Friday, April 29, 2011

As Oil Profits & Gas Prices Soar; Standoff Continues On Tax Subsidies

Apr 28: As major oil companies posted increased first quarter profits, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and 28 other House Democrats urged Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to allow an up-or-down vote on the repeal of nearly $8 billion a year in wasteful subsidies for the nation's largest oil companies. President Obama, the day before, had called on Congress to end "$4 billion per year in these subsidies." [See WIMS 4/27/11]. Representative Blumenauer has introduced a bill, H.R.601, which he indicates would end nearly $8 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies to the largest oil companies. All members that signed the letter to Speaker Boehner are cosponsors of this legislation. The bill now has 35 cosponsors.
    In a release, Blumenauer indicated that the letter to Boehner comes as oil majors report skyrocketing quarterly profits, including a spike of nearly 70 percent for ExxonMobil. Media reports indicated that ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and Shell posted a combined $18.2 billion in first quarter profits -- a 40 percent increase over their profits in the first quarter of 2010. Exxon alone posted a $10.7 billion profit. He said, "Today we learned that ExxonMobil saw its profits soar nearly 70 percent while Americans are getting clobbered at the pump. It is unconscionable that we are cutting government services left and right while continuing billions in giveaways to giant oil companies. Now is the time for Republicans to respect the will of the people and hold an up-or-down vote on repealing these wasteful subsidies."

    In their letter to the Speaker, the Representatives said they were acknowledging the Speaker's statement earlier in the week that he was "
open to eliminating unnecessary tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry." They said, "We agree with you that, especially in an era of high gas prices and high profits, the big oil companies don't need all of the generous subsidies that taxpayers currently provide." The said their legislation (H.R.601) reserves the subsidies for small independent producers, but "would save roughly $40 billion over the next 5 years."
    As WIMS previously reported, Speaker John Boehner, through a statement from his spokesman, backed away from his comments in an ABC News interview, and indicated that "raising taxes was a non-starter." Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) immediately rejected the President's call for eliminating the tax subsidies saying the President's request was "predictable as it is counterproductive." Instead, McConnell said the President should open "areas to development, stop penalizing American job creation with new fees and tax hikes, and call an end to the anti-energy crusade at the Environmental Protection Agency."

    In their letter the House Democrats said, "President Obama has written to Congress urging us to pass legislation to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil companies. This position is shared by a majority of the Democratic Caucus, as evidenced by the vote on the Motion to Recommit on H.J. Res. 44 (Roll Call 153), and by 74 percent of the American public according to recent opinion polls. You may hear concern from some in your caucus that closing tax loopholes for the oil companies will raise gas prices. As you know, this is not the case. The Joint Economic Committee and other experts have determined that closing tax loopholes for the big oil companies will not increase consumer energy prices. Since the price of oil is set on the world market, the subsidies we provide in this country only do one thing: increase oil company profits.

    "Oil prices are sufficiently high for companies to explore and drill without incentives. In the words of former President George W. Bush, 'I will tell you with $55 oil we don't need incentives to oil and gas companies to explore.' Today prices are double that amount, making tax incentives even less necessary. As Exxon Mobil, BP and other big oil companies announce record profits in the coming days, we urge you to schedule an up-or-down vote on the House Floor providing members with the opportunity to vote to repeal some of the most egregious tax subsidies. With gas prices on the rise, we would welcome the opportunity to show our constituents that Congress is ready to stop wastefully subsidizing some of the most profitable businesses in the world and instead use that money to reduce the deficit and invest in real relief from high gas prices."
    In a report from The Hill publication, Speaker Boehner again replied to the letter through his spokesperson, Michael Steel in an email saying, "The Speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy to lower gas prices and create millions of American jobs. Raising taxes will not do that."
    Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), Ranking Member on the Natural Resources Committee sent his own letter to Speaker Boehner outlining three more measures. in addition to H.R.601, that he said the House should pass to decrease gas prices in the short term, increase drilling safety, and end oil company practices that hold hostage American oil underneath taxpayer owned lands. Beyond H.R.601, he listed:
  1. The Enhanced SPR Act (H.R.1017), which would help consumers at the pump by deploying a small amount of our nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and strengthen the reserves by later adding refined petroleum product like gasoline when prices subside.
  2. The USE IT Act (H.R.927), would impose a fee on oil companies to pressure them to begin drilling on the tens of millions of acres of public land where we know there is oil and they are not producing.
  3. The Implementing the Recommendations of the BP Oil Spill Commission Act (H.R.501), to increase safety in the offshore oil industry.
    Access the release and letter from Rep. Blumenauer and the list of signers (click here). Access the report in The Hill (click here). Access a release and letter from Rep. Markey (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.601 (click here). Access a fact sheet from Rep. on H.R.601 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.1017 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.927 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.501 (click here). [*Energy/OilGas]

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Industry Groups Petition EPA To Stay Boiler MACT & CISWI Rules

Apr 27: American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued a statement regarding the AF&PA- led coalition request to U.S. EPA to stay the Boiler MACT and Commercial Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator (CISWI) rules. The standards cover more than 200,000 boilers and incinerators that emit harmful air pollution, including mercury, cadmium, and particle pollution.

    On February 23, 2011, in response to Federal court orders in Sierra Club v. EPA requiring the issuance of final standards [See WIMS 1/21/11], U.S. EPA issued final Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators -- the so-called "Boiler MACT" rules -- that EPA says will achieve significant public health protections through reductions in toxic air emissions, including mercury and soot, but cut the cost of implementation by about 50 percent from an earlier proposal issued last year [See WIMS 2/23/11]. In response to a September 2009 court order, EPA issued the proposed rules in April 2010, prompting significant public input. The proposed rules followed a period that began in 2007, when a Federal court vacated a set of industry specific standards proposed during the Bush Administration. Based on the public input received following the April 2010 proposal, EPA made extensive revisions, and in December 2010 requested additional time for review to ensure the public's input was fully addressed. EPA was seeking in its motion to the court an extension to finalize the rules by April 13, 2012. Instead, the court granted EPA 30 days, resulting in February 23 announcement.

