 8, Vote #668, 12/03/15;

CQ Floor Votes, 12/03/15] Voted Against An Amendment To Prohibit The North American Energy Security And Infrastructure Act From Taking Effect Until Carbon Impacts Are Analyzed Voted Against An Amendment To Prohibit The North American Energy Security And Infrastructure Act From Taking Effect Until Carbon Impacts Are Analyzed. In December 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment to the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act that would “prohibit the provisions of the bill from taking effect until after the Energy Information Administration has analyzed and published a report on the carbon impacts of its provisions.” The amendment failed 181-243. [HR 8, Vote #670, 12/03/15; CQ Floor Votes, 12/03/15] Voted For Amendment To Require Website Post Number Of Environmental Reviews Initiated & Total Average Cost And Time For Infrastructure Projects Voted For Amendment To Require Website Post Number Of Environmental Reviews Initiated & Total Average Cost And Time For Infrastructure Projects. In November 2015, Hurd voted for an amendment “that would specify that a website required under the bill that would make publicly available the status of infrastructure projects that require environmental review would need to include the total number of environmental reviews that were initiated and the total average cost and time to conduct environmental reviews.” The amendment failed, 196 to 225. [HR 22, Vote #587, 11/03/15; CQ, 11/03/15] Voted Against A Measure To Ensure The Underlying Bill Wouldn’t Prevent Agencies From Assessing A Proposal’s Contributions To Climate Change Voted Against A Measure To Ensure The Underlying Bill Wouldn’t Prevent Agencies From Assessing A Proposal’s Contribution To Climate Change. In October 2015, Hurdvoted against a “motion to recommit the bill to the House Natural Resources Committee with instructions to report back immediately with an amendment that would state that the bill would not limit the authority of the lead permitting agency to assess the proposed activity's potential contribution to climate change.” The amendment failed 184-246. [HR 1937, Vote #564, 10/22/15; CQ, 10/22/15] Voted For Blocking Clean Air Act Rules Governing The Emissions Of Air Pollutants From Brick And Clay Manufacturers Voted For Blocking Clean Air Act Rules Governing The Emissions Of Air Pollutants From Brick And Clay Manufacturers. In March 2016, Hurd voted for a bill that would prohibit the EPA from regulating emissions of air pollutants caused by the manufacturing of brick and clay products. “The bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing two 2015 final Clean Air Act rules governing the emissions of air pollutants: the Brick and Structural Clay Products rule and the final Clay Ceramics Manufacturing… H.R. 4557 would delay implementation of these rules until ligation related to the rules is completed, ‘judgment becomes final, and (is) no longer subject to further appeal or review.’” [HR 4557, Vote #109, 3/03/16; Office of the Democratic Whip, 3/03/16] Bill Supported By The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce… strongly supports H.R. 4557… The bill would ensure that the U.S. brick industry will not be forced to comply with the Brick Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) air quality issued by the U.S.





Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) until after judicial challenges to the rule are resolved. … The Chamber released a report last month examining how the new Brick MACT rule could devastate the U.S. brick manufacturing industry… It is important that American industries are not unfairly penalized when they are compelled to comply with costly rules that are later overturned by the courts.

This wasteful and unreasonable outcome must be avoided.” [U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 3/03/16] Environmental Groups And LWV Opposed Bill, Cited Harmful Toxins Emitted From Facilities.

“[B]rick manufacturing facilities … emit mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin that harms children’s developing brains, and other dangerous toxins including arsenic and chromium, that are known to cause cancer. … The BRICK Act aims to help the polluters avoid regulation, since it seeks to further delay implementation of toxic air pollution standards for brick facilities until every polluter’s lawsuit has been fully litigated and appealed, including to the Supreme Court. … Not only would the BRICK Act delay needed health protections, exposing Americans to more deadly toxic air pollution, but the BRICK Act would also insert the legislative branch into ongoing litigation and interfere with the authority of our judicial branch of government.” [League of Women Voters, 3/02/16]

