A pair of competing bills aimed at renewing the Export-Import Bank were introduced in the Senate yesterday. One bill, led by Sens. Mark Kirk and Heidi Heitkamp, as well as another six senators evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, would extend the Ex-Im's charter for four years and lower its lending cap from $140 billion to $135 billion. The legislation would also raise the percentage of the agency's operations that must go toward supporting small businesses from 20 to 25 percent. Meanwhile, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and three fellow Democrats, introduced their own version that would renew the Bank for seven years, and raise its lending cap by $20 billion, to $160 billion.
The other important difference: Besides funding, the biggest difference between the two bills relates to existing restrictions on coal financing. Shaheen's bill does not include language that would permanently override restrictions on the financing of coal-fired power plants abroad. On the other hand, the Kirk-Heitkamp bill removes coal restrictions completely by prohibiting discrimination against any energy sources. The Kirk-Heitkamp bill: http://politico.pro/1Gwnmkw. The Shaheen, Democrat bill: http://politico.pro/1I2Ehw9 (h/t Pro Trade's Victoria Guida)A Republican goes green?
The New York Audubon is awarding GOP Rep. Chris Gibson its highest award tomorrow, the William B. Hoyt Environmental Excellence Award, for his dedication to protecting the state's environment. His advocacy for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Forest Legacy Program, the Long Island Sound and Great Lakes restoration got the group's attention. Coincidentally, Gibson was also the sole Republican to vote against two GOP EPA bills this week.
Politico Energy Report