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GOP to Put Energy Into Procedural Mischief

In contrast to the dozens of noncontroversial bills set for House debate this week, House GOP leaders are lining up another round of procedural maneuvers aimed at forcing votes on contentious energy issues.

On Wednesday, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) will file a discharge petition on legislation sponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) that would provide loans for coal-to-liquid projects.

Republicans will also link this bill to previous question votes on every bill that requires a rule this week, according to GOP leadership sources. So far, three bills are lined up for rules this week.

In addition, during debate on a scheduled bill by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Republicans are planning to blast Democrats for actively bringing up legislation that blocks American-made energy.

The Frank bill designates parts of the Taunton River in Massachusetts as a National Wild and Scenic River; the river is also the first approved site for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) rig outside of the Gulf of Mexico.

The bill serves “the sole purpose of stopping an LNG facility,” according to one senior House GOP aide. “The area of the river is apparently neither wild nor scenic. It is a pretty industrial section of the river. … Think Anacostia with barge traffic.”

Meanwhile, off the floor, Republicans are eyeing a Wednesday markup of the fiscal 2009 Interior and Environment appropriations bill as a chance for votes on amendments relating to offshore and Arctic drilling.

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