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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: McCarthy Ads, Biofuel Approvals

American Sustainable Business Council Action Fund has spent in the mid-six figures to launch an ad campaign urging support for the embattled EPA administrator nominee Gina McCarthy. The Sierra Club is running a similar campaign, trying to get key GOP senators to push through confirmation for McCarthy, the Hill reports.

French president Francois Hollande fired environment and energy minister Delphine Batho and replaced her with Philippe Martin, after she publicly criticized the budget set for her department. The departure comes at a critical time as the country debates its future energy mix, Bloomberg reports. Hollande has pledged to lower the country’s dependence on nuclear from 75 to 50 percent of output.

Raising the safety culture in Japanese nuclear plants to international standards will “take a long time,” the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said yesterday, just days before new safety rules are due to take effect there. The regulator said awareness of nuclear dangers was weak before the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The EPA has approved giant reed and napier grass for use as biofuel to be mixed with gasoline, under the renewable fuel standard, over environmentalist objections that the crops are invasive species that could harm native plants. But the agency added restrictions aimed at containing the plants’ spread, the Hill reports.

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