Harman said, "Today, we are collectively filing a petition with the EPA to stay the Boiler MACT and CISWI rules while issues with the rules are addressed. Without a stay, the rules published in the Federal Register on March 21 are set to become effective next month.  EPA already has announced it plans to reconsider major parts of the rules. While it is apparent that extensive changes are still needed to the rules, businesses cannot plan effectively in the face of this uncertainty. The Boiler MACT and CISWI rules are interrelated, and businesses need adequate lead-time to prepare once the rules are indeed finalized. A stay is a necessary first step to ensure that resources are spent where they will ultimately be needed to make the greatest difference and that companies will not lose compliance time during the continuing rulemaking.

    "Within our request are detailed accounts from forest product companies showing the serious harm that would occur should any part of the three-year implementation period be taken up by EPA's reconsideration. Not only could hundreds of millions of dollars be wasted designing a compliance plan for a rule that become obsolete, but precious compliance time could also be lost if the rule is not stayed. EPA has the authority to stay these rules, and we are asking it to exercise that authority. Our current capital cost estimate for the forest products industry exceeds $4 billion, and as our technical experts delve deeper, their concerns about achievability and cost are growing. We anticipate that the capital cost for all industrial sectors from Boiler MACT alone to be over $14 billion, plus billions more in annual operating costs. We will continue to work with the Administration toward a more affordable and achievable set of Boiler MACT and CISWI rules."

    Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) also issued a statement saying, "EPA is reconsidering major portions of these rules, and businesses should not be asked to comply until final requirements are clear. Otherwise, businesses could spend millions, if not billions, to comply with rules that may change. A stay would avoid premature and potentially misguided expenditures and allow companies to keep their immediate focus on expansion, hiring and growth."

    The Coalition of industry organizations includes: American Forest & Paper Association, National Association of Manufacturers, American Chemistry Council, American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute, American Home Furnishings Alliance, American Iron and Steel Institute, American Municipal Power, Inc., American Petroleum Institute, American Wood Council, Biomass Power Association, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, Corn Refiners Association, Council of Industrial Boiler Owners, Florida Sugar Industry (joined by sugarcane processors in Texas and Hawaii), National Oilseed Processors Association, Rubber Manufacturers Association, Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, Treated Wood Council, and their members (collectively the "Petitioners").

    According to the petition to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the petitioners, "respectfully request an immediate stay of (1) the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters, 76 Fed. Reg. 15,554 (Mar. 21, 2011) (Docket No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2002–0058) (the "Boiler rule"), and (2) the Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units, 76 Fed. Reg. 15,704 (Mar. 21, 2011) (Docket No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2003–0119) (the "CISWI rule") pending reconsideration.

    Access the statement from AF&PA (click here). Access the statement from ACC (click here). Access the 58-page petition  (click here). Access links to the final rules, fact sheets, and regulatory impact analyses for each of EPA's regulatory actions (click here). Access more information from EPA's Emissions Standards for Boilers and Process Heaters and Commercial / Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators website (click here). [*Air, *Toxics]


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gridlock Continues On End To $4 Billion/Yr. Oil & Gas Tax Subsidies

Apr 26: In a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), President Obama pressed the legislative leaders to address the issue of tax breaks for the oil and gas industry. The President called for an end to subsidies to "yesterday's energy sources." Immediately, House and Senate Republican leaders responded negatively to the President's letter.
    In his letter the President said, "I am writing to urge you to take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and to use those dollars to invest in clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. High oil and gasoline prices are weighing on the minds and pocketbooks of every American family. While our economy has begun to recover, with 1.8 million private sector jobs created over the last 13 months, too many Americans are still struggling to find a job or simply just to pay the bills. The recent steep increase in gas prices, driven by increased global demand and compounded by unrest and supply disruptions in the Middle East, has only added to those struggles. If sustained, these high prices have the potential to slow down the pace of our economy's growth at precisely the moment when we need to be accelerating it.  

    "While there is no silver bullet to address rising gas prices in the short term, there are steps we can take to ensure the American people don't fall victim to skyrocketing gas prices over the long term. One of those steps is to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks to the oil and gas industry and invest that revenue into clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Our outdated tax laws currently provide the oil and gas industry more than $4 billion per year in these subsidies, even though oil prices are high and the industry is projected to report outsized profits this quarter. In fact, in the past CEO's of the major oil companies made it clear that high oil prices provide more than enough profit motive to invest in domestic exploration and production without special tax breaks. As we work together to reduce our deficits, we simply can't afford these wasteful subsidies, and that is why I proposed to eliminate them in my FY11 and FY12 budgets.  

    "I was heartened that Speaker Boehner yesterday expressed openness to eliminating these tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry. Our political system has for too long avoided and ignored this important step, and I hope we can come together in a bipartisan manner to get it done. In addition, we need to get to work immediately on the longer term goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and our vulnerability to price fluctuations this dependence creates. Without a comprehensive energy strategy for the future we will stay stuck in the same old pattern of heated political rhetoric when prices rise and apathy and neglect when they fall again.

