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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: NY Gas Reserve, Tesla Fire, Coal Protest

New York plans to create a gasoline reserve holding three million gallons of fuel, in an effort to avoid long lines at gas stations such as those seen after Hurricane Sandy, the New York Times reports. The $10 million pilot program would be the first state-owned gasoline reserve in the country, governor Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided not to investigate an October 1 fire that erupted in a Tesla Model S, finding no evidence that the blaze resulted from a vehicle defect or violations of US safety standards, Bloomberg reports. In more good news for the electric vehicle maker, the California Air Resources Board delayed a decision that would cut the amount of zero-emission vehicle credits Tesla earns in that state.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subpanel on energy and power will hold a hearing tomorrow on the North American Energy Infrastructure Act. Witnesses are due to include representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Manhattan Institute, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Canadian Electricity Association, Association of Oil Pipe Lines, Institute for Energy Research and Blackcreek Environmental Consulting.

Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), the top Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee, urged the White House Office of Management and Budget to finalize EPA guidelines on fracking operations that use diesel fuel. They said the rules are long overdue, the Hill reported. Congress decided in 2005 that some clean-water restrictions would only apply to fracking if the operations used diesel as part of the injection mix, and the EPA drew up the related guidance in September.

Coal company executives, miners and about 30 members of Congress will participate in a rally at the Capitol tomorrow against EPA regulations they say are harming the industry, the Hill reports. Republicans have complained that the agency’s “listening tour,” for its forthcoming carbon guidelines on existing power plants, ignores coal-reliant states – so the protest will give the EPA a chance to hear from those directly affected by its rules, National Mining Association president and CEO Hal Quinn says.

The Florida Public Service Commission has approved Florida Power & Light‘s plan to invest in a $3.5 billion, 600-mile natural gas pipeline that will run from southwest Alabama through Georgia to central Florida, joining two existing pipelines. Construction is expected to finish by mid-2017, the AP reports.

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