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.
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.
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.
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.
While Republican lawmakers have been the vocal about their alarm over the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to update Clean Water Act pollution regulations over rural streams and other waterways that affect public health, farm-state Senate Democrats are also raising their own concerns.
In a letter sent to EPA, the Agriculture Department and the Army Corps of Engineers just before senators left Washington last week, Agriculture Committee chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and 12 Democratic colleagues, said the proposal may have "unintended consequences" that undercut conservation practices supported by the 2014 Farm Bill.
The White House on Friday made good on its deal with Senate Democrats to name Cheryl LaFleur to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the next nine months.
In a brief announcement, FERC said the White House named LaFleur chairman for a term that will end April 15 of next year, when incoming commissioner Norman Bay will be named chairman. She took the post effective on Wednesday.
The National Association of Manufactures said Thursday that the toughest ozone pollution limits being considered by the Obama administration could cost the economy up to $270 billion in year in lost output and higher energy costs.
NAM issued the figure based on a study it commissioned on the potential costs of a potential major reduction in allowable ground-level ozone, a key component of smog.
A spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency, Liz Purchia, said officials had not seen the study. She stressed that it is still reviewing technical information and that any projection of economic impacts is premature before it unveils an ozone proposal in December.
Departing Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe says he hopes to be able to “build a bridge” with Republicans over the EPA’s rules limiting carbon emissions from power plants and clarifying jurisdiction over bodies of water (WOTUS), but he’s meeting with skepticism, The Hill reports.
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.
Oil prices increased for a third straight day on the back of an upward revision in the U.S. gross domestic product figures and a hike in gasoline demand. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery gained 71 cents Thursday to $94.59 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude was up 17 cents to $102.89, Bloomberg reports.
Increasing U.S. oil production fuelled by the shale boom has helped to keep a lid on oil prices despite global crises that in past years would have triggered supply disruptions and price spikes, according to an Energy Information Administration analysis, National Journal reports.
Renewable energy will account for a quarter of the world’s power generation by 2020, the International Energy Agency predicted in a report released Thursday, which added that $1.6 trillion will be invested in the sector up to that point, according to The Hill.
Environmental groups including the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council have filed at least three lawsuits against the U.S. Forest Service, looking to stop the sale of timber from the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The California legislature has been approving measures to encourage hybrid and electric cars, looking to back the California Air Resources Board’s goal of getting 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on the road over the next decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Improved road conditions and traffic reports could save 420 million barrels of oil – or 70 million metric tons of carbon – over ten years – one of a number of savings that could be made through better connected vehicles, according to the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, The Hill reports.
An executive at the massive state-owned conglomerate China Resources Power Holdings Co. -– Wang Jujun -– is being investigated as part of a major corruption probe, and has been suspended from his duties as company president, The Wall Street Journal reports.