Policy

Shimkus, Udall talk TSCA reform

Washington, June 25, 2015, 9:30 am

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., to participate in a Bipartisan Policy Center discussion on efforts in the House and Senate to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act.

AP PHOTO

House approves state opt-out for existing plant rule

Defying a White House veto threat, House Republicans moved forward Wednesday with a plan to block a key element of President Barack Obama's strategy for fighting climate change, approving the Ratepayer Protection Act by a vote of 247 to 180.

Lawmakers approved the bill, introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., which would allow states to opt out of the Obama administration's plan to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants if the state's governor determines it would cause significant rate hikes for electricity or harm reliability of service.

The bill also would delay the climate rule until all court challenges are completed.

Obama renominates McCabe, Kopocis for EPA jobs

The White House on Wednesday renominated two stalled candidates to lead the Environmental Protection Agency's offices of Air and Radiation and Water, tasked with overseeing the most controversial of the agency's regulations.

Obama tapped Janet McCabe, currently serving as acting administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, to serve as full assistant administrator. She was first nominated in 2013.

EPA methane leak rule getting final review at OMB

Source: 
The Hill

Regulations targeting methane leaks in the oil and gas industry have gone to the White House Office of Management and Budget for a final review, The Hill reports.

Office of Gov. Mike Pence

Pence to Obama: Change carbon rule or Indiana won't comply

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence threatened to make his state the second to boycott the Obama Administration's pending power plant carbon regulations, unless “demonstrable and significant” changes are made.

In a letter to President Barack Obama Wednesday, Pence, one of the country's most conservative Republican governors, said the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule for existing power plants would “fundamentally change the way electricity is dispatched," sacrificing affordability and reliability for the sake of emissions reduction.

Oil and gas strike looms in Norway

Source: 
Platts

Efforts to avert an oil and gas strike in Norway have moved to last ditch mediation, Platts reports.

Wildfires blister Alaska with increased frequency, intensity

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska residents endure the nation's harshest winters for the reward of beautiful summer days with sunshine that lingers until midnight.

But increasingly, large wildfires have marred the pristine outdoors, filling the skies with black smoke and forcing people who live near forests to flee for safety.

Iran would get nuclear help in proposed deal: Document

VIENNA (AP) — Western powers are offering Tehran high-tech reactors under a proposed nuclear agreement, a confidential document says, but a defiant speech by Iran's supreme leader less than a week before a negotiating deadline casts doubt on whether he's willing to make the necessary concessions to seal a deal.

The talks, which resumed Wednesday in Vienna on restraining any Iranian efforts to make atomic arms, appeared to be behind schedule judging by the draft document obtained by The Associated Press.

New Mexico coal plant owners settle Clean Air Act violations

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The owners of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation reached a settlement Wednesday with federal agencies over complaints they flouted rules for permits and violated the Clean Air Act, leading to further pollution control upgrades that will cost millions of dollars.

The settlement filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico came after years of negotiation among federal officials, the plant owners and environmentalists who sued over permits. It includes no admission of wrongdoing but resulted in a $1.5 million civil penalty.

Oil

Pipeline firm couldn't reach staff at California spill site

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As thousands of gallons of crude oil from a ruptured pipeline spread along the California coast, its operator was unable to contact workers near the break to get information the company needed to alert federal emergency officials, records released Wednesday said.

Personnel for Plains All American Pipeline needed the precise location of the May 19 spill and an estimate of its size before notifying the National Response Center, according to the records released to federal elected officials.

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