Voted For Delisting Gray Wolves

Voted For An Amendment To Remove Gray Wolves From The Endangered Species List. In February 2016, Hurdvoted for an amendment which “would reinstate the 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decisions to remove the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming from protection under the Endangered Species Act.” The amendment was adopted 232-171. [HR 2406, Vote #97, CQ, 2/26/16] 2014: Federal Judge “Threw Out An Obama Administration Decision To Remove The Gray Wolf … From The Endangered Species List – A Decision That Will Ban Further Wolf Hunting.” “A federal judge on Friday threw out an Obama administration decision to remove the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list -- a decision that will ban further wolf hunting and trapping in three states.” [CBS News/AP, 12/19/14] Voted Against Designating The Coastal Plain Of ANWR As Wilderness, Hindering The Efforts To Drill For Oil There Voted Against Designate The Coastal Plain Of The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge As Wilderness.

In February 2016, Hurdvoted against an amendment which “would designate the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, and therefore a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.” The amendment failed 176-227. [HR 2406, Vote #99, CQ, 2/26/16] Designating The Coastal Area Of ANWR A Wilderness “Would Put Oil Development In The Coastal Plain Further Out Of Reach.” “Alaska’s congressional delegation has long sought oil exploration and production in ANWR, but there has been a stalemate over that idea for decades, with environmental groups strongly opposed and clashing with pro-development forces. Over 7 million acres of the refuge are currently managed as wilderness. Obama is asking Congress to approve another 12 million acres as wilderness, including the coastal plain. … Both sides of the long-running debate have said a wilderness expansion would put oil development in the coastal plain further out of reach.” [Alaska Dispatch News, 4/03/15] Voted For Resolution Disapproving Of “Waters Of The United States” Rule, Which Expanded Jurisdiction Of EPA And Army Corps Of Engineers Under Clean Water Act Voted For Congressional Disapproval Of “Waters Of The United States” Rule, Which Expanded Jurisdiction Of EPA And Army Corps Of Engineers Under Clean Water Act. In January 2016, Hurd voted for a resolution expressing congressional disapproval of the “Waters of the United States” rule.

“The Obama administration announced new protections Wednesday for thousands of waterways and wetlands … On its face, the Waters of the United States rule is largely a technical document, defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. … The agencies and their supporters say the safety of drinking water and stream health are threatened because of weak state and local regulation and a lack of enforcement. The rule is meant to make it clearer which waterways EPA and the Corps of Engineers can oversee under the 43-year-old Clean Water Act, which covers ‘navigable waters’ such as the Mississippi River and Lake Erie but is vague on how far upstream protections must go to keep those water bodies clean.” The resolution passed 253 to 166. [S J Res 22, Vote #45, 1/13/16; Politico, 5/27/15] Voted For Legislation That Would Block Obama Administration Efforts To Restrict Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Process Voted For Legislation That Would Block Obama Administration Efforts To Restrict Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Process. In January 2016, Hurd voted for legislation that would block Administration attempts to restrict a controversial coal mining process. “A House Republican introduced a bill Monday that would block the Obama administration’s efforts to restrict the controversial mountaintop removal coal mining process. The Interior Department is planning to propose soon a regulation to restrict mountaintop removal mining near streams in an effort to protect streams in Appalachia from the mining waste. … Mooney’s bill would stop Interior’s Office of Surface Mining from going forward with the rule for at least a year, stop it from using the Clean Water Act to justify the rule and require the agency to conduct a study into the industry impacts of the regulation.” The bill passed 235 to 188. [HR 1644, Vote #42, 1/12/16; The Hill, 3/30/15] Voted Against An Amendment To Make It Easier To Postpone Delay Of A Rule If Delay Would Significantly Contribute To Development Of Negative Chronic Or Long-Term Health Conditions Voted Against An Amendment To Make It Easier To Postpone Delay Of A Rule If Delay Would Significantly Contribute To Development Of Negative Chronic Or Long-Term Health Conditions.



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