Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) recently introducedHR 2728, the Powering States’ Rights and Preventing Federal Red Tape on American Energy Act. The bill would prevent the Department of Interior (DOI) from applying its proposed hydraulic fracturing rules in states that already have their own hydraulic fracturing rules in place, no matter how strong or weak those rules are, or how different they are from the proposed rule. The bill was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 23-15, and now heads to the full House for consideration.
Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) recently introduced HR 2728, the Powering States’ Rights and Preventing Federal Red Tape on American Energy Act. The bill would prevent the Department of Interior (DOI) from applying its proposed hydraulic fracturing rules in states that already have their own hydraulic fracturing rules in place, no matter how strong or weak those rules are, or how different they are from the proposed rule. The bill was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 23-15, and now heads to the full House for consideration. [...]Read more
In his first interview since taking the post of Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary, Ernest Moniz spoke on a variety of topics including hydraulic fracturing. Moniz said he thinks the states should play the critical role in the regulation of hydraulic fracturing rather than the federal government. He said, “I think in the end there has to be a very, very strong state role there. The situations are different in different states, the geologies are different.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a deadline of April 13 to impose the first-ever greenhouse gas limits on new power plants, but they did not finalize the proposal on time. EPA is in the process of altering the rule to make sure it can withstand any legal challenges that may come its way. The rule if implemented as it was written would require new power plants to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity produced. EPA is debating the possibility of establishing separate standards for coal-fired power plants and gas-fired power plants. There is [...]Read more
Rep. Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the “Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation” (FRESHER) Act on March 14, which would remove a provision in the Clean Water Act (CWA), added by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, that exempts oil and gas sites from stormwater permitting requirements. The exemption applies to all uncontaminated runoff from oil and gas sites of any acreage. The FRESHER Act, if passed, would also require the Department of Interior (DOI) to study the impact of stormwater from oil and gas sites on surface water, groundwater [...]Read more
Earlier this week, Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) released an energy blueprint, entitled “Energy 2020.” The blueprint was developed with seven principles in mind: producing more, consuming less, clean energy technology, energy delivery infrastructure, effective government, environmental responsibility, and an energy policy that pays for itself. Murkowski believes this can be done with more oil and gas production, reducing carbon emissions, and the development of a “trust fund” for clean energy. Her hope is the blueprint could serve as a basis for starting a comprehensive energy [...]Read more
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declined to grant a rehearing of EME Homer City Generation LP v. EPA, a case that challenged EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). The court, in a 2-1 ruling in August, vacated the CSAPR. The court stated that EPA was exceeding its statutory authority, as the agency should allow states to develop their own rules to address emissions and CSAPR could have required states to account for more emissions than necessary. EPA hoped to challenge the ruling of the court and asked for an en banc hearing, so that the case could be [...]Read more
President Obama called for the United States to step up and be a leader as the world transitions towards new energy technologies to help combat climate change during his inaugural address earlier this week. Obama hoped to have climate legislation passed during his first term, but was unsuccessful with his push. So he and his administration will make another effort to push for climate change legislation and regulations in his second term. He said, “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” [...]Read more
The House Energy and Power Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on September 20, 2012 to discuss H.R. 6172. The bill would prohibit the EPA Administrator from finalizing any rule that would put a performance standard for CO2 emissions on an existing or new source that is a fossil fuel-fired electric generating unit until carbon capture and storage is deemed technologically and economically feasible. The hearing will begin at 9:45 a.m. at 2123 Rayburn.
In the wake of a recent spate of RIN fraud cases involving a reported 140 million invalid RIN (renewable identification number) credits, EPA is considering revisions to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) program that would provide greater clarity for obligated parties (oil companies that refine and import gasoline and diesel). Although EPA has taken aggressive enforcement action against fraudulent RIN producers, EPA’s current “buyer beware” policy also penalizes oil companies that are victims of RIN fraud by imposing civil penalties and requiring replacement of fraudulent RINs, [...]Read more