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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: EPA & DOE Strategic Updates Released

The Department of Energy released its 2014 Strategic Plan. The DOE Strategic Plan is organized into 12 strategic objectives aimed at three distinct goals – Science and Energy, Nuclear Security and Management and Performance.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its fiscal year (FY) 2014 to 2018 Strategic Plan.

In the April 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA projects that regular-grade gasoline retail prices will average $3.57 per gallon (gal) during the current summer (April through September) driving season, similar to the $3.58/gal average of summer 2013. After rising into May, the retail price is expected to fall through the remainder of the summer because both crude oil prices and gasoline crack spreads (the difference between wholesale product price and the price of crude oil) decline. Daily and weekly national average prices can differ significantly from monthly and seasonal averages, and there are also significant regional differences, with prices in some areas exceeding the national average by 25 cents/gal or more.

On April 9, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a letter addressed to fuel providers and aboveground storage tank (AST) owners that states that one of the two certified product transfer couplers shall be used while transferring gasoline from a cargo tank truck into an AST equipped with Phase I EVR. The certified product transfer couplers are a required component of the Phase I EVR Executive Orders (EO) VR-401 (OPW) and VR-402 (Morrison Brothers). The letter can be found here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/vapor/vapor.htm.

Rail yards must be stopped from emitting tons of harmful diesel pollution into neighborhoods surrounding Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, environmentalists told the 9th Circuit. The appeal arose from the dismissal of a federal complaint against Union Pacific and BNSF Railway, alleging that diesel-particulate-matter pollution has elevated the risk of cancer and respiratory illnesses in poor communities of San Bernardino, Riverside County, Long Beach and East Los Angeles. With the Southern California International Gateway, a planned rail yard a few miles from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, the problem will only worsen, according to the complaint from the Natural Resources Defense Council.   BNSF countered that the project will help reduce congestion on the city’s busy 710 freeway.

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power approved H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, by a vote of 15 to 11. Authored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), H.R. 6 grants immediate approval of complete export applications currently filed with the Department of Energy and modifies the process moving forward to mitigate delays.

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