Energy Department

Moniz gets earful on Keystone XL in North Dakota

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz went to North Dakota over the weekend to talk about energy infrastructure and tour oil and gas fields, but got hit with renewed calls for the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and allow crude oil exports.

"Here we are, using the transportation of energy as a way to control the fuel source, and that needs to end," Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said Friday about the opposition to the Keystone project, during an Energy Department forum on its Quadrennial Energy Review in Bismarck.

Associated Press

API to wage fight this fall against tougher ozone standards

The oil industry's major trade group will push this fall against tougher ozone air pollution limits under consideration by the Obama administration, officials told reporters Friday.

The American Petroleum Institute's regulatory affairs director, Howard Feldman, said the economy is still too fragile to tighten ozone standards below current levels, which API argues are not yet being reached.

Fracking moratorium thrown out in Fort Collins

The Coloradoan

A judge in Colorado has overturned a five-year moratorium on fracking approved by voters in Fort Collins last November, The Coloradoan reports.

Lawsuits filed against EPA carbon rule not on target yet, say experts


Legal experts consulted by E&E think two lawsuits filed against the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants – one by Murray Energy and one by 12 states – are unlikely to succeed.

EPA reshuffle: Feldt to be acting deputy, Kopocis gets a water title

The Hill

Lisa Feldt will serve as the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting deputy administrator, filling in for the departing Bob Perciasepe, EPA announced Thursday, while Ken Kopocis, waiting for Senate confirmation to be water chief since 2011, will become deputy assistant administrator in that office, The Hill reports.

FERC photo

Norris steps down from FERC

John Norris announced Thursday his resignation from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a move that opens the door for President Barack Obama to nominate another Democrat to take the post.

In a statement posted and then briefly taken off the FERC web site before being restored, Norris said he submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama earlier in the day, effective Aug. 20.

He is to become the minister-counselor of the Agriculture Department's Office of Agricultural Affairs in Rome. Norris said in his statement that he was taking advantage of  "a tremendous opportunity to continue in public service" with the USDA.

Norris confirms resignation from FERC

John Norris on Thursday announced his resignation from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission effective Aug. 20. 

In a statement, Norris said he was leaving to become the minister-counselor of the Agriculture Department Office of Agricultural Affairs in Rome. 

He leaves with nearly three years left on his term, opening up a Democratic seat on the five-member commission for President Barack Obama to fill. 


Early FERC departure for Norris, Honorable to replace him: SNL

SNL Financial

An announcement is expected this week that John Norris will depart the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before his term expires in June, 2017, sources told SNL Financial, which reports that the Obama administration will replace him with Colette Honorable, chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

USDA photo

Vilsack: Work needed to reassure farmers upset over Waters rule

The Obama administration has more to do to convince farmers and ranchers that the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to clarify the reach of the Clean Water Act over rural streams and wetlands won't mean new restrictions, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday.

The intent of the rule, known as Waters of the U.S., is to give farm country more certainty about the scope of what's covered under the Clean Water Act, Vilsack told reporters, but he acknowledged that concern is running high. "Obviously there is still work to be done in terms of educating people about that intent, because that's not how it's been interpreted," he said.

Colorado compromise seen as blow to environmentalists


The campaign to fight fracking at the local level suffered a blow in Colorado Monday, as Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper announced a compromise with Rep. Jared Polis to pull support from two measures headed to the November ballot, Bloomberg reports.


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