Policy

Analysts weigh pros and cons of Obama announcing carbon rule

Source: 
E&E

By announcing the Environmental Protection Agency's rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants himself, President Obama will bring the issue far more attention, but his move could damage vulnerable Senate Democrats running for re-election in energy-producing states, analysts told E&E.

China gives Putin a diplomatic boost

SHANGHAI (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing isolation in the West over Ukraine, received a diplomatic boost Tuesday on a state visit to China, where he hopes to extend his country's dealings with Asia.

Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the start of a two-day conference on Asian security with leaders from Iran and Central Asia.

The two governments are negotiating a multibillion-dollar sale of Russian gas to China, and officials have said a deal might be completed in time to be signed during Putin's visit.

China warns US cyber charges could damage ties

BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday warned the United States was jeopardizing military ties by charging five Chinese officers with cyberspying and tried to turn the tables on Washington by calling it "the biggest attacker of China's cyberspace."

China announced it was suspending cooperation with the United States in a joint cybersecurity task force over Monday's charges that officers stole trade secrets from major American companies. The Foreign Ministry demanded Washington withdraw the indictment.

EPA mulls ethanol change as industry profits soar

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Just as ethanol producers have been seeing the industry's most profitable months ever, the federal government is considering whether to lower the amount of the corn-based fuel that must be blended into gasoline.

That could be a serious blow to a biofuels industry that saw booms and busts connected to corn and petroleum prices before a renewable fuel standard approved by Congress in 2007 acted as a stabilizing factor.

NASA

US needs better Arctic strategy, says GAO

The U.S. could do better in its dealings with the Arctic Council, the international body that coordinates activities in the region, according to a report made public Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

It notes that melting ice is opening up for opportunities for Arctic shipping, trade and drilling, but if the country is to make the most of them it needs to be clear about its goals and the best ways to accomplish them.

The 74-page report recommended the U.S., one of eight states bordering the Arctic which make up the Council, earmark a specific budget and put in place a more formal structure under which the State Department, which coordinates the activities of a number of agencies, can operate.

Brown: California at 'epicenter' of climate change

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says California is at "the epicenter" of the effects of a warming planet as the state experiences longer fire seasons and more destructive wildland blazes.

The Democratic governor spoke Monday at a conference about climate change. His address comes as scientists warn that a hotter climate will lead to more frequent and intense wildfires throughout the West and after scientists confirmed that the huge West Antarctic ice sheet is beginning to collapse.

Study finds EPA carbon regs could spell trouble for RTOs

Source: 
Platts

States that belong to regional transmission organizations could have problems with the Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming rule regulating carbon emissions for existing power plants, according to a study commissioned by the American Public Power Association, Platts reports.

EPA finalizes rule to protect fish from cooling water

A new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency is intended to protect marine life from the dangers posed by cooling water systems at factories and power plants.

The EPA published the regulation Monday under the Clean Water Act, applying to facilities that draw more than 2 million gallons of water per day and use at least a quarter of that water for cooling. The measure will affect 521 factories and 544 power plants, the agency said, adding that technology already exists to improve systems to minimize fish kills.

FERC nominee to face questions on exports, transmission and renewables

Source: 
E&E

Norman Bay, the administration’s pick to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will likely face tough questioning from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at his confirmation hearing Tuesday, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a possible barometer of the lawmakers’ reaction to the nominee, E&E reports.

McCarthy: Power plant rule will seek max carbon reduction at low cost

The Obama administration's regulation on existing power plant emissions due next month will try to achieve the largest amount of carbon reductions at a low cost without harming electric reliability, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday.

Joining Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz during an online chat to promote the administration's climate change agenda, McCarthy said President Obama himself will unveil the rule in June, which she said is a “strong indication” of the importance he attaches to the issue.

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