Lawsuits to protect fish filed against EPA

The Hill

A coalition of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, have filed lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency and its latest rule on industrial water cooling systems, saying the regulation doesn't do enough to protect fish, The Hill reports.

House Republicans to take aim at carbon rule in hearing

The Hill

It’s anticipated state regulators will tell lawmakers about the enormous burden they’ll face coping with the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants, when they testify at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing next week, The Hill reports.

Bipartisan Policy Center photo

Honorable FERC nomination faces few early headwinds

President Barack Obama's newest nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is so far avoiding the concerns that dogged his last two picks.

Named on Thursday by Obama to join the commission, Arkansas Public Service Commission Chairman Colette Honorable quickly won the backing of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who will oversee her confirmation hearing as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The ranking Republican member of the committee, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, was impressed by her appearance before the panel earlier this year, her spokesman Robert Dillon said.

And the American Energy Alliance, a free-market group backed by the industrialist Koch brothers, which rallied opposition to the nomination of Ron Binz to chair FERC last year, is taking a wait-and-see approach for now, the group's spokesman said Tuesday.

EPA photo

McCarthy: Methane cuts can bring profits

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Tuesday sought to convince energy industry executives that domestic greenhouse gas emissions can be cut in a profitable way, especially by curtailing methane releases from natural gas drilling and transmission.

Speaking at the Barclays Energy-Power Conference in New York, McCarthy said the Obama administration is preparing to act to move to reduce methane losses, but will seek a pro-business approach that could include a mix of regulation and voluntary steps, adding, "we need to do something about it, something more than we're doing today."

EPA staff says agency needs to be tough on smog

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency's staff has concluded that the government needs to tighten smog rules by somewhere between 7 and 20 percent.

In its final recommendation in a 597-page report, the agency staff agrees with EPA's outside scientific advisers that the 6-year-old standard for how much smog is allowed needs to be stricter, saying it will save a significant number of lives and cut hospital visits. An earlier version of the report came to a similar conclusion.

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The worst drought in a generation has pushed California lawmakers to overhaul the state's longstanding "pump-as-you-please" groundwater policy under a package of bills lawmakers sent Friday to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The state would begin regulating its groundwater supply for the first time under the legislative package by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills. It would require some local governments to develop groundwater-management plans and allows the state to intervene if necessary.

Conservatives may view Honorable FERC nod with favor

Washington Examiner

Her extensive background with utilities may give Collette Honorable a boost toward gaining confirmation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Washington Examiner reports.

EPA legal success limited over water issues


The Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t won a major legal victory backing its regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act since 1985, significant given the challenges its Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule is likely to face, E&E reports.

White House photo

Oil, gas groups give WH mixed reviews under Podesta

Since assuming key energy and climate roles inside the White House late last year, John Podesta and Dan Utech are getting passing grades on accessibility from industry trade lobbies. But the slow pace of action leaves the groups uncertain about the future of the U.S. energy boom. 

Industry officials told EnergyGuardian that the White House has been open to hearing their arguments about goals, such as expanded offshore drilling, and criticisms, notably delays surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard and potentially tougher ozone standards.

GAO: Social cost of carbon comments still pending

The Obama administration has yet to decide how to respond to public comments submitted on its big increase in the government's estimate of the social cost of carbon emissions, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

In the report to Republicans in Congress on the administration's 50 percent increase last year in the costs to society from carbon output, to $32 a ton, GAO said that about 100 unique comments were submitted during a later public comment period, along with thousands of form-letter comments. Those likely won't affect the estimate, however. 


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