Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Natural Gas Update

In Reversal, Chamber, NAM Seek To Ease GHG Limits For New Gas Plants

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) are backing away from their earlier support for EPA's proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for new natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) units, filing late comments that seek to align the two groups with other industry interests that are also seeking to ease the limits.

Vehicles/Fuels Update

Cellulosic Biofuel Producers Weigh Suit Over EPA's 2014 RFS Methodology

Cellulosic biofuel producers are threatening to sue EPA over what they say is its flawed methodology for calculating the fuel production targets in the proposed 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS), arguing EPA's latest method has errors that led to drastically low biofuel targets compared to what they say is an earlier, more accurate method.

Congress Watch

House Lawmakers Cite Renewables Push in Launch of New Grid Caucus

Two House lawmakers are launching a bipartisan House "grid innovation caucus" to sharpen discussion of ways to modernize the power system – an effort they say will provide a forum for addressing challenges to the grid including renewable energy deployment, distributed generation and the need for a resilient and secure power infrastructure.

Climate Change Update

EPA Plans Guides To Ease Hurdles On ESPS Rate Conversions, Efficiency

A top air office official is pledging to take steps to ease states' compliance with EPA's greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing power plants, with the agency slated to release guidance on how to translate its rate-based GHG targets to mass-based measures, as well as a policy for verifying reductions from energy efficiency programs.

Coal Update

Judge Preserves Industry Suit Suit Requiring EPA 'Jobs' Review Of Air Rules

A federal district judge in West Virginia has rejected an EPA motion to dismiss a coal miner's suit attempting to force the agency to conduct a Clean Air Act-mandated review of agency air rules' impacts on employment, with the judge ruling that the review is a nondiscretionary duty subject to judicial review.

Renewables Update

Companies Identify Numerous Barriers To California Energy Storage Buildup

Energy companies and utility officials are identifying numerous regulatory, technical and financial barriers to California's effort to ramp up energy storage projects in the coming years, underscoring challenges the state faces in not only meeting a 2020 target for storage but potential complications in lowering its reliance on solar power to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Environmentalists' Coal Ash Suits Seek To Force Cleanups At Legacy Sites

Environmentalists are seeking to use new Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suits that would force cleanups at older coal ash storage sites, including those linked to the recent Duke Energy spill in North Carolina, to set a high bar for future regulation of the waste, and are promising further suits unless states mandate remediation at "legacy" sites deemed likely to spill.

Industry Wins Preferred 4th Circuit Venue For EPA Cooling Water Rule Suit

Energy industry groups have won their preferred venue of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to hear multiple challenges to EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) cooling water intake rule, following weeks of uncertainty of the venue after industry and environmentalists filed suits over the rule in six different circuits.

EPA Previews Arguments For Effort To Block States' Suit Targeting ESPS

EPA is outlining reasons why it believes West Virginia and other states are procedurally prohibited from targeting the agency's proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing power plants, charging the states' suit ultimately seeks to scrap a proposed rule that is not yet reviewable by the courts.

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Clean Energy Wire

Group's NOAA FOIA Request Expands GHG Risk Finding Fight

A free-market group is expanding its bid to invalidate EPA's greenhouse gas (GHG) endangerment finding by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric . . .

OMB Chief Promises 'Ambitious' Climate Programs

Shaun Donovan, the director of the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB), is promising to make EPA and other agencies' climate policies as "ambitious and effective" as they . . .

Environmentalists Cite ESPS In Push For Direct Methane Limits

Environmentalists say that anticipated temporary increases in reliance on natural gas due to the agency's pending greenhouse gas (GHG) rules for existing power plants shows the need for EPA to . . .

Coal Firm Details Legal Issues In ESPS Suit

Murray Energy, the coal mining firm seeking to challenge EPA's underlying authority to issue its proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing utilities, is outlining the specific legal issues it . . .