E2 Morning Roundup: Revived bipartisan Senate RES push, Sierra Club targets Rand Paul, BP joins spill-response group, the greenest beer in America and more

Sierra Club targets ‘extremist’ Rand Paul

The Sierra Club on Tuesday is highlighting what the group dubs “one of 2010’s most extreme political canddates,” Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul. The group is posting a two-minute video highlighting clips of Paul waxing poetic on issues ranging from climate change to civil rights and immigration. This includes Paul’s endorsement of mountaintop removal — a practice used by coal mining companies key to the state. “You’ve got quite a few hills, I don’t think anybody’s going to be missing a hill or two here and there,” the video shows Paul saying in a local Kentucky TV interview.

“Tea Party Candidates like Rand Paul, Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck, and Pat Toomey are trying to make Americans scared of even what little progress our country has made on clean energy and global warming,” Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club's political director, said. "We are working to get the word out that we can't let these extremists run our government."

BP joins spill-response group

BP is joining a recently formed consortium of big oil companies aimed at quickly deploying containment equipment in the event of a future spill.

BP’s fly-by-night approach to capping the blown-out Macondo well was among the reasons oil gushed for months before the well was blocked in mid-July and sealed for good over the weekend.

“As part of its agreement to join the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) headed by Exxon Mobil Corp, BP will make its underwater well containment equipment available to all oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf,” Reuters reports. “Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell Plc said in July they are developing a new, rapid-response oil spill containment system in the Gulf to help prevent another disaster like the Macondo blow-out,” their piece adds.

White House draws mixed review on environmental rules

It must be something in the air.

A report by the liberal advocacy group OMB Watch says the Obama administration gets good marks for regulatory efforts on climate change and air pollution, while clean water programs have lagged behind.

“A commitment to rulemaking at the EPA’s clean air office has produced historic standards for greenhouse gas emissions and has also led to aggressive limits on other forms of air pollution. EPA expects that its clean air agenda will slash emissions of dangerous pollutants and generate significant public health benefits in the coming years,” states the report on the administration’s regulatory agenda at the halfway point of Obama’s term.

“Unfortunately, the agency has done little to set new clean water standards aimed at protecting public health from chemicals like perchlorate, taking relatively minor steps, nor has it aggressively pursued regulation of factory farms,” adds the report released Monday.

Green beer year-round

The Natural Resources Defense Council has a look at the greenest breweries represented at last weekend’s Great American Beer Festival in Colorado.

Among the brewers and practices singled out: The Brooklyn Brewery (among others) uses wind power, the Great Lakes Brewing Co. runs delivery trucks on biodiesel and gives leftover barley to local farmers, Anderson Valley Brewing Co. is partially solar-powered, and Full Sail Brewing Co. uses much less water than average breweries.

Clinton, Jackson tout clean cookstoves

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson are announcing Tuesday at the World Economic Forum meeting in New York City a new public-private Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to help developing nations. It would “create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions that will save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change,” according to an advisory. 

The two are expected to announce that the U.S. will contribute $50 million for the initiative. Clinton told The New York Times that the problem of indoor pollution from primitive cookstoves is a “cross-cutting issue” that is “what makes it such a good subject for a coordinated approach of governments, aid organizations and the private sector.”

Industry hates smog plan

The American Petroleum Institute holds a media call to press its concern about upcoming EPA smog restrictions. API is highlighting a study by the Manufacturers Alliance/the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innovation, whose members include companies such as Caterpillar, Ingersoll Rand, and Procter & Gamble. EPA is expected to release a proposed rule in mid- to late October. 

In case you missed E2 Wire Monday:

EPA continues to hotline environmental regulations and is close to rolling out guidelines to industrial polluters and states that spell out how to implement greenhouse-gas permitting rules that are set to begin taking effect next year.

Meanwhile, the National Mining Association Friday filed a second lawsuit in district court against EPA water-quality 
guidelines for “mountaintop removal” and other coal-mining practices 
in six Appalachian states. One of the arguments — other than the economic impact — is that EPA this time actually didn’t go through the normal rulemaking process before using the guidelines to clarify the issuance of future permits.

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