Policy

No methane regulation for agriculture, say top officials

Source: 
The Hill

Attempts to cut methane in the agricultural sector will be entirely voluntary, according to a letter Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy sent to Republican senators, The Hill reports.

Jewell on Republicans, McCarthy on carbon emissions at NWF

Source: 
E&E

At the National Wildlife Federation annual meeting last week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speculated that political realities were keeping Republicans like Arizona Sen. John McCain from speaking out about climate change, while Administrator Gina McCarthy acknowledged that the Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming rule regulating the carbon emissions of existing power plants would be controversial, E&E reports.

Agriculture Dept to provide energy grants

Source: 
The Des Moines Register

Farmers and rural small businesses can get money to fund up to a quarter of the cost of energy projects – to improve efficiency or install renewables – according to an announcement Monday from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who said his department had $70 million to spend on the program, The Des Moines Register reports.

Alaska communities angry about state tax deal with pipeline owners

Source: 
Alaska Daily News

Documents indicate Republican Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration in Alaska cut a deal with oil companies temporarily letting them off the hook for millions in property taxes because of a disagreement over the assessment of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a move that has local governments up in arms, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Murkowski speech on energy-water nexus

Washington, May 6, 2014, 9:00 am

Sen. Lisa Murkowski delivers speech to Atlantic Council on her energy-water nexus white paper.  

White House forum on Third U.S. National Climate Assessment

Washington, May 6, 2014, 2:00 pm

White House forum on Third U.S. National Climate Assessment. Climate adviser John Podesta, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John P. Holdren, NOAA Administrator Kathryn D. Sullivan to speak. 

Schwartz quits as head of Oregon Department of Energy

Source: 
The Oregonian

The Oregon Department of Energy is looking for another director, after the resignation of Lisa Schwartz, the fourth head of the troubled agency in less than five years, The Oregonian reports.

Legislation to appoint Arctic ambassador getting bipartisan support

Source: 
National Journal

Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Rick Larsen, D-Wash., had serious reasons for introducing legislation requiring the U.S. to appoint an ambassador to the Arctic, some of them concerned with Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions in the region, and the measure appears to have bipartisan support, National Journal reports.

US official to Europe to discuss Russia sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen is heading to Europe this week to discuss plans for a possible third round of sanctions against Russia for its incursion into neighboring Ukraine.

The U.S. and the European Union already have imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and businesses and are contemplating additional sanctions against various sectors of the Russian economy if the situation in Ukraine further destabilizes.

Podesta: GOP push to stop carbon regs won't work

Adoption of a Republican amendment to stop federal greenhouse gas regulations on power plants would doom the pending Senate energy efficiency bill, White House climate adviser John Podesta said Monday.

The bill is up for debate this week, with GOP senators, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., seeking a vote to stop planned power plant carbon limits by the Environmental Protection Agency. Podesta told reporters at the White House that any attempt to stop regulations under the Clean Air Act has a "zero chance" of success.

"We hope that it gets to the floor, we hope that it passes," he said of the efficiency bill. "But if it passes with unacceptable riders, then it will be headed to the watery depths, I guess."

Podesta declined to talk about a push by Senate Republicans and some Democrats for a vote on a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil sands crude pipeline from Canada, citing his decision to recuse himself from the administration's ongoing review of the project.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney would not say whether Obama would veto the efficiency bill if Keystone approval is included. He reiterated the administration's stance that the decision on a cross-border permit should be made through the State Department and not by Congress. 

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