Energy and Environment Update - April 17, 2011

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Energy and Climate Debate:

After Congress approved the measure (H.R. 1473) April 14, President Obama signed a compromise government funding plan for the rest of the fiscal year April 15 that would reduce the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by $1.6 billion, about 16 percent, and the entire budget by about $40 billion. The final bill provides $78.5 billion less than the president requested over a year ago and reflects an agreement worked out April 8 between House and Senate leaders and the White House that averted a government shutdown the previous Friday. The House approved the legislation on a vote of 260-167, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 81-19.

Though the compromise cuts the EPA’s budget for the rest of fiscal year 2011 from $10.3 billion to $8.7 billion, riders to the bill that sought to restrict or delay the agency’s regulatory authority over greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants were dropped...

Congress:

CES Comments to be Reviewed; ENR Approves Efficiency, Hydro Bills; Vilsack Urges Reconsideration of Ethanol Credit; MACT Hearing Held, WAP and SEP Funding Sought; Legislation Introduced; and Upcoming Hearings.

Administration:

CEQ Finds Adaptation Assistance for Local Governments Possible.

Department of Energy:

AC and Dryer Efficiency Standards Strengthened; $30 Million for Biomass R&D; EcoCAR Competition Launched; EIA Confirms Higher Gas Prices; Two Loan Guarantees Awarded; and DOE and Power Industry Sign MOUs.

Environmental Protection Agency:

Efficiency Report Unveiled; Emissions Reductions on Schedule; Monitoring Requirements Criticized; Lawsuit Challenges Biomass Reconsideration; TVA Settles; and Aircraft Motions Denied.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:

Demand-Response Compensation Rule Questioned.

Federal Trade Commission:

FTC Addresses EnergyGuide Violations.

Personnel:

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Peter Lyons as the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for nuclear energy April 14, two days after the Energy and Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved his nomination. Mr. Lyons previously served as acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy and the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy, as well as a commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2005 to 2009...

Miscellaneous:

Nova Scotia to Consider Hydropower Legislation; MD Forgoes Offshore Wind Legislation; European Investment Lending to Change; RGGI Considers Methodology Update; OR Rule Would Set Reduction Targets; 33 Percent CA RPS Adopted; Natural Gas GHG Report Unveiled; Benefits 130 Times Greater than Costs; NACAA Calls for Diesel Program Funding; Russia Launches Monitoring System; CCI to Cooperate with C40; Extra Compensation Methodology Forthcoming; WCI Leaders Remain Committed; and Wetlands Drainage Causes Emissions.

Please see full article below for more information.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Elections & Politics Updates, Energy & Utilities Updates, Environmental Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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