Friday, April 29, 2016

SAB Critical Response To EPA's Draft Fracking Assessment Report

<> SAB Critical Response To EPA's Draft Fracking Assessment Report - In its latest draft, 184-page, Apr 26, document EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) provides its response to EPA's draft "Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-15/047, June 2015)." – SAB: "Most members of the SAB Panel are concerned that these major findings as presented within the Executive Summary are ambiguous and appear inconsistent with the observations, data, and levels of uncertainty presented and discussed in the body of the draft Assessment Report."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Federal Regulators Stand Up for Customers, Fair Electricity Market

<> Federal Regulators Stand Up for Customers, Fair Electricity Market - The Federal Energy Regulatory Committee overturned the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio's decision to grant subsidy requests from Ohio-based utility giants AEP and FirstEnergy -- their bailout proposals would have forced Ohio customers to bail out old, inefficient power plants for the next eight years at an estimated cost of $6 billion.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Moving Forward for America's Drinking Water

<> Moving Forward for America's Drinking Water - Too little water in the West, flooding from extreme weather in the Midwest and Southeast, and the recent water quality issues in Flint, Michigan have rightly focused national attention on America's drinking water -- 300 million Americans depend on 152,000 public drinking water systems and collectively drink more than one billion glasses of tap water each day -- in the coming weeks, EPA will launch a targeted engagement with key state co-regulators, regulated utilities, and nongovernmental stakeholders on priority issues related to implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Murray Energy Files Petition For MATS Review "Supplemental Finding"

<> Murray Energy Files Petition For MATS Review "Supplemental Finding" - The company filed a petition for review of EPA's final action on April 25, 2016, styled "Supplemental Finding that it is Appropriate and Necessary to Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units." 81 Fed. Reg. 24,420 (April 25, 2016).

Monday, April 25, 2016

Record Support for Advancing Paris Climate Agreement Entry into Force

<> Record Support for Advancing Paris Climate Agreement Entry into Force - In an extraordinary show of support for the Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted last December, 175 Parties (174 countries and the European Union) signed up to it at a ceremony at UN Headquarters on Apr 22 that far exceeded the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement -- the initial step toward ensuring the agreement enters into force -- 30 days after 55 Parties accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions deposit their instruments of ratification --15 States also deposited instruments of ratification.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Paris Climate Agreement on Track for Early Start

<> Paris Climate Agreement on Track for Early Start - As many as 170 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change today in a symbolic triumph for a landmark deal that once seemed unlikely but now appears on track to enter into force years ahead of schedule -- never before have so many countries inked an agreement on the first day of the signing period.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony Friday

<> Senior State Department Official on the Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony - On Friday, the Paris agreement on climate change will be open for signature --  Secretary Kerry is going to join a record number of global leaders in signing the agreement, bringing it a step closer to entering into force – State Department press conference explores the U.S. participation and ratification, and different legal theories about whether an executive agreement has the same binding powers as a treaty.

<> Leaders Roll Up Sleeves on Climate, but Experts Say Plans Don't Pack a Wallop - After a quarter-century of failed diplomatic efforts, signs are growing that nations have turned a corner in their political willingness to tackle climate change -- many leaders are pushing to make the Paris agreement legally binding years earlier than originally expected.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Senate Passes Broad Bill to Modernize Energy Infrastructure

<> Senate Passes Broad Bill to Modernize Energy Infrastructure - The bill, approved 85 to 12, united Republicans and Democrats around a traditionally divisive issue — energy policy — largely by avoiding the hot-button topics of climate change and oil and gas exploration that have thwarted other measures.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Today's the day for the Senate energy bill

<> Today's the day for the Senate energy bill - Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday the bill, S. 2012, will go to the floor -- votes will include a voice vote on a batch of uncontroversial amendments, and then eight will get roll calls. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Final EPA Cost Considerations for the Mercury & Air Toxics Rules

<> Final Finding: Consideration of Cost in the Appropriate and Necessary Finding for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants - April 14, 2016 - EPA issued a final finding that it is appropriate and necessary to set standards for emissions of air toxics from coal- and oil-fired power plants -- finding responds to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that the EPA must consider cost in the appropriate and necessary finding supporting the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

Friday, April 15, 2016

Interior Department Releases Final Well Control Regulations

<> Interior Department Releases Final Well Control Regulations - Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Brian Salerno announced final well control regulations to reduce the risk of an offshore oil or gas blowout that could result in the loss of life, serious injuries or substantial harm to the environment -- the regulations represent one of the most significant safety and environmental protection reforms the Interior Department has undertaken since Deepwater Horizon, and builds upon a number of reforms instituted over the last six years to strengthen and modernize offshore energy standards and oversight.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Senate reaches deal on long-stalled energy bill

<> Senate reaches deal on long-stalled energy bill - The Senate is moving forward with a long-stalled energy bill after two Democratic senators dropped their holds on the legislation -- the move could allow for the energy bill to be back on the Senate floor as soon as next week, though the exact timing is up to McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) -- Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is still blocking the separate Flint aid package.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Consensus on Consensus: Agreement Over Human-Caused Climate Change

<> Consensus on Consensus: Expertise Matters in Agreement Over Human-Caused Climate Change - A research team, led by Sarah Green, a chemistry professor at Michigan Technological University, confirms that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is caused by humans  -- Green says: "What's important is that this is not just one study—it's the consensus of multiple studies. This consistency across studies contrasts with the language used by climate change doubters. This perspective stems from, as the authors write, "conflating the opinions of non-experts with experts and assuming that lack of affirmation equals dissent." [includes response comments]

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Paris Climate Deal Seen Taking Effect Two Years Ahead of Plan

<> Paris Climate Deal Seen Taking Effect Two Years Ahead of Plan - Agreement will take effect when ratified by 55 nations -- at least 130 nations have pledged to sign the Paris Agreement at a ceremony at the United Nations in New York on April 22 -- 10 of those nations are also expected to ratify the deal at the same time.

Monday, April 11, 2016

World Bank Group Unveils New Climate Action Plan

<> World Bank Group Unveils New Climate Action Plan - The World Bank Group announced plans to help developing countries add 30 gigawatts of renewable energy – enough to power 150 million homes – to the world's energy capacity, bring early warning systems to 100 million people and develop climate-smart agriculture investment plans for at least 40 countries – all by 2020 -- these are among a number of ambitious targets laid out in the World Bank Group's new Climate Change Action Plan

Friday, April 08, 2016

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group releases "Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews"

<> Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group releases "Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews" - The Environmental Justice (EJ) Interagency Working Group (IWG) Promising Practices report is a compilation of approaches that the NEPA Committee gleaned from an almost 4-year review of agency practices -- nine sections: Meaningful Engagement, Scoping Process, Defining the Affected Environment, Developing and Selecting Alternatives, Identifying Minority Populations, Identifying Low-Income Populations, Impacts, Disproportionately High and Adverse Impacts, and Mitigation and Monitoring.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry Remarks at Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit

<> Secretary of State John Kerry Remarks at Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit - Wide ranging speech on climate change, renewable energy and the Paris COP21 agreement -- "No lawsuit or election or business deal is going to undo the progress that we've made to date, my friends, and it's not going to divert us from the path that we have forged towards a clean energy future."