Regulation

Associated Press

GAO: Coal retirements will hit 13 percent under mercury rule

The Environmental Protection Agency's rule limiting mercury releases from coal-fired power plants will prompt the closure of about 13 percent of coal-fired power generation capacity by 2025, the Government Accountability Office reported Monday, more than it previously predicted.

In an audit of federal monitoring of reliability issues as power generators comply with the rule and three others affecting coal plants proposed by EPA as of 2012, GAO said the operators plan to retire about 42,192 megawatts of capacity.

That estimate is a percentage point higher than upper end of the 2-to-12 percent in capacity retirements GAO projected two years ago, while planned retrofits are down about 30 percent.

EPA administrator pushes for water rule

CORRALES, N.M. (AP) — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday she's not backing down on her agency's efforts to implement a new rule that would assert regulatory authority over many of the nation's streams and wetlands despite criticisms that it amounts to a federal water grab.

The U.S. House approved a bill last week that would block the agency from moving forward with the rule, which aims to clarify the streams and waterways that could be protected from development under the Clean Water Act.

EnergyGuardian Photo
Oil

GOP puts Keystone XL in category with Apollo program

House Republicans on Monday compared the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to the Apollo space program, the Transcontinental Railroad and the Hoover Dam, calling it a "landmark" project that the Obama administration is entangling in red tape.

In an issue brief released Monday by the Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., Republicans claimed the Keystone project is just one example of a major oil, gas and coal project that has fallen victim to President Barack Obama's regulatory meddling.

Arizona candidate attacks energy overregulation in weekly GOP address

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona congressional candidate Andy Tobin said Saturday that rural Arizona and parts of the country have been forgotten by Washington.

Tobin made the remarks while delivering the Republican national radio address from Picacho Peak, a prominent landmark in Arizona's 1st Congressional District.

The current Arizona House speaker said the state was essentially "under attack" from all the regulations enforced by the federal government. He cited the overregulation of energy and the "perpetrating a war on coal" as an example.

Influence game: Chemical trade tries to shape regs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The powerful chemical industry is putting its lobbying muscle behind legislation that would establish standards for chemicals used in products from household goods to cellphones and plastic water bottles — but also make it tougher for states to enact their own regulations.

Many states already have acted on their own — and that's what's gotten the industry's attention.

EU sanctions hit Russian oil majors, lawmakers

BRUSSELS (AP) — New European Union sanctions against Russia announced Friday toughen financial penalties on the country's banks, arms manufacturers and its biggest oil company, Rosneft, to punish Moscow for what the West sees as efforts to destabilize Ukraine.

The United States was also expected to announce more sanctions Friday.

The EU measures, which were made official after a preliminary agreement Thursday, broaden the scope of penalties imposed in July. They increase restrictions to Europe's capital markets, which further limits the targeted Russian companies' ability to raise money, for example. They now also apply to major oil and defense companies, not only banks.

House Natural Resources hearing on subpoenas of Interior Department Inspector General documents

Washington, September 11, 2014, 9:45 am

House Natural Resources Committee hearing, "Oversight of the Office of Inspector General and its Ongoing Failure to Comply with a Subpoena for Documents about a Recent Investigation." Interior Department Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall to testify. 

Regulators reject call for nuke plant shutdown

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A top Nuclear Regulatory Commission official Wednesday rejected a federal expert's recommendation to shut down California's last operating nuclear power plant until it can determine whether its reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults.

In a decision released Wednesday, Executive Director for Operations Mark Satorius said there is no immediate or significant safety concern at the Diablo Canyon plant.

House votes to block EPA water rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday approved a bill to block the Obama administration from implementing a rule that asserts regulatory authority over many of the nation's streams and wetlands — an action that critics call a classic Washington overreach.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule that it says will clarify which streams and waterways are shielded from development under the Clean Water Act, an issue that remains in dispute even after two U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Judge rejects latest bid to keep oyster farm open

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge rejected on Tuesday an 11th-hour attempt to keep open a popular Northern California oyster operation that was ordered closed by the federal government.

Drakes Bay Oyster Co. closed its cannery in July after the U.S. Department of the Interior refused to renew its lease along the Point Reyes National Seashore because of environmental concerns.

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