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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Wind Tax Credit, ETS and Airlines, Japan Nuclear Energy

The House is expected to vote by Friday on the federal greenhouse gas regulations bill and other White House policies that Republicans allege are harming the coal industry, citing job losses at coal miner Alpha Natural Resources. Meanwhile, layoffs announced by wind energy equipment maker Siemens are cited as evidence why lawmakers must extend tax credits for wind projects, The Hill reports.

Authors of a bill that would shield US airlines from participating in the EU’s emissions trading scheme will try to get the legislation passed before the Senate goes into recess on Friday. Passage of the bill would send a message to the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization, ahead of its October 2012 meeting to devise a global alternative to the application of the EU ETS, Reuters said.

Japan’s cabinet has approved a new energy plan to cut the country’s reliance on nuclear power in the wake of last year’s Fukushima disaster, but dropped a reference to meet a nuclear-free target by the 2030s. Japan’s powerful industry lobbies have urged the government rethink the nuclear-free commitment, Reuters said.

European Union legislators voted for a draft anti-corruption law, similar to US rules, to make oil, gas and mining firms declare payments they make to resource-rich governments. EU-based resource companies would have to disclose payments made at the project level, as well as at country level, the Chicago Tribune said.

BP shuts a Norwegian oil and gas field after a potentially dangerous leak, six days after the incident forced the emergency shutdown of the facility. The Petroleum Safety Authority said a substantial escape of hydrocarbons occurred on the Ula field in the Norwegian North Sea, Reuters reports.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s development finance institution, approved $270 million in financing for construction of a 240 MW electrical power plant in Jordan that will provide reliable energy for the country during peak usage periods. AES Levant Holdings BV Jordan will use the OPIC investment guarantee to construct and operate the tri-fuel electrical plant on an unused portion of the Amman East Power project site, OPIC said.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee‘s Energy and Power subcommittee has a hearing Thursday, Sept. 20, to discuss the EPA’s proposed New Source Performance Standards for power plants, which would require new coal-fired power plants to install carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The hearing is part of the American Energy Initiative series.

The EPA has proposed two additions to the National Priorities List in Massachusetts. The proposed Superfund sites are the former Walton & Lonsbury facility in Attleboro, Mass. and the former Creese & Cook Tannery in Danvers, Mass., the agency said

The EPA has reached a settlement with a motorcycle importer, International Motorsports to resolve violations of the federal Clean Air Act related to the importation of 124 motorcycles into the US. As part of the settlement, IMS paid a penalty of $4,800 and destroyed the two Model YY150T motorcycles. The remaining 122 motorcycles were re-labeled to comply with clean air regulations before being introduced into commerce, the EPA said.

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