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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Oil by Rail, Free Trade Deal, Arctic Drilling

The US National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada yesterday issued recommendations for crude oil transportation by rail. They proposed that rail carriers develop spill-response plans and avoid highly populated areas. Such transportation has come under increasing pressure after a series of derailments and fires. Last week … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Solar Duties, Sea Emissions, Social Cost of Carbon

Solar panel maker SolarWorld has filed a petition asking the Commerce Department to levy new duties on certain imports from China and Taiwan. The petition aims to close a loophole in a 2012 US trade decision, and could effectively keep Chinese manufacturers out of the American market, the New York … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Social Cost of Carbon, Car CO2 Rules, FERC Chair

The White House is releasing a technical support document that shows the data behind the increase in the social cost of carbon, The Hill reports. The document, once published in the Federal Register, will be open for public comment for 60 days. The world’s second-biggest carbon market will start next … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Social Cost of Carbon, GHG Reporting, ‘Wasteful’ Pesticide Regs

The White House has issued updated values for the social cost of carbon, reflecting “minor technical corrections,” The Hill reports. The changes lower the central estimated value of the SCC in 2015 to $37 per metric ton of CO2, from the $38 estimate released in May. The Office of Information and … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: ‘Flexible’ Climate Approach, Mining Water Permits

US special envoy for climate change Todd Stern called for the next United Nations climate deal to follow a more flexible approach. Countries should be permitted to determine their own levels of commitment, rather than adhering to negotiated targets and timetables, Stern said. Participants will meet to discuss the new … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Carbon Standards, Pipeline Closure, Dyno Nobel Penalty

The EPA has rescheduled two delayed listening sessions on its forthcoming carbon standards for existing power plants. The Boston session has been rescheduled for November 4, and the Philadelphia session has been pushed back to November 8. Both were postponed because of the government shutdown. The other nine dates are … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Power Plant Rules, Enviro Regulator ‘Forced Out’

The EPA plans to force utilities to limit emissions of hazardous pollutants during power plant shut-down, start-up and malfunctioning. Environmental groups are pressuring the agency to finalize the rule, which is due by September 26, the Hill reports. The Government Accountability Office has agreed to three Republican lawmakers’ request that … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Gas Tank Standards, Train Rules, Chevron Fines

The EPA issued updates on Monday to its April 2012 oil and natural gas standards for storage tanks. The updates will phase in emission control deadlines, starting with higher-emitting tanks first. Storage tanks emitting 6 or more tons of VOCs a year must reduce emissions by 95 percent, with deadlines of April … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Chemical Safety, EMD Millipore Fine, GOP Tries to Slow Executive

The House this morning approved the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, 232-183, largely along party lines, hours before the chamber was due to adjourn for recess. The bill requires both chambers of Congress to sign off on any federal rules costing more than $100 million a … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Solar Tariffs Escalate, Exxon Subsidiary to Pay $20m

China plans to levy tariffs that could exceed 50 percent on imports of US and South Korean solar-grade polysilicon, a key ingredient in solar panels. This escalation of the long-running solar panel trade dispute hurts the US polysilicon industry, which relies on China as its largest customer, the New York … Read more »

Container ship Olga Maersk

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Feds’ Carbon Cost, Ship Emissions, ‘Sue and Settle’

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced a bill that would force the White House to seek public feedback on its estimate for the social cost of carbon. The administration raised its estimate to $38 per metric ton in 2015, from $23.80, as part of standards for microwave ovens. But the calculation … Read more »