    "I recently laid out my approach to a comprehensive strategy in my Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future [See WIMS 3/30/11 & WIMS 3/31/11, which includes safe and responsible production of our domestic oil and gas resources and doubling down on fuel efficiency in the transportation sector while investing in everything from wind and solar to biofuels and natural gas. None of you will agree with every aspect of this strategy. But I am confident that, in many areas, we can work together to help show the American people that we can make progress on an energy policy that creates jobs and makes our country more secure. And I hope we can all agree that, instead of continuing to subsidize yesterday's energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow's. We need to invest in a 21st century clean energy economy that will keep America competitive. In the long term, that's the answer. That's the key to helping families avoid pain at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

    Senator McConnell issued a quick response to the President's letter and said, "The President's latest call to raise taxes on U.S. energy is as predictable as it is counterproductive. If someone in the administration can show me that raising taxes on American energy production will lower gas prices and create jobs, then I will gladly discuss it. But since nobody can, and the President's letter to Congress today doesn't, this is merely an attempt to deflect from the policies of the past two years. Instead of returning again and again to tax hikes that increase consumers' costs, the administration and its Democrat allies in Congress should open their eyes to the vast energy resources we have right here at home and to the hundreds of thousands of jobs that opening them up could create. If the President were truly serious about lowering the price of gas at the pump, he would open these areas to development, stop penalizing American job creation with new fees and tax hikes, and call an end to the anti-energy crusade at the Environmental Protection Agency."

    Speaker Boehner did not have an official release or statement on the letter but a spokesman seemed to indicate that the Speaker was backing away from his previous comments in an ABC News interview. Reportedly, the spokesman said, "The Speaker made clear in the interview that raising taxes was a non-starter, and he's told the president that. He simply wasn't going to take the bait and fall into the trap of defending 'Big Oil' companies. Boehner believes, as he stated in the interview, that expanding American energy production will help lower gas prices and create more American jobs. We'll look at any reasonable policy that lowers gas prices. Unfortunately, what the president has suggested so far would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump."

    Democratic Leader Pelosi issued a release and letter to Speaker Boehner calling for him to schedule a vote next week to end what she said was "billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil. House Democrats have long advocated the elimination of these outdated and costly subsidies." In the letter to Boehner, Pelosi wrote: "…we have had several votes on this subject in the House, and have been disappointed that these proposals have not been supported by the Republican leadership. Your comments yesterday acknowledged that oil companies ought to be paying their fair share. It makes little sense for American consumers -- who are now paying over $4 a gallon for gasoline in most parts of the United States -- to have billions of their taxpayer dollars subsidizing oil companies that are making record profits."

    Senator Reid responded with a statement and said, "I agree with the President that it is long past time to end wasteful subsidies to big oil companies that are raking in record profits. If Senate Republicans are serious about cutting spending, as Democrats are, they'll stop filibustering our efforts to eliminate corporate welfare that even a former Shell Oil CEO said is unnecessary. Rather than giving handouts to big corporations, we should be investing in clean energy development and construction here at home to create jobs, diversify our economy, break our dangerous dependence on oil and make our nation safer. As a bipartisan delegation of senators saw first-hand, China and other countries are aggressively investing in this industry for exactly those reasons. Abundant solar, wind and geothermal resources in Nevada and across the country combined with American know-how give our country the ability to be the world leader in clean energy. We should not lose our edge in this global competition just so Republicans can give even more taxpayer money to companies that don't need it." The Senate Majority Leader also released a transcript of Speaker Boehner's interview with ABC.

    Access the President's letter (click here). Access the statement from Sen. McConnell (click here). Access a report from The Hill on the ABC News interview and Speaker Boehner comments (click here). Access the statement and letter from Rep. Pelosi (click here). Access the statement from Sen. Reid (click here). Access the transcript of the Speaker Boehner interview (click here). [*Energy/OilGas]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Parties At Odds Over Major TransCanada Keystone Pipeline

Apr 22: The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has prepared a supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS) for the controversial proposed TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP (TransCanada) Keystone XL Project (Project). On September 19, 2008, TransCanada filed an application for a Presidential Permit for the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of a pipeline and associated facilities at the border of the U.S. and Canada for the transport of crude oil across the U.S.-Canada international boundary. Comments on the SDEIS are being accepted until June 6, 2011. DOS indicated previously that it expects to make a decision on whether to grant or deny the permit before the end of 2011 [See WIMS 3/21/11].
    The Keystone XL project is a $7 billion pipeline that would transport up to 900,000 barrels/day (bpd) of tar sands crude oil almost 2,000 miles from Alberta to refineries in the Gulf Coast. TransCanada has requested authorization to construct and operate border crossing facilities at the U.S.-Canadian border in Phillips County, near Morgan, Montana, in connection with its proposed international pipeline project (Keystone XL Project) that is designed to transport Canadian crude oil production from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) to destinations in the south central United States, including to a new tank farm in Cushing, Oklahoma, and to delivery points in the Port Arthur and East Houston areas of Texas.
    The (API) issued a release saying the State Department environmental analysis to the Keystone XL project is "a positive indicator for eventual approval of the project. The analysis found 'no new issues of substance' and 'does not alter the conclusions reached in the draft EIS regarding the need for and the potential impacts of the proposed Project.'" Cindy Schild, API's refining issues manager said, "We urge the administration to turn aside any additional efforts to delay this important project. The pipeline has passed every analysis and review over the last two years, while additional American job creation and economic growth from this important project are delayed. We need to expand our energy relationship with America's number one source of imported oil: Canada."

    "For decades, U.S. refineries have been processing crude from Canadian oil sands. The Keystone pipeline could expand access to this vital resource by providing transportation for an additional 830,000 barrels of oil a day. Investing in Canadian oil sands will also produce more than 340,000 U.S. jobs and generate about $34 billion in revenue for the U.S. government, according to an economic analysis by the Canadian Energy Research Institute."

