Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Exxon Charged, NY Green Bank, EIA Data ‘Flawed’
Exxon Mobil unit XTO Energy has been charged with five counts under the Clean Streams Law and three counts under the Solid Waste Management Act, related to the alleged illegal dumping of over 50,000 gallons of wastewater from shale drilling in Pennsylvania in 2010. State inspectors found a plug removed from a tank, allowing wastewater to pour into the ground and pollute a nearby stream, Bloomberg reports.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state Public Service Commission to release the first $165.6 million to the state’s $1 billion Green Bank, which will use public money to attract private lenders for clean energy projects. The seed money will be drawn from surcharges on utility bills, levied under state energy efficiency programs, Reuters reports.
The National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce and National Mining Association, along with 10 other groups, have urged EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to actively include them as the agency draws up carbon standards for power plants, the Hill reports. They say the rules will affect a wide range of sectors that use electricity and that supply and transport power plant fuel – as well as industries that the EPA might later decide to regulate. Other groups signing the letter were the American Chemistry Council, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Iron & Steel Institute, Association of American Railroads, Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, Industrial Energy Consumers of America, Portland Cement Association and The Fertilizer Institute.
A coalition of almost 100 renewable energy groups, businesses and environmental organizations are pushing the Energy Information Administration to revise renewable energy forecasts, claiming that the existing forecasts are “unreasonably low” and the analysis “flawed,” possibly hurting policy decisions, Platts reports. Groups signing the letter to the EIA include the World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday said that the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, which has been delayed by the debate on Syria, won’t fall off the Senate’s agenda. “We may not be able to do it all at one time, but we’ll do it and finish this legislation,” Reid said, according to the Hill.
Republicans on the House plan to unveil a bill today to reauthorize federal waterways funding, the Hill reports. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) will release the House’s version of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA), which has already started moving through the Senate.
The city of Columbia, S.C. has agreed to implement extensive improvements to its sanitary sewer system at an estimated cost of $750 million, to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act including unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage, under a settlement with the EPA, Department of Justice and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Columbia will also implement a $1 million supplemental environmental project to restore streams, reduce flooding, and improve water quality in several waterways.
The House Natural Resources Committee is holding an oversight hearing today on “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.” Witnesses include representatives from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, West Coast Seafood Processors Association and Northeast Seafood Coalition.
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