OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Federal officials to defend EPA air rules

On Tap Tuesday: Senior Obama administration officials will gather with state-based energy regulators Tuesday to chat about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air pollution rules that have come under fire from Republicans and some state officials.

Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyEPA says it abandoned plan for office in Pruitt’s hometown Overnight Energy: Pruitt blames staff for controversies | Ex-Obama official to head new Harvard climate center | Electric vehicles on road expected to triple Ex-Obama EPA chief to lead new center for climate change at Harvard MORE, EPA’s top air pollution regulator, and White House Council on Environmental Quality Deputy Director Gary Guzy will be among the panelists at the Washington, D.C., conference.

EPA over the last year has finalized a pair of major rules to curb smog-forming, particulate and toxic emissions from power plants. The agency is also crafting greenhouse gas performance standards for new power plants.

The rules will be addressed at a conference hosted by a trio of state-regulatory groups: the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

Other federal officials speaking Tuesday will include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Patricia Hoffman, who heads the Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Click here for more about the conference.

And Steven Chu, too ...

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will also be making an appearance Tuesday at a separate conference on bioenergy.

He’s among the speakers at Biomass 2012: Confronting Challenges, Creating Opportunities – Sustaining a Commitment to Bioenergy.

Click here for more.


Macfarlane takes the helm at NRC

Allison Macfarlane was sworn in as chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday, officially bringing the controversial tenure of Gregory Jaczko to a close.

Click here for more on what Jaczko had to say on his way out the door.

Macfarlane, an MIT-trained geologist, called the post a “singular honor” in a statement that thanked President Obama for nominating her and the Senate for approving the pick.

She repeated her vow to foster collaboration with her fellow commissioners, who complained that Jaczko froze them out of key decisions.

“The agency faces multiple challenges. I look forward to working collegially with my fellow commissioners and the excellent, dedicated staff at the NRC to address these issues,” she said in a statement.

Senators press EPA on chemical review

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must expedite its review of harmful flame-retardant chemicals and take steps to restrict their use, a group of 26 senators urged EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Monday in a letter.
American babies are born with the highest concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which are found in everyday products such as furniture and plastics, the letter said. The EPA has suggested those chemicals cause cancer and have been linked to neurological and reproductive diseases.
But the Toxic Substances Control Act limits the EPA’s ability to protect the public from those chemicals, the letter said. That law permits EPA to test chemicals for safety only after evidence shows a chemical is dangerous. As a result, EPA can require testing for 200 of 80,000 chemicals registered in the United States.
“This reinforces why there is broad agreement that TSCA must be reformed to protect American families from dangerous chemicals in a cost-effective way and we urge you to continue to work with Congress to enact consensus reforms,” the letter said.
The letter is signed by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Live coverage: High drama as hardline immigration bill fails, compromise vote delayed Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (D-Ill.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiIcebreaking ships are not America’s top priority in the Arctic 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families Trump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril MORE (R-Alaska), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMontana's environmental lobby teams with governor to kill 600 jobs Dems allow separation of parents, children to continue, just to score political points Democrats' education agenda would jeopardize state-level success MORE (D-N.Y.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Skyrocketing insulin prices provoke new outrage MORE (R-Maine), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Supreme Court allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers | Judge finds consumer bureau structure unconstitutional | Banks clear Fed stress tests States brace for dramatic overhaul to federal foster care funding Supreme Court rules states can require online sellers to collect sales tax MORE (D-Ore.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBernie Sanders: Trump thinks like an authoritarian Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Trump's America fights back MORE (I-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Richard Painter puts out 'dumpster fire' in first campaign ad Bill Clinton says 'norms have changed' in society for what 'you can do to somebody against their will' MORE (D-Minn.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos Senate panel advances three spending bills FBI has no excuse to hide future scandals from American public MORE (D-Vt.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinDem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law MORE (D-Iowa), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGrassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Live coverage: High drama as hardline immigration bill fails, compromise vote delayed MORE (D-Calif.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLive coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report GAO to look into Trump's reduction of carbon social costs Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out MORE (D-R.I.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy Actress Marcia Gay Harden urges Congress to boost Alzheimer's funding MORE (D-N.Y.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Dems call for Judiciary hearing on Trump's 'zero tolerance' GOP lawmaker compares cages for migrant children to chain-link fences on playgrounds Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (D-Ore.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Defense: Trump orders Pentagon to help house immigrant families | Mattis says 'space force' needs legislation | VA pick gets hearing date Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Senate panel schedules hearing on Trump VA pick MORE (D-Mont.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: States pull National Guard troops over family separation policy | Senators question pick for Afghan commander | US leaves UN Human Rights Council Senators question Afghanistan commander nominee on turning around 17-year war Reed: ‘Preposterous’ for Trump to say North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat MORE (D-R.I.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Spending bill targets Pruitt | Ryan not paying 'close attention' to Pruitt controversies | Yellowstone park chief learned of dismissal through press release Senate committee targets Pruitt scandals in spending bill Overnight Energy: DNC to reject fossil fuel donations | Regulators see no security risk in coal plant closures | Senate committee rejects Trump EPA, Interior budgets MORE (D-N.M.), John KerryJohn Forbes KerryShould President Trump, like President Obama, forsake human rights in pursuit of the deal with a tyrant? GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system Democrats conflicted over how hard to hit Trump on Iran MORE (D-Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDem senators introduce bill to ban controversial voter purges Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix MORE (D-Minn.), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellEnergy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers MORE (D-Wash.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDem senators introduce bill to ban controversial voter purges The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Warren to put hold on Trump consumer bureau nominee MORE (D-Ohio), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs MORE (D-Colo.).

House hearing to feature biofuels battle

A House Energy and Commerce Committee panel will gather Tuesday to discuss the “challenges and opportunities” of renewable fuels and vehicles.

Look for the powerful American Petroleum Institute to bash EPA’s implementation of the national Renewable Fuels Standard, which was expanded in a 2007 energy law. It requires increasing amounts of ethanol and other biofuels in the nation’s motor fuel supply.

“EPA has allowed the RFS law’s volume requirements to drive decisions that are inappropriate and unwise. The law has become increasingly unrealistic, unworkable, and a threat to consumers. It needs an overhaul, especially with respect to the volume requirements,” API President Jack Gerard says in his prepared testimony to the Energy and Power subcommittee.

Not surprisingly, the ethanol industry will offer a different view.

“The RFS is among the most successful energy policies this nation has ever adopted; it is working exactly as intended,” states the written testimony from Bob Dinneen, the CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry trade group.

Click here for more on the hearing.


Check out these E2 stories that ran Monday and over the weekend ...

— Gasoline prices are creeping upward again

— Fed agency says last 12 months were hottest on record in US

— Possible corn shortfall's effect on ethanol prices unclear

— Offshore energy industry group expands team

— Interior touts 1.5M jobs from energy development

— Climate activists scuttle plans for ice-melting protest on Capitol Hill

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE faintly praises highway bill, vows more Keystone efforts

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