    Kate Colarulli, Associate Director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Oil campaign, issued a statement on the SDEIS and said, "We are deeply disappointed to see such an inadequate environmental analysis from the State Department. Given the destructive nature and far-reaching effects of that these dirty tar sands would have on our economy, farms in the Heartland, and Americans' health, we expect more. The American people deserve more. Alarmingly, the State Department is moving ahead with the permitting process before the Department of Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has completed a thorough, scientific analysis of the chemical composition of tar sands oil, its potential effects on pipeline safety, affected drinking water sources, and the risk of a major oil spill.

    "What's more, the minimal public comment period issued today would mean that the millions of Americans affected by the pipeline would have little time to make their concerns heard. We are dismayed that the State Department is rushing forward with this process at the behest of a foreign corporation and despite the fact that there are still critical, outstanding questions that must be answered about the threats this project poses to Americans' health and safety."

    On April 22, API issued a second release saying it welcomed the support for the Keystone XL pipeline from the Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and the State's two U.S. Senators James Inhofe (R) and Tom Coburn (R). API said the lawmakers are joined in their support for the project by Oklahoma U.S. Representatives Frank Lucas (R-3rd), Dan Boren (D-2nd), Tom Cole (R-4th) and John Sullivan (R-1st), as well as the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Trucking Association, Continental Resources, Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association of Oklahoma, Kay County, Ponca City Development Authority and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Nebraska's Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) have both previously raised concerns to Secretary of State Clinton about the Keystone XL pipeline project [See WIMS 10/25/10]. Last September, U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) urged the State Department to expedite the permit by TransCanada to create its Keystone XL pipeline.

    Access the FR announcement (click here). Access the State Department Keystone Project website for complete information (click here). Access the statement from API (click here). Access a release from Sierra Club (click here). Access the 2nd release from API (click here). [*Energy/Oilsands]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Political Angst & Rhetoric Abound Over High Gas Prices

April 22: As the national average for a gallon of gasoline approaches $4.00 and is well over that in many parts of the U.S., Republicans and Democrats are trading barbs about who is at fault.
    In his weekly address on April 23, President Obama laid out his plans to address rising gas prices over the short and the long term. He said, while there is "no silver bullet to bring down prices right away, there are a few things we can do." He said the Attorney General launched a task force dedicated to rooting out fraud or manipulations in the oil markets. He called for ending the $4 billion in taxpayer money that the oil and gas companies receive annually. And, he said we need to continue "safe, responsible production" of oil at home." And, in the long term, "we need to invest in clean, renewable energy." He said he strongly disagrees with a proposal in Congress that cuts our investments in clean energy by 70 percent.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) said there are: "Simple Solutions to Provide Relief at the Pump." He said, "Increased energy costs are forcing some Kentucky businesses to lay off employees. A truck plant in Louisville has temporarily shut down due, in part, to high fuel costs. And Kentuckians across the state cringe every time they pull up to the pump. Gas prices have nearly doubled over the past two years. In some parts of the country gas costs more than four dollars a gallon. How did it come to this? President Obama's policies certainly haven't helped..."
    House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) issued a statement after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced the completion of the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for oil and gas lease sale 218 in the Western Planning Area in the Gulf of Mexico. He said the announcement comes on the heels of the Natural Resources Committee passing H.R. 1230, "a bill that would reverse the Obama Administration's actions and proceed now with the scheduled lease sales in a prompt, timely and safe manner." Hastings said, "As Americans brace for $5 gasoline, the Obama Administration has quickly realized the outrage that would follow if 2011 was the first year since 1958 without an offshore lease sale. . . the Administration should move forward with other sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that were scheduled to take place this year. The Administration has already determined that offshore drilling can move forward safely and responsibly, and now it's time to hold lease sales and issue permits to create jobs, lower prices, and produce more American energy."
    The Washington, DC insider publication, The Hill, published a timely analysis which they called, "Fact-checking the Washington rhetoric on oil, drilling and energy." The article addresses a number of questions and generally cites answers from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Questions include: What impact will additional drilling have on gas prices?; How much oil did the United States produce in 2010?; Who is responsible for the increase in oil production in 2010?; How much oil will the United States produce in the coming years?; How many barrels of proven oil reserves does the United States have?; How does that compare with other countries?; What's the best way to determine how much oil the United States has?; How much oil does the United States consume?; and How much oil does the U.S. import?
    On the major question of the impact of more drilling on gas prices at the pump, the article cites EIA Administrator Richard Newell, in written testimony delivered to the House Natural Resources Committee March 17, saying: "Long term, we do not project additional volumes of oil that could flow from greater access to oil resources on Federal lands to have a large impact on prices given the globally integrated nature of the world oil market and the more significant long-term compared to short-term responsiveness of oil demand and supply to price movements." But Newell said that longer-term domestic production "would impact local economic activity, net oil imports, and the associated U.S. international trade balance resulting from oil imports."
    Also noted is that in 2010 domestic oil production reached its highest level since 2003 -- 5.5 million barrels of oil a day. U.S. oil production peaked at 9.6 million barrels a day in 1970. The U.S. consumed 18,771,400 barrels of oil per day in 2009, or a total of 6.85 billion barrels and in 2010 the figure was 6.99 billion barrels -- about one-fourth of the world's oil.
    Access the President's address (click here). Access a release from the U.S. Attorney General (click here). Access Sen. McConnell's release  (click here). Access the release from Rep. Hastings (click here). Access the fact check article from The Hill (click here). [*Energy]
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  • Cornell Researchers Question CO2 Emissions From Fracking
  • BP Oil Spill Anniversary & $1 Billion Restoration Payment
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  • Worldwide Interviews From Climate Change Delegation Officials
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  • Yankee Gas Services Co. v. UGI Utilities., Inc.
  • Sierra Club v. U.S. Army COE
  • Rhodes v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Friday, April 08, 2011

UN Says "Work Harder" On Global Warming This Year

Subscribers Notice:
We are beginning our Spring publication break next week, 
We'll catch you up on all the news when we resume publication on Monday, April 25, 2011
Apr 8: As Republicans and Democrats in the United States appear to be on polar opposites, not only on regulating greenhouse gas (GHG), but on the underlying science of global warming; and climate change issues are in part responsible for a possible government-wide shutdown; the top UN climate change official is urging countries to work harder for further progress on combating global warming this year.
    Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), made the comments in Bangkok, Thailand, saying there were positive discussions on the Kyoto Protocol and on greenhouse gas emission reduction at this week's meeting [See WIMS 4/4/11]. The six-day Bangkok meeting was attended by an estimated 2,000 participants from 175 countries, including government delegates, representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions.

