A&WMA Newswire
Mar. 25, 2015

New fracking rules draw industry lawsuit, Congressional ire
Houston Chronicle
The Obama administration recently issued the first federal mandates governing hydraulic fracturing on public land, triggering an immediate lawsuit from oil industry groups and a pledge by congressional Republicans to undo the regulation. The measure from the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management updates 30-year-old drilling regulations, requiring companies to disclose the chemicals they use and to store waste water in tanks instead of open pits. It also lays out mandates for verifying the integrity of wells on public land and for conducting the hydraulic fracturing process.More

GOP bill delays climate rule, gives states veto
The Hill
House Republicans are preparing a bill that would delay implementation of the Obama administration's climate rule for power plants and let state governors veto compliance plans. The draft bill would delay the Environmental Protection Agency's rule until all court challenges are over and let governors block any plans to implement the regulation — whether from the state or imposed by the EPA — if they think it would significantly increase electricity rates or harm reliability.More

UN communicates negotiating text for climate agreement
Pacific Scoop
The secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recently communicated the negotiating text for a new climate change agreement to governments in all six official UN languages. This communication means that the formal legal and procedural requirements to allow countries to adopt a legal instrument under the UNFCCC have been fulfilled.More

Title V Permitting webinar a success
A&WMA
Our first Title V Permitting was a big success. Thanks for all of the participants. Great information was shared during the webinar as well as the survey questionnaire results. The feedback was much appreciated.

See the calendar below for upcoming events of interest.More

Report: EPA carbon regulations won't impact reliability
Energy Manager Today
The Analysis Group released a report on March 16 that the EPA Clean Power Plan, which will regulate CO2 emissions beginning in 2020, will not impact grid reliability in the PJM Interconnect region. The report showed that PJM is already taking the actions necessary to ensure that states can comply with the plan, primarily by switching from an electricity supply mix based primarily on coal to one based on cleaner generation from natural gas and wind. PJM's proposed "reliability safety valve" is not necessary, according to the Analysis Group.More

Chinese capital shuts 3rd coal-fired plant in war on smog
Reuters
China's smog-hit capital Beijing has shut down the third of its four coal-fired power plants as part of its campaign to cut pollution, with the final one scheduled to close next year, the official Xinhua news agency said on March 20. In 2013, the city promised in its clean air action plan to bring annual coal consumption down to less than 10 million tons by 2017, a reduction of 13 million tons in just four years. More

Britain on air pollution alert
The News
A toxic air pollution cloud blew over Britain on March 19 causing potential health problems for vulnerable people as the country struggles to meet its clean air targets. Smog blowing in from Europe has mixed with home-grown pollution to send air pollution levels soaring to nine on a scale of 10 in some parts of the country.More

EPA rule on power plant emissions faces formidable hurdle in Supreme Court
Los Angeles Times
Twenty-five years in the making, a new nationwide rule is set to take effect this spring that will sharply restrict coal and oil-fired power plants from releasing mercury, arsenic and other hazardous pollutants into the air and, eventually, into rivers and lakes. But the rule faces a final and formidable hurdle when the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on March 25 from lawyers for the coal and power industries, who say it may be "the most costly rule" ever adopted under the Clean Air Act.More

PHMSA pushing for increased pipeline safety amid US energy boom
By Ross Lancaster
During the last five years or so, the United States has seen a big increase in oil and gas pipeline mileage and total barrels. While this boom has undoubtedly helped the U.S. to become one of the world's largest oil and gas producers once again, the added infrastructure and billion more barrels means that more chances exist for potentially fatal accidents. To address the safety concerns, initiatives and goals for pipelines, three expert professionals spoke at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Safety Forum at NACE Corrosion 2015.More

San Francisco Bay Area air quality regulator to refineries: Refine more crude
San Francisco Bay View
Last fall, activists in San Francisco's East Bay Oil Refinery Corridor celebrated the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's promise to write new rules imposing a 20 percent reduction in hazardous emissions on Bay Area refineries. Recently, however, East Bay activists attended the meetings with the agency staff to express their dismay at the rules as drafted.More

Economic study says EPA regulations threaten Wyoming coal
The Associated Press via The Denver Post
A new economic study says pending federal regulations to limit carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants threaten to hit Wyoming's coal industry hard in coming years. On March 19, the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority released a study prepared by the University of Wyoming that predicts the federal regulations could force a decline of up to 45 percent in Powder River Basin coal production by 2030.More

The renewable electricity grid: The future is now
The World Bank
A New World Bank report finds that with the right policies and investments, countries can integrate high levels of variable renewable energy such as solar and wind into their power grids without compromising the reliability or affordability of electricity. Together with falling prices for solar panels and wind turbines, these new approaches can facilitate a scale up of renewable energy in developing countries.More