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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Strategic Petroleum Reserve, EU Shipping Emissions, Ralls Corp. Sues

The Senate’s GOP leadership is urging President Obama not to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and instead preserve the option for a “truly rainy day.” One senior Republican sought to preemptively cast any SPR release as a campaign maneuver and inappropriate effort to use the stockpile to try and affect prices, The Hill said.

The EU intends to introduce its own system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry next year in a bid to accelerate reform. The EC said that measures from the International Maritime Organization to introduce energy efficiency measures for the design of new ships from 2015 will not cut emissions enough, Reuters reports.

Ralls Corporation, the Chinese company that has been blocked from building wind farms near a US navy test site in Oregon, has sued President Barack Obama. Company executives believe the president violated constitutional protections on property ownership and legal process, and is seeking to have the order overturned, or be paid compensation for its losses, Bloomberg said.

A Reuters poll of 14 analysts revealed an additional cut to their price forecasts for UN carbon permits to 2020 as over-supply continued to put pressure on prices. Some analysts have warned stronger-than-expected injections of supply into the market could send prices back below 2 euros. Barclays Capital analysts said over-supply and stagnant demand will ensure CER prices remain below 3 euros indefinitely, even if European Union governments intervene in the EU ETS to help boost prices, Reuters reports.

Japan’s Sumitomo Corp will take a 25 percent stake in the 550 MW Desert Sunlight solar power project in California. The company, which has stakes in four US wind projects, joins GE Energy Financial Services and NextEra Energy Resources as an investor in the solar farm located in Riverside County. Last year the Department of Energy agreed to back part of $1.46 billion in loans for the project, Reuters said.

International Emissions Trading Association said that the expansion of carbon-trading mechanisms demonstrates that emission markets are the policy instrument of choice for cutting greenhouse gases. IETA cites as examples the new carbon markets developing in Australia, California, Chile, South Korea and China, Bloomberg said.

The Nuclear Energy Institute is lobbying the Energy Department to eliminate a trade barrier that it says would help US firms add jobs. The group wants to see changes to a ruling known as Part 810 with an expansion of the allowable exports to a list of restricted nations. The group said the rule change would remove a competitive disadvantage for US firms in the global market, The Hill said.

The EPA and DOJ have reached an agreement with Durand Glass Manufacturing Company to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act. The company will pay a $300,000 civil penalty, and install emissions controls on its three glass furnaces in New Jersey that will reduce more than 173 tons of nitrogen oxides and 23 tons of particulate matter per year, the EPA said.

Olson Wire Products Co. has agreed to pay an $80,000 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its manufacturing facility in Baltimore, Md. EPA cited the company in May 2011 for violations of federally authorized state regulations involving hazardous waste stored at the facility, including wastewater treatment sludge from the electroplating operations, spent lead anode rods and used aerosol cans, the agency said.

The Interior Department and the Navajo Nation announced a $43 million financial assistance agreement for design and construction of a portion of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. The project when completed will have the capacity to deliver clean running water to a population of 250,000. The funding will enable the Navajo Nation to complete the lower reaches of the Cutter Lateral – one of two branches of the project, the department said.

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