    Figueres said, "Discussions in Bangkok under the Kyoto Protocol importantly included not only a focus on what should happen with regard to the future of the protocol but also how it will happen. It is significant that there is a strong desire to build on the Kyoto rules and a desire to find a political solution in 2011." The Kyoto Protocol is an addition to the UNFCCC that contains legally binding measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whose first commitment period is due to expire next year. Negotiations on the second commitment phase of the Protocol continue.

    Picking up on the climate change agreements reached in Cancún, Mexico last year, governments began organizing their work for 2011 in Bangkok, including activities under the long-term cooperative action negotiating track of the convention, which brings countries together to decide collective solutions to climate change. In a release, UNFCCC said the climate change talks in Cancún concluded with a package of decisions to help countries advance towards a low-emissions future. Dubbed the "Cancún Agreements," the decisions included formalizing climate change mitigation pledges and ensuring increased accountability for them, as well as taking concrete action to protect the world's forests.

    Figueres said that while developed countries were mainly focused on addressing the implementation of the Cancún Agreements, developing countries wanted to ensure that those issues that were not resolved in Cancún yet are part of the comprehensive Bali Action Plan that governments agreed to in 2007 are dealt with in a balanced way. The Bangkok meeting is one of a series of meetings that will take place this year and culminate at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP17) in Durban, South Africa, at the end of this year. The next meeting will take place in Bonn, Germany, beginning on June 6. Figueres said, "What is clear from this week is that in Durban, governments will address both the work to complete what was agreed in Cancún and the work which Cancún left unresolved."

    The Bangkok meetings included the sixteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), the fourteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), as well as workshops pursuant to the Cancun Agreements, are taking place in Bangkok, from April 3 through April 8.

    Figueres indicated that while Cancún was a "significant step, meeting the long-term challenge of climate change requires increasingly strong international agreements, backed by national policies that give incentives to all sides to take aggressive and collective action on a global scale." She said, "The UNFCCC is the place where governments have committed to act together on climate change. At home, under their different political systems, they need to back up collective action with strong domestic policies." Considering the current divided political climate in the United States, it seems that progress on regulating GHG emissions will be made at a slower, rather than a faster pace in this country.

    Jennifer Haverkamp, International Climate Director at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) commented on the meetings and said it was "a tough week of U.N. climate negotiations." She said, "The Bangkok meetings did manage to produce an agenda, but they also served as further proof that the process of getting a global climate agreement is going to take a long time. Countries are clearly in a marathon, not a sprint, toward Durban, and this week they could barely crawl past the starting line. At least now they're headed in the same direction, but they really need to pick up the pace if South Africa is to yield any real results. Meanwhile the major emitters must continue to address the problem through their own domestic actions, if we're to keep from falling even further behind in the race to save the planet. The significant, but incomplete, progress achieved in Cancun left large, overarching and very difficult political questions unanswered. In Bangkok, countries all too slowly picked up from where they left off last year. The good news is that by persevering and grappling their way toward a collective agreement on political priorities, they have re-upped their commitment to the process."

    Access a release from the UN (click here). Access a release from UNFCCC (click here). Access a video of Figueres remarks concluding the Bangkok meetings (click here). Access a release from EDF (click here). Access complete information and documents on the  AWG-KP16 meeting (click here); the AWG-LCA14 meeting (click here); and the pre-sessional workshops (click here). Access live and on-demand webcasts from the Bangkok meetings (click here). Access the UNFCCC website for more information (click here).

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  • Emissions Of Greenhouse Gases In The United States 2009
  • Karuk Tribe v. US Forestry Service
  • Gardner v. U.S. Bureau Of Land Management
  • Energy Northwest v. U.S. 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Senate Vote Of 50-50 Fails To Stop EPA GHG Regs

Apr 7: In a rare occurrence, late in the afternoon on April 6, both chambers of the U.S. Congress were simultaneously debating legislative proposals to prohibit the Administrator of U.S. EPA from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change [See WIMS 4/6/11]. Although the House proposal was a separate bill (H.R.910), and the Senate proposal was an amendment to another bill (S.493), the substance of each proposal was essentially the same. In the end, the Senate narrowly defeated the major amendment to S.493 (McConnell Amdt. No. 183) by a vote of 50-50 -- i.e. 60 votes necessary for approval. In the House, members debated a number of amendments but delayed a vote on final passage, which is expected today and passage is near certain in the Republican-dominated House.
    The Senate vote is a true representation of the ideological split between Republicans and Democrats on this issue. The 50 votes against the amendment were all Democrats and two Independents. Democrats Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Mark Pryor (D-AR) voted with 47 Republicans in support of the amendment. The Senate vote and the expected House vote essentially set up a stalemate on this issue. Additionally, the White House has indicated it would not support such legislation. It should be noted that Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) offered amendments for various delays and exemptions to the regulations (i.e. Amendments # 236, #277, #215, respectively) which were all defeated. However, all three Senators voted against the main McConnell amendment.

