Energy and Environment Update - March 27, 2011

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In This Issue:

Energy and Climate Debate:

The House and Senate will return March 28 from a week-long recess to resume work on a measure to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year and the Senate will also debate legislation (S. 493) that would reauthorize two small business research and development programs for eight more years.

Several amendments to either prohibit or delay the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating greenhouse gas emission regulations under the Clean Air Act are expected to be offered to S. 493. One such amendment from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R KY) would prohibit the EPA from moving forward on any regulation concerning GHG emissions, a proposal offered by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK; S. 482) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI; H.R. 910) earlier this Congress. The full House Energy and Commerce Committee has already approved the measure, and the House is likely to adopt it later this year. How the Senate proceeds is more uncertain, with two other rival amendments that may also not achieve the necessary 60 votes. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has offered an amendment that would delay for two years the EPA from regulating GHG rules. Senator Max Baucus (DMT) has also filed an amendment to exempt the agricultural sector from EPA’s GHG rules and shield smaller operations from compliance with the agency’s power plant and stationary source rules. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who is managing the small business bill on the floor, said last week that she fears the debate over restricting EPA authority could sink the broader bill...

Congress:

CES White Paper Unveiled; EPA GHG Regs Field Hearing; Natural Gas Legislation Forthcoming; Senators Call for Gas Price Scrutiny; and Upcoming Hearings.

Department of Interior:

Deepwater Exploration Plan Approved; Two Drilling Permits Issued; and Wind Farm Lease Initiated.

Department of Treasury:

IRS Updates Tax Rules.

Environmental Protection Agency:

Gas Sample Final Rule Forthcoming; No Reconsideration of Renewable Fuel Definition; and Mandated Stocking of E10 Requested.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

NRC to Conduct Lessons Analyses.

Personnel:

Brandon Hurlbut has replaced Department of Energy Chief of Staff Rod O’Connor. Mr. O’Connor was formally announced last week as AEG Facilities new executive vice president in Europe.

Miscellaneous:

TX Efficiency Report Unveiled; UK Budget Released; Climate Change Law Comments Sought; Nuclear Moratorium for Italy; PEW Energy Blueprint Released; Bipartisan Policy Center Publishes Study; CA Cap and Trade Delayed; CO Utility and Solar Group Reach Agreement; UN Climate Chief Releases Action Plans; EC Proposes Allowance Auction; Britain Proposes Subsidy Switches; 2011 Goals May Be Decided in April; Supreme Court to Hear CT v. AEP; and Low GWP Coolants Sought.

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Published In: Elections & Politics Updates, Energy & Utilities Updates, Environmental Updates, International Trade 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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