Friday, February 28, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 2/28/14

<> All-of-the-Above is Making a Difference Across America - A cross-post from During his recent State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated the importance of American energy: "One of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago 

<> Rep. Shimkus Unveils Discussion Draft of Chemicals in Commerce Act - draft legislation to modernize the regulation of chemicals in commerce.

<> Updated legislation will save energy, protect the environment, save consumers money, create jobs - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today renewed their push for a national energy efficiency strategy by reintroducing an updated version of the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC). 

<> CATF Releases Plan to Achieve Significant Reductions in Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants at Affordable Cost - displacement of power generation from the highest-emitting coal-fired power plants by generation from under-utilized, efficient natural gas plants, at minimal cost.

<> Congressman Holding Applauds Passage of Bill to Reduce Regulatory Burdens - House passage of H.R. 2804, the "ALERRT Act" (236 – 179) which cuts back unnecessary regulations, and ensures that where regulations are necessary, they are achieved in an efficient, less costly way. 

  • House Approves Reckless Package of Anti-Regulatory Bills - Legislation would hobble agencies charged with protecting public health Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a package of anti-regulatory bills that would impede the work of agencies charged with protecting the public's health, safety, and welfare. Under the legislation—called the "Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency Act" (H.R. 2804)
  • H.R.2804 Bill Summary & Status

<> GAO-14-365T, Critical Infrastructure Protection: Observations on DHS Efforts to Identify, Prioritize, Assess, and Inspect Chemical Facilities - What GAO Found In managing its Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a number of efforts underway to identify facilities that are covered by the program, assess risk and prioritize facilities, review and approve facility security plans, and inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security regulations.

<> House Hearing On Staffing To Manage & Oversee Oil & Natural Gas Activities - GAO Report says Continued Attention to Interior's Human Capital Challenges Is Needed

<> BOEM Environmental Review for Geological and Geophysical Survey Of Atlantic Coast Offshore Energy Resources - The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a final environmental review of geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities off the Mid- and South Atlantic coast that establishes multiple mitigation measures designed to minimize the impacts to marine life while setting a path forward for survey activities that will update nearly four-decade-old data on offshore energy resources in the region.

<> USDA Report Cites Concerns with GE Crops as the Agency Approves New Uses - (Beyond Pesticides) A report released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers the trends of genetically engineered (GE) crops over the past 15 years, since they were first introduced. Responding to increasing GE use, USDA also points to major concerns such as increasing herbicide resistance and higher levels of. . .

<> Subcommittee Examines Access to Affordable and Reliable Electricity - The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today began its hearing series on the "Benefits of and Challenges to Energy Access in the 21st Century" with a focus on electricity. The subcommittee examined the benefits of access to affordable and reliable electricity as well current challenges to expanding electricity access.

<> DOE Announces Webinars on Adding Solar to Your Building Portfolio, How to Use DOE's Newest Facilities, and More - February 27, 2014DOE Announces Webinars on Adding Solar to Your Building Portfolio, How to Use DOE's Newest Facilities, and More EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to training for the clean energy workforce.

<> U.S. Drought Monitor Update for February 25, 2014 - According to the February 25 U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 36.1% of the contiguous U.S. 

<> Sierra Club, et al action to stop pollution coming from three valley fills at two former mountaintop removal sites - Litigation argues that landowning companies are responsible for ensuring that inactive mountaintop removal sites still meet Clean Water Act protections

<> Ohio Moves Closer to Banning LEED's Green Building Standards - Ohio is one step closer to banning the nation's premier green building evaluation process from rating its properties. The Ohio Senate on Wednesday passed  Ohio Senate Concurrent Resolution 25 (SCR 25), which would prohibit the use of the LEED v4 green building rating system on public buildings in the state if it gets approval from the state's House of. . .