    The White House issued a brief statement saying, "The administration is encouraged by the Senate's actions today to defend the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to protect public health under the Clean Air Act. By rejecting efforts to rollback EPA's common-sense steps to safeguard Americans from harmful pollution, the Senate also rejected an approach that would have increased the nation's dependence on oil, contradicted the scientific consensus on global warming, and jeopardized America's ability to lead the world in the clean energy economy. The Clean Air Act is a vital tool in protecting our families -- particularly children -- from a wide variety of harmful pollutants that cause asthma and lung disease, and the administration remains committed to protecting this important law.

    Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and EPW Committee Members released a joint statement in response to the Senate's rejection of four proposals that they said "would interfere with the implementation of the Clean Air Act and block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from doing its job of curbing carbon pollution from the nation's largest polluters. The Senate action to vote down the measures today avoided an unprecedented repeal of protections under the Clean Air Act." In addition to the comments below, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) also issued comments in support of the Senate vote.

    Senator Boxer said, "Today, the Senate stood up for children and families by defeating four amendments that would have interfered with EPA's efforts to protect the health and safety of the American public. The Clean Air Act has had strong bipartisan support since it was passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon. The American people support EPA's efforts to safeguard us from polluters, and I will continue to fight any effort to weaken the Clean Air Act." Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), Chair of the Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee said, "Forty years ago, naysayers claimed the Clean Air Act was too costly and would doom our economy. We heard the same predictions in 1990 when we strengthened the Clean Air Act. But the naysayers were wrong. Since 1970, the Clean Air Act's benefits have outweighed costs by 30 to 1, and our Gross Domestic Product has grown over 200 percent. Cleaner air has saved thousands of lives, billions of dollars in health care costs and it has grown our economy. By voting down these amendments, we have kept America on the right course."

    Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chair of the Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee said, "I find it unconscionable that in the year 2011 the Clean Air Act is being attacked by big polluters and their allies in Congress who want to gut this successful public health law. We know the very real health benefits of cleaner air, and that is why I introduced a Resolution, S. Res. 119, with 33 co-sponsors, to fight back against efforts to deregulate polluters." Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Chair of the Children's Health and Environmental Responsibility Subcommittee said. "The ongoing assault against the Clean Air Act, as evidenced by the McConnell amendment, represents the dramatic shift to ideological politics that have taken over Washington. The Clean Air Act was passed with strong support from Republicans and Democrats before being signed into law by President Nixon to protect the integrity of our air supply. Today, instead of protecting the health and well-being of our people, some are protecting the profits of large polluters, and I simply think that's wrong."

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a statement saying "an overwhelming bipartisan majority of senators voted in favor of proposals to stop job- and economy-destroying EPA regulations." Senator McConnell was referring to alternative amendments offered by Democrats and the votes on those amendments and indicating that there were 64 votes for one or more EPA amendments. He said, "An overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Senate today voted to rein in job- and economy-destroying EPA regulations, underscoring the fact that both Republicans and Democrats oppose giving unelected bureaucrats at the EPA the power to impose a new national energy tax on American job creators and families. Altogether, more than 60 senators voted in favor of four amendments that, to one degree or another, would restrain the EPA's power to regulate carbon emissions from farmers, manufacturers and power plants. I welcome the House's expected approval today of legislation similar to the McConnell/Inhofe amendment, one of the four amendments voted on by the Senate. McConnell's amendment garnered 50 votes, significantly more than the other three combined. We in the Senate will continue to fight for legislation that will give the certainty that no unelected bureaucrat at the EPA is going to make efforts to create jobs even more difficult than the administration already has."

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works issued a statement after what he called, "the Senate's resounding bipartisan repudiation of EPA's cap-and-trade agenda." He said, "Today's Senate votes demonstrate clear momentum behind stopping EPA's cap-and-trade agenda to make consumers pay more for gasoline, electricity, and effectively end affordable energy for the American economy. A total of 64 senators voted for amendments that, in one form or another, expressed opposition to various aspects of EPA's global warming regulatory schemes. I will continue to press for votes on my legislation until we get it to the President's desk. When all is said and done, a bipartisan majority in the Senate issued a sobering message to EPA: its cap-and-trade agenda is wearing thin, suggesting it's time to reverse course to put Congress back in charge of America's energy policy."

    Access the statement from the White House (click here). Access the statement from Senator Boxer and colleagues (click here). Access the statement from Senator McConnell (click here). Access the statement from Senator Inhofe with links to votes on various amendments (click here). Access legislative details including roll call votes of H.R. 910 (click here). Access legislative details including roll call votes of S.493 (click here).

  • FY2011 Budget Resolution Discussions Breaking Down
  • Upton & Shimkus Call For Withdrawal Of TSCA IUR Proposed Rule
  • Senate Bill For Auto Recharging Stations At Capitol Complex
  • House Subcommittee Hearing On Draft TRAIN Act
  • Sen. EPW Hearing State & Local Perspectives On Transportation
  • Morrison Enterprises  v.  Dravo Corporation

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Now: House & Senate Considering Actions To Stop EPA GHG Rules

Apr 6: The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are both simultaneously considering on their respective floors at this time (Apr. 6, 3:47 PM EDT) a bill and an amendment, respectively, to amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change.
    The House is debating the Energy Tax Prevention Act (H.R. 910) sponsored by Chairman Upton that passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee by a vote of 34-19, with all Republicans and three Democrats voting for the approval [See WIMS 3/16/11]. The Senate is debating an amendment to S. 493, a bill to reauthorize and improve the SBIR and STTR programs (small business research programs), offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) [See WIMS 3/30/11]. The McConnell amendment would also strip U.S. EPA of its ability to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and was originally introduced as a stand-alone bill (S.482) by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee [See WIMS 3/4/11]. The Senate bill/amendment has 43 co-sponsors including one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and is substantially similar to a House bill (H.R.910).
    Access legislative details including roll call votes of H.R. 910 (click here). Access legislative details including roll call votes of S.493 (click here). Access legislative details of S.482 (click here). Access the House Floor debate video (click here). Access the Senate Floor debate video (click here).
  • Agencies & Committee Kick Off Next National Climate Assessment
  • New EPA Standards Up 30%+ For Energy Star Light Fixtures
  • $112.5 Million For Advanced Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing
  • DOE & DOI RFP For $26.5 Million Advance Hydropower Research
  • Research On Lithium Ion Batteries For Second-Use Applications
  • Effective Today No New TSCA Notices & Documents On Paper

