Energy and Environment Update - March 6, 2011

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Energy and Climate Debate:

After the House and Senate passed the measure last week, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill March 2 that will keep the federal government operating through March 18, temporarily averting a shutdown while a longer-term spending plan is negotiated.

House Republicans rejected a late bid to stretch the extension to 30 days and passed (335-91) the short term continuing resolution last Tuesday, with the Senate following (91-9) the following day, just two days before the previous CR was set to expire March 4. The measure will continue current funding for most programs, while also cutting $4 billion from the FY2011 levels; the final cuts represented a compromise as they were drawn primarily from President Obama’s own budget blueprint. It also did not contain any of the policy riders included in the longer CR passed by the House last month...

Congress:

ARPA-E Funding Approval Unlikely; Brown Sends Letter to Obama; Conrad Calls for Energy Legislation; Legislation Introduced; and Upcoming Hearings.

Administration:

Climate Office Dissolved and Adaptation Planning Guidance Released.

Department of Energy:

Technical Assistance for Fleets; FutureGen Storage Site Selected; DOE and DOD Collaborate on Storage Project; $102 Loan Guarantee for Maine Wind; and DOE and Masdar Test PV Modules.

Department of Interior:

First New Deepwater Permit Issued.

Environmental Protection Agency:

Grandfathering Hearing Scheduled; Electronics Recycling Input Sought; GHG Reporting Deadline Postponed; $1.3 Trillion in Health Benefits; Suits Challenge EPA GHG Regs; and IG Finds EPA at Fault.

Government Accountability Office:

GAO Releases Duplication Report.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:

Renewable Promotion Plan Receives Comments; Frequency Regulation Compensation Rule Proposed; and Wellinghoff Defends Transmission Plan.

Miscellaneous:

Climate Change Has Security and Economic Implications; BASIC Ministers Decry Lack of Funding; EU Revisits GHG Target; MS Companies Face $2 Million Fine; RGGI Funds Energy Programs; Project Bonds Explored; WI Defeats Wind Siting Rule; and CO Utility and Solar Industry Negotiating.

Please see full update below for more information.

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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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