OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nuke power showdown arrives in Senate

The past year has been tumultuous for the NRC.

There have been deep divisions between Jaczko and other NRC members, accusations that Jaczko has been verbally abusive — which he has strongly denied — and controversies about the pace of safety upgrades and re-analyses in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, among other matters.

Jaczko's defenders say he faced headwinds over safety stances that ran afoul of more pro-industry commissioners.

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Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who heads the subcommittee that oversees nuclear safety, told reporters Tuesday that while the GOP likely would bring up Yucca Mountain, the Wednesday hearing would be a “lay up” compared to some of the other nuclear issues the panel has dealt with over the last year.
 
“It won’t be that easy,” Carper then added. “But it won’t be a jump shot from the other end of the court,” he said. 


NEWS BITES:

Shell CEO defends Arctic drilling plan

As Royal Dutch Shell nears final approval to start a controversial drilling project off Alaska’s coast, the oil giant’s CEO is defending the company’s safety preparations.

Here’s CEO Peter Voser in the Canadian publication Maclean's:

On the prevention part, I think we have gone further than anywhere else in the world in Alaska with our safety systems, like double-blowout preventers and various other safety and security systems built in. And let’s be very clear what exploration means — drilling wells, and we’re looking at 10 in two years. These wells will be capped afterwards, and we’ll take the information we’ve gained to prepare development plans for the longer term.

Click here for the full interview.

Rockefeller says GOP won’t get Keystone on highway bill

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) says Republicans won’t win their battle to include approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in a compromise transportation bill.

Republicans are pressing for provisions that would authorize construction of TransCanada’s Alberta-to-Texas pipeline, and a separate measure that blocks tough EPA regulation of coal ash, a waste product of coal-fired power plants.

“I think they still want both. They are not going to get them,” said Rockefeller, a member of the team trying to hammer out a House-Senate compromise bill.

“I think the pipeline is really off the charts and coal ash, I do too, for this bill,” said Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, in remarks to reporters Tuesday.

Bernie Becker contributed.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these items that ran on E2-Wire Tuesday ...

— Hillary Clinton, not Obama, to lead US delegation to Rio green summit
Timing of vote on Inhofe's plan to kill EPA rule in flux
— Bloomberg, other mayors back EPA coal rule ahead of vote
— McConnell: GOP will use farm bill amendments to attack federal regulations
— Sen. Graham pushes plan to allow drilling off S.C. coast


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