Policy

Fed report calls for protection of chemical workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government on Friday vowed to take a stronger role in protecting chemical-industry workers and local residents from accidents and explosions at chemical plants in the aftermath of a deadly April 2013 explosion in Texas.

The steps include more safeguards around chemical plants, improved first-responder training and emergency-preparedness measures, and computer upgrades at the Environmental Protection Agency.

RFS 2013 compliance deadline pushed back to September: EPA

Source: 
Platts

Because it’s been late getting the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard together, the Environmental Protection Agency has extended the deadline to September 30 for refiners and others to demonstrate compliance with the 2013 standard, Platts reports.

Carbon rule should survive next president: Podesta

Source: 
The Hill

Attempts by a future president to roll back the carbon rule introduced during Barack Obama’s tenure wouldn’t be likely to succeed, senior White House adviser John Podesta said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Friday, The Hill reports.

FERC photo

FERC nominee Bay says grid can handle Obama carbon rule

President Barack Obama's nominee to become the nation's top electricity regulator isn't buying assertions coming from critics of power plant carbon regulations, who contend reliability could be undermined by the 30 percent emissions cut proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Norman Bay, nominated to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said in written answers to questions raised by members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that planning by industry, regulators and grid operators "can help anticipate and address any potential implications for resource adequacy and reliability."

Steyer seeks to help climate change victims

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — An environmentalist billionaire who has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars targeting Republicans who reject climate change announced Friday that he is now creating a fund to help victims of extreme weather disasters, starting with wildfires in the American West.

Tom Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, launched the Climate Disaster Relief Fund that will draw on the couple's personal profits from investments in Kinder Morgan, one of the largest energy companies in North America.

Climate change leads to warming temperatures, drought and insect outbreaks, which exacerbate costly wildfires, Steyer said in a statement.

Legal challenges expected, but complexity of EPA carbon rule a strength

Source: 
E&E

The Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon rule will inevitably be challenged in court, but legal experts say many aspects of it should be easily defensible, and it’s constructed so that a rejection of one provision wouldn’t derail others, E&E reports.

EPA not only agency where employees misbehave

Source: 
E&E

Misbehavior of employees at the Environmental Protection Agency has attracted a lot of attention on Capitol Hill in the wake of the John Beale scandal, but E&E notes incidents at the Interior Department, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Defense Department.

No requests for changes to allow condensate exports, says Commerce Dept.

Source: 
Platts

Despite burgeoning supplies of condensates as a result of the shale boom, no companies have asked the Commerce Department to change the definition of condensates to free them from the crude export ban, the agency said in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Platts.

Push for permits help responders in ND oil patch

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — When workers began spilling into western North Dakota for high-paying oil jobs and nowhere to live, they set their eyes on the unregulated prairie of the state's largest oil-producing county — quickly turning it into a mass of trailer parks and scattered RVs.

Crew camps were set up haphazardly along unnamed roads across McKenzie County thanks to its lack of zoning rules for housing. Thousands of people had no address.

"Before, we just had 'hillbilly addressing,'" said Jerry Samuelson, the county's emergency manager. '"Go down to a farmer's mailbox and turn right.' That was when everybody knew everybody."

Obama at Normandy, then lunches with leaders including Putin

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a "powerful manifestation of America's commitment to human freedom" that lives on in a new generation.

"Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being — that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity," Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called "democracy's beachhead."

The anniversary commemoration was a gathering point for world figures in the midst of a current geopolitical crisis, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. All eyes promised to be on Putin and Obama, who were expected to have some interaction during a lunch for world leaders at the Chateau de Benouville.

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