Energy and Environment Update - December 26, 2010


In This Issue:

Energy and Climate Debate

After passage by both legislative chambers, President Obama signed a continuing resolution into law on December 22nd. The resolution will fund the federal government at fiscal year 2010 levels until March 4th. With the lame duck session of the 112th Congress having punted major funding debates into 2011 by passing the continuing resolution, Congressional Republicans are eyeing openings early in the year to reduce EPA funding that could hamper the agency’s ability to implement and enforce its climate and other rules as well as funding for the Department of Energy and numerous other agencies and programs. Incoming House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) is planning to introduce a major rescission package as one of his first moves in the new Congress, with several measures targeting the EPA as well as un-obligated funds from last year’s Recovery Act in an attempt to reduce the budget by about 20% to fiscal year 2008 levels. The White House is expected to deliver its 2012 budget at the beginning of February, which usually initiates congressional appropriations hearings and the bill-writing process. But with consideration of the fiscal year 2011 budget still incomplete, there will be a backlog of work to be done on both appropriation measures.

Congress: House Passes COMPETES Bill; House Reauthorizes Diesel Grants; and Legislation Introduced

Department of Energy: $74 Million for Fuel Cells; Impact Analysis Halted; and Wind and Solar Projects Receive Loan Guarantees Department of Interior: Solar Project Approved on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land

Department of Treasury: 1603 Extension Details Available

Environmental Protection Agency: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Data Submission Deadline Postponed; GHG Limit Schedule Issued; EPA Rejects Best Available Control Technology (BACT) GHG Extension; Acid Rain Reductions Delivered; Colorado Standard Sent to OMB; Appeals Court Rejects Renewable Challenge; E15 Waiver Challenged; and Diesel Air Toxics Review Scheduled

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Michigan Seeks Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Reconsideration

Miscellaneous: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Sites Selected; Diesel Standards Postponed; and National Grid Energy Programs Approved

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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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