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

U.S. & Japanese Updates On Fukushima Nuclear Plant Incident

Apr 4: U.S. EPA's update on radiation monitoring as a result of the incident with the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, indicates that several EPA air monitors have detected very low levels of radioactive material in the United States consistent with estimated releases from the damaged nuclear reactors. EPA said it has stepped up monitoring of precipitation, milk, and drinking water in response to the Fukushima events. The detections in air, precipitation, and milk were expected, and the levels detected have been far below levels of public-health concern.

    EPA released its latest RadNet results, which include the first results for drinking water. Drinking water samples from two locations, Boise, Idaho and Richland, Washington, showed trace amounts of Iodine-131 -- about 0.2 picocuries per liter in each case. EPA said an infant would have to drink almost 7,000 liters of this water to receive a radiation dose equivalent to a day's worth of the natural background radiation exposure which the population experiences continuously from natural sources of radioactivity in the environment. Earlier precipitation samples collected by EPA have shown trace amounts of radioactivity, so EPA has expected to find results such as these in some drinking water samples. Similar findings are to be expected in the coming weeks.
    Overall the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that as of April 5, "the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant remains very serious." Currently, the IAEA monitoring team is working in the Fukushima region. On April 5, measurements were made at 7 locations at distances of 16 to 41 km (10 -25.5 miles), South and South West to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The dose rates ranged from 0.3 to 31 microsievert per hour. At the same locations, results of beta-gamma contamination measurements ranged from 0.01 to 3.2 megabecquerel per square meter. The highest dose rates and beta gamma contaminations were measured at the location closest to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. An posting on the New Scientist website indicates, "Caesium fallout from Fukushima rivals Chernobyl."
    The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported in an article today that, "Japanese authorities said Tuesday they had discovered for the first time fish swimming off the country's Pacific coast carrying high levels of radioactive materials."

    Access a release from EPA with multiple links to various data and monitoring for precipitation, air, and milk (click here). Access the latest information on the radiological situation in Japan, updated day-by-day as information becomes available and verified from the IAEA website (click here). Access the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Actions on Japan's Emergency (click here). Access the New Scientist posting (click here). Access the lengthy WSJ article (click here). Access press release from the operating company Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (click here). Access monitoring reports from the Japan Health Ministry (click here). Access extensive information from the Japanese government for students and researchers (click here).
  • House Subcommittee Hearing On Energy & The Rising Role Of China
  • Bill Would Call For Cumulative Impacts Of EPA Significant Rules
  • Despite Montreal Protocol Arctic Ozone Loss Is Highest Ever
  • 150+ Democrats Urge Speaker Boehner To Support The Clean Air Act
  • Water Research Foundation Responds To EWG Cr-6 Allegation
  • World Business Leaders Stress Need For Energy Efficient Buildings

Monday, April 04, 2011

UNFCCC Climate Change Meetings Get Underway In Bangkok

Apr 4: As the U.S. Congress continues to argue over the science of climate change and is on the verge of voting on measures that will strip U.S. EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; half a world away, some 1,500 participants from 173 countries are meeting in Bangkok, Thailand to develop a global response to climate change.
    The sixteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), the fourteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), as well as workshops pursuant to the Cancun Agreements, are taking place in Bangkok, from April 3 through April 8. The meetings and workshops were preceded by preparatory regional group meetings from March 30 to April 2. Christiana Figueres, the top United Nations climate change official urged countries to tackle the key issues of emission reduction targets as well as funding and technology to assist developing nations tackle global warming.
    The first UN negotiations for this year are designed to build on the Cancun Agreements of last year. Figueres said, "Here in Bangkok, governments have the early opportunity to push ahead to complete the concrete work they agreed in Cancún, and to chart a way forward that will ensure renewed success at the next UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, [South Africa in December 2011]. If governments move forward in the continued spirit of flexibility and compromise that inspired them in Mexico, then I'm confident they can make significant new progress in 2011." she added.

    Dubbed the Cancún Agreements, the decisions reached at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December last year [See WIMS 12/15/10] include formalizing mitigation pledges and ensuring increased accountability for them, as well as taking concrete action to tackle deforestation, which account for nearly one-fifth of global carbon emissions. Delegates at that meeting also agreed to ensure no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol, an addition to the Convention that contains legally binding measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whose first commitment period is due to expire in 2012.

    Agreement was also reached on establishing a fund for long-term climate financing to support developing countries, and bolstering technology cooperation and enhancing vulnerable populations' ability to adapt to the changing climate. Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, called on governments to rapidly advance work to complete the institutions which were agreed and deliver the funding and technology to help developing countries deal comprehensively with climate change. She said, "It is important that the agreed actions and institutions are delivered on time and in accordance with the deadlines agreed in Cancun so that the broader global climate regime is up and running in 2012." 

    According to a release, the institutions include a Green Climate Fund to house the international management, deployment and accountability of long-term funds for developing country support; a Technology Mechanism to promote clean technologies; and an Adaptation Framework to boost international cooperation to help developing countries protect themselves from climate change impacts.

