What's at stake for EPA, clean-energy initiatives, and other energy issues like the Keystone XL pipeline during this week's spending debate?
Congress must approve legislation by Friday to keep the government running. One of the most hotly contested issues is whether or not any spending measure should include a provision that would require President Obama to immediately approve the Keystone pipeline, which if built would send 700,000 barrels of oil sands from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Other controversial issues include whether EPA's clean-air rules should be eliminated or delayed and whether renewable-energy tax incentives should be extended.
What factors should influence lawmakers' and the administration's ultimate agreement about what makes the cut in a spending bill--and what doesn't? What does this policy of negotiating via spending bills mean for Washington's ability (or lack thereof) to negotiate policy? How can Washington simultaneously balance deficit cutting, job creation, environmental protection, and clean energy? Or should one issue be prioritized before another?