Saturday, August 23, 2014
Natural Gas Update

Industry, Advocates Spar Over Reach Of Retroactive Diesel Fracking Suits

Industry officials and environmentalists are sparring over the reach of retroactive Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) suits that advocates are weighing to challenge unpermitted use of diesel fuels in hydraulic fracturing as far back as 2005, with industry countering that liability only extends back to February when EPA issued guidance on the issue.

Climate Change Update

Revised California Bill Would Require State To Reduce 'Short-Lived' GHGs

A California state lawmaker has overhauled a pending greenhouse gas (GHG) offsets bill to focus it solely on requiring the state's Air Resources Board (CARB) to craft a first-time plan to reduce "short-lived" GHGs such as black carbon, prompting push-back from industry groups that say the revised legislation is too vague.

Renewables Update

Hastings Criticizes Novel Pact Requiring CWA Permits For Hydropower Dams

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), chair of the Natural Resources Committee, is criticizing a novel proposed consent decree by the Army Corps of Engineers and environmentalists that would require Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for major hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest, fearing it sets a precedent for thousands of similar dams.

Vehicles/Fuels Update

EPA Sees Weight Cuts From Light Trucks, Aiding Vehicle GHG Rule Defense

Preliminary findings from an upcoming EPA study suggest automakers could significantly reduce light truck weight -- though at a cost -- while more modest weight reductions could actually save manufacturers money, conclusions that could help the agency defend its vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) rules during an upcoming mid-term review.

Coal Update

New York, Utilities Signal Competing Challenges To EPA Cooling Water Rule

New York state is signaling in new comments that it may join environmentalists in a likely suit against EPA over the recently finalized Clean Water Act (CWA) rule for cooling water intake structures at power plants and other industrial facilities -- action that could come soon as the agency is poised to publish the rule in the Federal Register Aug. 15.

Congress Watch

Senate's EPA FY15 Bill Rejects Water SRF Cuts, Avoids Policy Restrictions

Senate appropriators have released draft fiscal year 2015 funding bill that roughly retains the agency's existing $8.2 billion funding level and rejects the Obama administration's proposed cuts to water infrastructure funding, and does not include provisions in a House FY15 bill that would block major EPA climate, air and other regulations.

New Report Eyes EPA Climate Rules As 'Back Door' To National RPS

A new report by energy consulting firm ScottMadden says EPA's climate rules for existing power plants could serve as a "back door" to establishing a national renewable energy standard and help some states, whose renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) are under attack, retain their standards as a means of complying with the agency's rules.

Doubting State, Industry Harms, EPA Again Urges Court To Reinstate CSAPR

EPA is again urging a federal appeals court to reinstate implementation of its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) while delaying the rule's compliance deadlines by three years, charging in a just-filed brief that industry and state opponents have failed to prove any tangible harms from allowing implementation to resume.

Criticisms Of EPA Drilling UIC Permit Oversight May Spur Delegation Fight

Environmentalists say EPA is not sufficiently overseeing states' delegated issuance of Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) underground injection control (UIC) permits for oil and gas wastewater disposal, leading to varying and sometimes inadequate state permits and possible future calls for the agency to rescind the delegated power.

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Clean Energy Wire

CEQ Floats New Guide For 'Programmatic' NEPA Reviews

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is proposing new guidance for how federal agencies should assess the environmental impacts of new or revised programs under the National Environmental . . .

EPA Sends Final 2014 RFS For OMB Review

EPA has sent its long-pending final 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) targets to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for pre-publication review, with biofuels advocates calling on . . .

McConnell Vows EPA Budget Riders If GOP Takes Senate

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pledging to include a range of riders in future spending bills limiting Obama administration policies, including major pending EPA regulations, if -- as . . .

FOIA Suit Seeks EPA Emails On Scrapped Fracking Study

Free-market advocacy groups are suing EPA in a bid to force the agency to grant a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents that the organizations believe include emails . . .

Blogs