Valerie's Feed
Mar 10, 2015

U.S. rail industry pushes White House to ease oil train safety rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. rail industry is pushing the White House to drop a requirement that oil trains adopt an advanced braking system, a cornerstone of a national safety plan that will soon govern shipments of crude oil across the country.

Representatives of large rail operators met with White House officials last week to argue against the need for electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, or ECP brakes, saying they “would not have significant safety benefits” and “would be extremely costly,” according to a handout from the meeting.

Mar 9, 2015

What to watch for in U.S. climate plan for Paris

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – Later this month, the Obama
administration will unveil how it plans to reduce carbon
emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels within a
decade, the core of the negotiating position it will take to
global climate talks Paris this December.

While the broad outlines of the U.S. position are known,
there is great interest in its intended nationally determined
contribution (INDC), climate diplomats’ term for each country’s
domestic program to achieve its Paris targets.

Mar 6, 2015

Kentucky officials wary of senator’s EPA warning

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Officials in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky rejected the senator’s plea to states this week to ignore federal deadlines to comply with proposed carbon limits for power plants, warning it could cause more economic harm in the long run.

McConnell, leader of the Senate Republican majority, urged governors and state officials Tuesday to “think twice” before submitting state plans to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to comply with its Clean Power Plan, a federal rule that requires each state to slash the carbon emission rate of its power plants.

Feb 22, 2015

Homeland Security shutdown can be avoided by Friday: senators

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior Republican senators said they expected Congress will avoid a shutdown over the Department of Homeland Security, which faces a partial shutdown on Feb. 27 amid a GOP push to roll back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson pressed lawmakers to resolve the deadlock, expressing frustration at what he described as finger-pointing between House and Senate lawmakers over who is to blame if Congress fails to enact a spending bill to keep the department running.

Feb 18, 2015

U.S. EPA chief hints at softening carbon rule interim timeline

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The Environmental Protection
Agency said on Tuesday that it may ease an interim deadline for
states to meet tougher carbon emission standards after
regulators and electric utilities complained a lack of time may
destabilize electricity supplies.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told an audience of state
utility regulators meeting in Washington that she was giving
them a “big hint” the agency may loosen the interim targets set
in its proposed rule for existing power plants, under which each
state would need to show an assigned average emission reduction
between 2020 and 2029.

Feb 13, 2015
Feb 12, 2015
Feb 12, 2015
Feb 12, 2015

U.S. ‘clean coal’ project demise shows EPA plan’s weakness: lawyers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s move to suspend a trouble-plagued $1.65 billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) project this month may have bolstered legal challenges to proposed environmental regulations on power plant carbon emissions, several legal experts said.

The FutureGen project in Illinois would have been the first U.S. commercial-scale, near-zero emission coal plant to use technologies to capture carbon dioxide from major industrial plants and store it safely underground. This approach could sharply reduce carbon dioxide emissions and curb global warming.

Feb 11, 2015