Energy and Environment Update - February 27, 2011

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In This Update:

Energy and Climate Debate

Congress will return from the Presidents’ Day recess February 28 to work out a compromise agreement to help keep the federal government from shutting down after the March 4 end to the current continuing resolution. Representatives and Senators will try to bring compromise fiscal 2011 funding to the floor by week’s end, but if the two parties, or the two chambers, are unable to reach an agreement, the government would be forced to shut down for the first time since 1996.

After passing a continuing resolution (H.R. 1) February 19 that cut $61 billion from current spending levels (roughly $100 billion from the President’s fiscal year 2011 budget request) and funded the government through the end of the fiscal year, the House Appropriations Committee released a short-term spending measure February 25 that, unlike the February 19 version, contains no restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas regulations or other programs but would eliminate nearly $300 million in spending in the Department of Energy’s efficiency and renewable energy programs. Though House Republicans had previously opposed the use of another CR, with just a week to come to a compromise suitable in both the House and Senate, and Senate Democrats heavily opposed to the previous House-passed measure, House Republicans have now endorsed this new short-term spending measure that would reduce government spending $4 billion below currently enacted levels and give Congress until March 18 to reach a compromise on a longer-term solution...

Congress:

Climate Science Hearing Sought; Legislation Introduced; and Upcoming Hearings.

Administration:

Economic Report Sent to Congress and Jobs Council Meets.

Department of Agriculture:

USDA Solicits Crop Insurance Studies.

Department of Energy:

Cellulosic Falls Behind; DOE to Expand National Parks Partnership; $96.8 Million Loan Guarantee Awarded; Luminaires Winners Announced; Contaminated Site Task Force Established; DOE Departures Announced; Solar Webinar Held; and Clean Cities Webinar Hosted.

Department of Transportation:

Vehicle Mass Research Presented.

Environmental Protection Agency:

Court Grants Transfer; EPA Sends Biomass Deferral to OMB; Boiler MACT Finalized; Air Pollutant Rule to OMB; Solar-Powered Groundwater Treatment System Unveiled; and CO Standard Hearing Upcoming.

Miscellaneous:

CDM Board Adopts Plan; HI DOT Allows Multiple Credits; Green Economy Promoted; NH to Exit RGGI; CA Senate Passes RPS; EU to Fund UNEP Sustainability Effort; LA Clean Truck Program Wanted Upheld; Black Carbon Reductions Could Impact Climate Change Pace; Organic Pollutant Reductions Undermined; SAFE Calls for Energy Legislation; Competition Fosters Innovation; and Australia Proposes Cap and Trade.

Please see full update below for more information.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Agriculture 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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