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 McCarthyGina McCarthyThe media’s tactics to silence science at Trump’s EPA Overnight Energy: EPA releases ozone findings | Lawmakers come out against Perry grid plan | Kids sue Trump on climate change Congress must come to terms on climate change regulation 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.

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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.

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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.



NEWS BITES:

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 DurbinMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Ex-Sheriff David Clarke: Trump only one who 'cares about black American citizens' DHS chief takes heat over Trump furor MORE (D-Ill.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSessions torched by lawmakers for marijuana move Calif. Republican attacks Sessions over marijuana policy Trump's executive order on minerals will boost national defense MORE (R-Alaska), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Overnight Tech: States sue FCC over net neutrality repeal | Senate Dems reach 50 votes on measure to override repeal | Dems press Apple on phone slowdowns, kids' health | New Android malware found Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals MORE (R-Maine), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWeek ahead: Senate takes up surveillance bill This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Senate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump MORE (D-Ore.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE (I-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPawlenty opts out of Senate run in Minnesota EMILY’s List president: Franken did 'right thing for Minnesota' Dem pledges to ask all court nominees about sexual harassment history under oath MORE (D-Minn.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle McConnell to Dems: Don't hold government 'hostage' over DACA Nielsen acknowledges Trump used 'tough language' in immigration meeting MORE (D-Vt.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinOrrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate Democrats are all talk when it comes to DC statehood The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Iowa), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Democrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration MORE (D-Calif.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Trump, Kushner meet with advocates on prison reform Democrats search for Russians — any Russians — for collusion story MORE (D-R.I.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandTrump thinks he could easily beat Sanders in 2020 match-up: report Listen: EMILY’s List upbeat about Dem House in '19 Desperate Democrats shouldn't settle for Oprah MORE (D-N.Y.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyEarly tax bill reality very different than Democratic rhetoric Senate GOP seeks to change rules for Trump picks Dem senators tear into Trump: Tax bill 'a very big Christmas gift from Trump to himself' MORE (D-Ore.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterEMILY’s List president: Franken did 'right thing for Minnesota' Reforming veterans health care for all generations of veterans Trump and Republicans deliver gift that keeps on giving for Americans MORE (D-Mont.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedLawmakers, political figures share their New Year's resolutions for 2018 Congress must provide flexible funding for owners of repeatedly flooded properties Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (D-R.I.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallCongress has been broken by the special interests – here’s how we fix it Senate GOP seeks to change rules for Trump picks Dems celebrate Jones victory in Alabama race MORE (D-N.M.), John KerryJohn Forbes KerryFeehery: Oprah Dem presidential bid unlikely Dem hopefuls flock to Iowa Change in Iran will only come from its people — not the United States MORE (D-Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector Pawlenty opts out of Senate run in Minnesota Nielsen says 'possible' Trump used vulgar language in meeting MORE (D-Minn.), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Overnight Energy: Senate close to approving Arctic drilling | EPA cancels controversial media tracking contract | Trump officials sound alarm on mineral imports Lawmakers introduce bipartisan AI legislation MORE (D-Wash.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate campaign fundraising reports roll in Commerce sends Trump long-awaited steel report GOP Rep. Jim Renacci announces Ohio Senate bid MORE (D-Ohio), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDurbin: Senators to release immigration bill Wednesday Trump's 's---hole' controversy shows no sign of easing Dem senator: 'No question' Trump's 's---hole countries' comment is racist 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.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

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 BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE faintly praises highway bill, vows more Keystone efforts


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