What you need to know about the Apple Watch bill that passed the Senate, from the Associated Press
The Senate on Tuesday approved the legislation to overhaul the National Environmental Policy Act, the law that governs the Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Defense Fund, which provide grants to environmental groups.
The bill will now head to the House for consideration, where Republicans control both chambers.
The legislation, titled the “Apple Watch Act,” is one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation to address climate change in decades.
The Senate bill would overhaul the law by making the agency more transparent about its spending and regulatory processes, as well as giving the EPA authority to require that manufacturers of devices manufactured by Apple and other major manufacturers meet stricter environmental standards.
The House version would have allowed the agency to regulate more directly with respect to its grants and mandates.
The bills comes as the Obama administration, under President Donald Trump, has intensified its efforts to push through the Paris climate accord.
Apple’s watch bill would also require Apple to release more information about its use of environmental data to comply with government guidelines.
The law is likely to face an uphill battle in the Senate.
Republicans and the Republican-led House of Representatives are pushing for the bill to include provisions that could help Apple avoid paying billions of dollars in environmental fines and penalties.
The National Association of Manufacturers, a business lobby, is also opposed to the legislation, saying it would cost jobs and make it more difficult for the government to enforce its rules.
The AP reports that many Republican senators also expressed concerns about the bill’s impact on jobs.
Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said the bill “would allow Apple to hide behind its patents to shield itself from environmental regulations.”
The bill also aims to ensure that Apple does not pay billions in penalties to the EPA, and that the agency would not be able to use Apple patents to prevent the company from complying with the new law.
The EPA, the nation’s largest environmental regulator, has already begun to issue a range of warnings about the legislation.
In a letter to Apple, the agency warned that it was concerned that the bill could prevent Apple from complying “with the law, even though the agency has been committed to ensuring compliance with the law.”
The letter also called on Apple to “show a commitment to complying with environmental requirements and take steps to prevent future violations.”
“This bill would not solve the problem, but it would give the EPA the power to make sure that it follows the law,” said Scott D. Eder, an executive vice president at the National Association.
“It’s a pretty aggressive approach that would make it a lot harder to get this bill through.”
The Senate version would also give the agency greater authority to regulate Apple.
Apple has said that it would like to use a technology known as “Apple’s Smart Watch” to track users’ health data, but the bill would allow the EPA to issue such regulations.
In addition to the Apple bill, the Senate also approved legislation that would require states to have a plan to comply in the event of a disaster or other catastrophe.
This bill is another effort by the Trump administration to impose its agenda on the U.S. Senate, which was dominated by Democrats in 2017.
Senators from the Republican Party have been working to roll back environmental protections for the past several years, including efforts to gut the Clean Water Act and roll back the Clean Air Act.