E2 Morning Roundup: White House shifts from oil to renewables, report faults global climate aid, business group defends EPA, and much more

“Climate change poses a serious threat to the health of our communities, putting Main Street small businesses' economic future at risk,” according to a letter sent to lawmakers from the Main Street Alliance. The alliance is a network of state small business coalitions in 13 states launched two years ago in Seattle, Wash.

EPA regulations will “also encourage investments in clean energy and create green jobs,” the coalition wrote. Using rhetoric generally reserved for green groups and liberal Democrats, the coalition railed against “entrenched special interests – like Big Oil and Big Coal” who are “lobbying hard to gut the EPA's authority to do its job. We can't let that happen.”

Report: the Clean Air Act works
 
The coalition joined another national small business network – the Small Business Majority – in issuing a report Tuesday arguing that the economic benefits of the Clean Air Act are four times greater than the cost of complying with regulations over the past 20 years. EPA “routinely overestimates” the future costs of regulations, the report adds.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has bipartisan backing for a plan to delay EPA climate regulations set to start in January for another two years. He is holding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to a promise to hold a vote on that two-year delay during a lame-duck session, despite an insurmountable veto threat from the White House and no plans for House action on the bill this year. 

Cleanup, search for missing people continues after toxic sludge spill in Hungary

“Hungarian crews were working to prevent seepage from a sludge reservoir of an alumina plant in western Hungary on Wednesday as rescue units searched for missing people in a flooded village,” Reuters reports.

“Hungary declared a state of emergency in three counties on Tuesday, a day after a torrent of toxic red sludge from an alumina plant tore through local villages, killing four people and injuring 120. Three people were reported missing.”

In case you missed E2 Wire yesterday

Here are our Tuesday posts:

EPA's Jackson is heading to China

Clinton under pressure on climate

Report: Shallow-water permit slowdown could cost 40,000 jobs

Texans seek industry legal protection from higher ethanol use

Melancon, Vitter trade barbs over BP oil spill

Green group targets Tea Partier O'Donnell

White House roof to get solar panels

On tap Wednesday: Commerce chief on energy and China

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is slated to speak at a Woodrow Wilson Center event on U.S.-China cooperation in the electric power sector.

On tap Wednesday II: GreenGov symposium continues

It’s day two of the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s three-day event that brings together a range of stakeholders to discuss making government greener. George Washington University is hosting. Speakers Wednesday will include CEQ Chairwoman Nancy Sutley.

Making it official: Obama creates Gulf Coast task force

President Obama issued an executive order Tuesday creating the multi-agency Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force that will be headed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who grew up in New Orleans.

The move has been expected since last week when Navy Secretary Ray Mabus unveiled a long-term recovery blueprint that calls for the task force. Federal officials announced at the time that Jackson would lead the body.

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Correction: Yesterday’s news roundup provided an incorrect date for Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s appearance at an event on U.S.-China energy cooperation. The event will be held Wednesday.