    The other main task governments have before them, Figueres noted, relates to the emission reduction targets and actions which would allow the world to stay below the maximum temperature rise of two degrees Celsius, which was agreed in Cancún. Figures pointed out that the sum of national promises so far equals only around 60% of what science requires by 2020 to stay below the agreed two degrees goal.

    Figueres said governments this year need to resolve fundamental issues over the future of the Kyoto Protocol. She said, "Governments need to figure out how to address this issue and how to take it forward in a collective and inclusive way. Resolving the issue will create a firmer foundation for a greater collective ambition to cut emissions."

    Access a release from the UN (click here). Access a release from UNFCCC (click here). Access complete information and documents on the  AWG-KP16 meeting (click here); the AWG-LCA14 meeting (click here); and the pre-sessional workshops (click here). Access live and on-demand webcasts from the Bangkok meetings (click here).

  • Administration & Republicans Spar Over Gas Prices & Energy Security
  • EWG Says Widespread Cr-6 Contamination Known For Years
  • GAO Report On CDC Confusion About Lead In Tap Water
  • USDA Appoints Members To Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
  • USDA Promotes Wood As Green Building Material
  • 32 Sustainable Communities Building Block Participants Named

Friday, April 01, 2011

President Continues To Talk About Energy Independence Issues

Apr 1: At a speech to UPS workers, President Obama continued talking about energy issues and making the country less dependent on foreign oil imports. He announced the National Clean Fleets Partnership and reemphasized the goal of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025 [See WIMS 3/30/11].
    The President also talked about the improving economy as evidenced from the latest jobs report and the potential negative impacts of a government-wide shut down due to a breakdown in budget negotiations. He reminded that there must be budget compromises on both sides; but, he also said we cannot stop investing in energy research, projects and technology that will lead to energy independence. The President indicated that House, Senate and Administration negotiators had come close to agreeing on a "number" for FY 2011 budget reductions (generally thought to be between $30-$33 billion); however, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, "Democrats are rooting for a government shutdown. . . There's no agreement on numbers, and nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed to. We control one-half of one-third of the government here, but we're going to continue to fight for the largest spending cuts that we can get to keep the government open and funded through the balance of this fiscal year."
    On the National Clean Fleets Partnership the Administration is calling for a public-private partnership to help large companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations. Through the Partnership, the Department of Energy (DOE) will assist companies in their efforts to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost-savings by offering specialized resources, technical expertise, and support. The partnership is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program's "Clean Cities" initiative.
    The President and the Partnership announced the commitments of five of its charter members: AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo, UPS and Verizon. The charter members represent five of the nation's 10 largest national fleets and collectively own and operate more than 275,000 vehicles. Their planned current and near-term petroleum reduction strategies will account for the deployment of over 20,000 advanced technology vehicles and annual petroleum displacement in excess of 7 million gallons. DOE is challenging other companies to join this important effort.
    According to a White House fact sheet, large commercial fleets are heavily dependent on petroleum-based fuels (gasoline and diesel) to deliver their goods and services every day. In 2009, there were more than 3 million commercial fleet vehicles on the road, consuming nearly 4 billion gallons of fuel. Fleets, which are typically centrally managed and comprised of a large number of vehicles, offer significant opportunities to reduce fuel use and carbon pollution.
    Through the National Clean Fleets Partnership, DOE will help companies: reduce fuel use through the use of more efficient vehicles and technologies, including hybrids; and replace conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles with advanced technology vehicles or ones that use alternative fuels, such as electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen, or propane. Partners will benefit from participation including: Opportunities for collaboration with DOE and their peers; and DOE technical tools and resources. DOE indicated it has developed a wide range of technical tools to help partner companies navigate the world of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. A diverse collection of cost calculators, interactive maps, customizable database searches, and mobile applications puts vital information and analysis at fleets' fingertips. The DOE initiative will compliment U.S. EPA's Smartway Transport partnership program with the freight industry by furthering efforts to improve efficiency in goods movement and reducing our dependency on foreign oil.
   Additionally, since the President delivered his energy speech at Georgetown University on March 30, the White House has released a 44-page Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future. The Blueprint outlines a three-part strategy:
  • "Develop and Secure America's Energy Supplies: We need to deploy American assets, innovation, and technology so that we can safely and responsibly develop more energy here at home and be a leader in the global energy economy.
  • "Provide Consumers With Choices to Reduce Costs and Save Energy: Volatile gasoline prices reinforce the need for innovation that will make it easier and more affordable for consumers to buy more advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles, use alternative means of transportation, weatherize their homes and workplaces, and in doing so, save money and protect the environment. These measures help families' pocketbooks, reduce our dependence on finite energy sources and help create jobs here in the United States.
  • "Innovate our Way to a Clean Energy Future: Leading the world in clean energy is critical to strengthening the American economy and winning the future. We can get there by creating markets for innovative clean technologies that are ready to deploy, and by funding cutting-edge research to produce the next generation of technologies. And as new, better, and more efficient technologies hit the market, the Federal government needs to put words into action and lead by example.
    Access Speaker Boehner's comments on budget negotiations (click here); and (click here). Access the full text of the President's UPS speech (click here). Access the White House fact sheet on the National Clean Fleets Partnership (click here). Access the 44-page Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future (click here). Access a White House blog post on Helping American Families Make Good Choices and Cut Energy Bills (click here). Access various interest group reactions to the President's energy plan (click here).
  • Senators Introduce Bipartisan Plan For Energy Security By 2030
  • House Science Committee Hearing On Climate Change 
  • House Passes Bill To Avoid CWA-FIFRA Duplicate Permitting
  • Senate Vote On Amendment To Stop EPA GHG Regs Delayed
  • Rep. Upton House Committee Launches Yucca Mountain Investigation
  • Senate EPW Subcommittee Hearing On Army Corps FY12 Budget