Thursday, April 17, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 4/17/14

 National / International News


<> Building on Our Progress in Solar Deployment –White House Blog: Since President Obama took office, we have made significant advances in clean energy. Last year alone was record-breaking for new installations, and the amount of solar power. . . The White House will announce a $15 million program today and is also calling, for new commitments from the private sector and non-profits to support solar deployment and jobs.

<> An Analysis of the President's 2015 Budget - Enacting the President's proposals would, CBO and JCT estimate: for 2014 and 2015, the deficit would be about $500 billion, or 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). . . Deficits would be smaller than the amounts in CBO's baseline each year from 2017 through 2024. . . under the President's proposals the deficit would remain close to 3 percent of GDP throughout the decade—which is similar to the average deficit of 3.1 percent experienced over the past 40 years. By the end of the 10-year period, the deficit under the President's budget would be below the projections in CBO's baseline by nearly 1 percent of GDP.

<> Wind Energy Threat to Birds Is Overblown - Wind energy is one of the cleanest, most abundant, sustainable and cost-effective ways to generate electricity. It's also one of the fastest growing U.S. electricity sources. At the end of 2013, there were enough wind turbines 

<> Fueling a New Order? The New Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Energy - Brookings Institution: The United States is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's largest oil producer and, combined with new developments in natural gas, is on track to become the dominant player in global energy markets. . .

<> U.S. EPA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Permit for Carbon Sequestration Injection Well in Decatur, IL - would allow Archer Daniels Midland to inject carbon dioxide deep underground at a facility

<> Draft Report From Clean Air Committee - 4/16. CASAC Review of the EPA's Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria. There are several recommendations for strengthening and improving the document. . .

<> Closing In on Finishing the ESBWR Design Review - Michael Mayfield Director, Advanced Reactor and Rulemaking Program   After a lot of technical discussions, the NRC is ready to take the next step in considering whether GE-Hitachi's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). . .

<> Waste to work: Penn State researchers use industrial waste in hydraulic fracturing - Penn State University researchers say they have discovered how to use industrial waste products to make the controversial practice of fracking more sustainable.

<> Waxman and Whitehouse Submit Formal Comments on Keystone Pipeline - As Secretary of State John Kerry continues to consider the fate of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. . .

<> National Climate Assessment Due to be Released - The final edition of the National Climate Assessment, which was released in draft form about a year ago, is expected to reflect some approaches designed to make it more accessible for the public and more useful for decisionmakers. 

<> Website Launched On U.S. Global Low-Emission Assistance - USAID, U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have launched a website that provides useful and easily accessible information about how the US Government assists over 20 partner countries in the development and implementation of low emission development strategies.

<> ConocoPhillips Announces Resumption of Exports from the Kenai LNG Facility - The company announced it has received authorization from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to export liquefied natural gas over a two-year period to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries and non-FTA countries, and plans to resume exports of LNG this spring. 

<> Energy Department Announces $4.4 Million to Support Next-Generation Advanced Hydropower Manufacturing - April 16, 2014Energy Department Announces $4.4 Million to Support Next-Generation Advanced Hydropower Manufacturing The Energy Department today announced $4.4 million to support the application of advanced. . .

<> Redford Urges Americans to "Join Me in Standing Up to Big Oil" - (April 17, 2014) – In a nationwide appeal, environmental activist Robert Redford today called on the American public to help put the Arctic Ocean off limits to oil industry drilling plans.


U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> NRDC v. Jewell - 4/16/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 09-17661 involving multiple parties. The en banc decision addresses the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirement that federal agencies must consult with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) prior to taking any agency action that could affect an endangered or threatened species or its critical habitat. The Panel says: "We reaffirm that Section 7(a)(2) requires such consultation, so long as the agency has 'some discretion' to take action for the benefit of a protected species." Reverse and remand.

Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Thursday, April 17, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Nothing We're Tracking Today (click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)


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