Energy And Environment Update -- June 10, 2012

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In This Issue:

Energy and Climate Debate; Congress; Department of Energy; Department of State; Environmental Protection Agency; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; States; International; and Miscellaneous.

Excerpt from Energy and Climate Debate

As gas prices continue to fall and the House and Senate debate fiscal year 2013 appropriations, energy issues continued to play a central role in the federal debate last week.

The House approved, 255-165, their fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill (H.R. 5325) on June 6, providing $32.1 billion for the Departments of Energy, Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other independent agencies. The bill includes amendments prohibiting the Department of Energy from enforcing light bulb efficiency standards, delaying the agency’s new efficiency standards for battery chargers and external power supplies, preventing the agency from issuing any new Section 1705 loan guarantees, blocking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing Clean Water Act guidance on which waters fall under federal protection, and putting into place limitations on federal agency purchases of transportation fuels from unconventional sources, including fuels derived from oil sands, oil shale, and coal-to-liquid processes. The House also approved an amendment from Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) aimed at preventing the Department of Energy from paying back investors before taxpayers if a company defaults on a government-backed loan. An amendment offered by Representatives Mike Burgess (R-TX) and Ed Markey (D-MA) to strike funding for a uranium enrichment program aiding USEC’s Ohio project was rejected, as was an amendment offered by Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Tom McClintock (R-CA), aimed at cutting funding for the Department of Energy’s 1703 loan guarantee program. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its $33.4 billion version of the bill, which includes more funding for renewable and alternative energy and less for traditional fossil fuels, on April 26.

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