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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: RFS Lawsuit, LNG Forum, Smog-Producing Fires

The American Petroleum Institute has sued the EPA in the US Court of Appeals over the agency’s 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard, saying the rule mandates significantly more cellulosic ethanol than is available in the marketplace, Platts reports. The court in January ruled on the API’s lawsuit over the 2012 RFS, finding that the EPA standard was too “aspirational.”

The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to share satellite data to pinpoint smog-producing fires, and identify responsible companies – mostly palm-oil producers. Earlier this year, thick haze – mostly from land clearing-fires in Indonesia – covered Singapore and much of Malaysia, pushing air pollution to the most dangerous levels since 1997, Reuters reports.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the nominations of Elizabeth Robinson for undersecretary of energy and Michael Connor for deputy secretary of the interior. Both passed easily on voice votes, the Hill reports.

Heather Zichal is stepping down from her post as President Obama’s top energy and climate change adviser, a position she has held since 2011. Zichal was a driving force behind development of the president’s climate action plan.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s energy and power subcommittee will hold a forum tomorrow on “Geopolitical Implications and Mutual Benefits of US LNG Exports.” Participants are set to include ministers and diplomats from the Czech Republic, Haiti, Hungary, India, Japan, Lithuania, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, and the senior energy advisor of Puerto Rico.

Finance ministers should focus on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and setting the right price on carbon, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said at the opening of the IMF and World Bank’s 2013 autumn meeting. It was the first time Lagarde and World Bank president Jim Young Kim had addressed climate change together in public, Reuters reports.

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