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EPA: We have tools to ensure grid reliability under carbon rule
Environment & Energy Publishing
U.S. EPA Chief Gina McCarthy told lawmakers on Feb. 25 that her agency is prepared to deal with potential electric reliability problems under the Clean Power Plan, whether through a "waiver or another process." While McCarthy maintained that the proposed rule would not affect reliability, she said EPA has the necessary tools to address situations that might arise under the landmark standards to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
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US House prepares to vote on controversial EPA 'secret science' and science advice bills
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The U.S. House of Representatives could vote soon on two controversial, Republican-backed bills that would change how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses science and scientific advice to inform its policies. Many Democrats, scientific organizations and environmental groups are pushing back, calling the bills thinly veiled attempts to weaken future regulations and favor industry.
European Commission launches strategy for Energy Union with climate change policy
International Institute for Sunstainable Development
The European Commission has adopted a framework strategy that aims to create, for the European Union, a resilient "Energy Union" with a forward-looking climate change policy. An annexed action plan presents fifteen "action points" for the coming years, including electricity market legislation, enhanced regional cooperation, increased funding for energy efficiency and a new renewable energy package. Two related communications focus on improved electricity interconnection and a vision for a global climate change agreement in Paris in December 2015.
Title V Permitting: Maximizing Flexibility, Enhancing Compliance: Webinar Series — Day 1
March is hopefully the start of spring which most of us in the northern climates are looking forward to. In addition, we have our new Title V permitting webinar series. Great time to add new skills or hone those that you already have. Click the "Read More" link for more information.
Oil and gas associations sue over EPA rule
Politico Pro (login required)
A variety of oil and gas trade groups have filed three lawsuits against the EPA over a December rule amending the agency's air pollution requirements for new oil and gas operations. The suits, filed Feb. 27 with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, challenge the rule amending the EPA's 2012 new source performance standards for the oil and gas sector. The rule went into effect on Jan. 1.
Obama's veto of Keystone XL Pipeline probably doesn't mean the endgame
Inside Climate News
President Barack Obama on Feb. 24 briskly vetoed legislation to approve construction of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. The bill, which had easily passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate last month, was rejected within hours of its official delivery to the Oval Office. It is unclear how or when Republicans in Congress intend to carry on the fight, as they have promised to do.
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How to cope with EPA regulations
Electric Co-op Today
Facing a jumble of regulations on air toxics, ozone, power plant emissions, regional haze, endangered species and water quality, to name a few, what's an electric cooperative to do? For starters, communicate. Communicate with policymakers, directors, co-op employees and, above all, member-owners.
China's Ministry of Science and Technology plans 5-year air pollution control project
Xinhua News Agency via GlobalPost
China's Ministry of Science and Technology has started planning for a five-year air pollution prevention and control project, the ministry announced on March 3. A draft blueprint for the project has been published on the ministry's website. According to the draft, the focus of air pollution control in China should be shifted from simply responding to heavy smog to a coordinated scheme to prevent both PM2.5, or airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, and ozone (O3).
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Europe struggles to meet CO2 targets, deal with Russian pressure and unify its electricity grid
Environment & Energy Publishing
The European Union wants to revamp its energy policy to boost spending on renewables and assorted efficiency measures. Commentators say the long list of policy changes announced by the European Commission on Feb. 25 is a reaction to the Russian menace in the East, as well as pending E.U. climate commitments due later this year in Paris.
What will the GOP do about EPA climate regs?
Last June, EPA released an ambitious proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Many state regulatory agencies and attorneys general went into near panic, coal companies into shock, business trade groups into battle, and conservatives into existential alarm over one of the most ambitious regulatory initiatives ever to come out of the EPA. The GOP, however, has no strategy to roll the regulations back.
Texas environment official says new EPA ozone rule just the 1st step
A Texas environmental official says ozone pollution regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are just the first step for the EPA to introduce stiffer rules in years to come. The EPA-mandated limit for ozone is 75 parts per billion, a level that has not changed since 2008. The agency wants to stiffen the standard to 65-70 parts per billion and is hearing from health care and environmental advocates who want it even lower.
Pollution: Tiniest particles appear to be riskiest
The Press Enterprise
A new study by California scientists sheds more light on earlier work that has linked fine-particle air pollution to deaths from heart disease. This work focused on the smallest of these particles, called ultrafine particles. These specks are no bigger than a thousandth of the width of a human hair. The study found these particles appear to be more lethal than the larger ones that are the focus of government regulators.
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