Tuesday, April 21, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 4/21/15


National / International News

<> Administration Announces New Agenda To Modernize Energy Infrastructure – Today [4/21/15], the Administration released the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which examines how to modernize the Nation's energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility and take full advantage of American innovation and the new sources of domestic energy supply that are transforming the Nation's energy marketplace.

  • The Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) - Overview and links to the full Quadrennial Energy Review report (348-pages); the Quadrennial Energy Review fact sheet; and Supplemental QER Analysis

<> EPA Head Gina McCarthy Reflects On EPA & Earth Day Acid rain. Dangerous DDT. Toxic leaded gas fumes. Rampant air pollution. These environmental challenges once seemed impossible to meet, and they put our nation's air, water, and land at risk—not to mention our families' health.

<> Secretary Perez Answers Questions On What the President's Trade Deal Will Mean for Workers - President Obama is currently working with Congress to secure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the most progressive trade deal in history. 

<> Email: Tell Us, What Would You Fight to Protect? - This morning, Senior Advisor Brian Deese sent the following message to the White House email list, highlighting the President's upcoming trip to the Everglades to draw attention to the impacts of climate change.

<> Presidential Proclamation -- National Park Week, 2015 - Our national parks, monuments, lands, and waters belong to us all, and every person should be able to use and enjoy these unparalleled public lands.

<> Increasing domestic production of crude oil reduces net petroleum imports - (Tue, 21 Apr 2015) The recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) explores the effects of domestic crude oil production under various assumptions about world oil prices and domestic resource availability.

<> Exemplary Clean Air and Climate Initiatives Win EPA Honors - This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is honoring seven projects for their work on clean air and climate initiatives.

<> Sen. Murkowski Calls for Lifting Prohibition on Crude Oil Exports - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced plans to introduce legislation this year to end the 40-year-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil production.

<> Quiz: Test Your Grid IQ - How much do you know about the electric grid? Test your knowledge with our grid IQ quiz!

<> Communities are Leading the Way on Renewable Energy - By switching to green power, cities and towns across the country are taking a leading role in taking action against climate change. Green power is electricity that comes from a subset of clean, renewable resources like solar or wind power.

  • Green Power Communities Website - Leading local governments across the nation are partnering with EPA to become Green Power Communities (GPCs) -- towns, villages, cities, counties, or tribal governments in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively use green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community purchase requirements.

<> Inhofe Calls on EPA for Increased Transparency in Rulemaking - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, administrator of U.S. EPA, requesting unredacted information to examine the influence of environmental advocacy groups, including but not limited to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and contractors on EPA's greenhouse gas rulemakings for power plants.

<> REPORT: Methane from Worldwide Oil & Gas Operations a Major Climate Change Contributor, Also Untapped Opportunity for Countries to Hit Emission Goals - A new analysis by the Rhodium Group commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund says the 20-year climate impact of methane escaping from oil and gas operations worldwide is equal to the carbon dioxide emissions from 40 percent of total global coal combustion.

Federal Register Highlights 

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

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

Great Lakes News

<> Lake Erie Congress members ask NASA to fund algal bloom warning system - Ohio Congress members whose districts abut Lake Erie want the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to keep funding a new satellite-based system to track algal blooms that can contaminate drinking water.

<> Lake Michigan fishermen's favorite, yellow perch, is in decline - As the fisheries managers at the departments of natural resources for those states bordering Lake Michigan research the state of its yellow perch population, new data has been compiled and it's jaw-dropping serious.

<> Davison named to Great Lakes Commission - Ian Davison, a Central Michigan University biology professor, is the first person from CMU to be appointed to the commission, where he will add his aquatic and fisheries expertise.

<> COMMENTARY: Low or high, Great Lakes water levels always blamed on global warming – [Jack Spencer of the Mackinac Center] Michigan legislators once tried restricting the sale of bottled water for fear of running out.

<> New York AG report: Harmful microbeads polluting Great Lakes, Finger Lakes - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today released a report saying the microbeads showed up in the effluent of 25 of 34 wastewater treatment plants studied.

<> Researchers set their sights on Lake Michigan - Research into Lake Michigan's rapidly-changing ecosystems will leap forward this year with help from intensive field sampling coordinated by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. 

Michigan News

<> MPSC Testimony Re: Renewable Energy, to House Committee On April 15, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) provided background testimony on: Certificate of Necessity/Integrated Resource Plans and Renewable Energy and Energy Optimization Standards

<> Stricter county wind energy rules nearly complete - Wind turbines in Huron County would face stiffer regulation under proposed changes to the county's wind ordinance.

<> Annual U-M Sustainability Progress Report highlights beneficial changes in behavior and culture - As part of Planet Blue, U-M's overarching sustainability initiative, the university releases an annual report detailing sustainability efforts and programs happening across education, research and campus life.

  • U-M Annual Sustainability Progress Report

<> Dreaming big: A walking trail spanning Michigan's vast coastline - A Great Lakes walking trail around Michigan's Mitten and Upper Peninsula would cover nearly 2,200 miles

<> April 2015 White Lake PAC E-Newsletter - The White Lake Public Advisory Council reports on a little history of Earth Day, an April 29 workshop, a sad goodbye to Mary Mahoney, a Montague Middle School environmental project, and upcoming meetings and events

<> University of Michigan Activates Innovative, Green Water Treatment System in Campus Building - The University of Michigan will continue its on-going efforts to operate its facilities in the most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable fashion by demonstrating the use [of] a cooling water treatment product recently approved by the US EPA

Michigan Legislative Tracking 

Newly introduced bills and bills that are moving, if any, are listed below. Click on the bill number for complete status, full text, & analyses. Uppercase is Senate action; lowercase is House action. Otherwise, for a complete list of environmental legislation this session (click here).