OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Clean Air Act in focus as EPA readies soot rule

The agency faces a court-ordered deadline to beef up rules for the microscopic pollution that’s emitted by factories, power plants, diesel vehicles and other sources.

“The [White House] Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the final PM NAAQS regulatory package. EPA expects to finalize the standards by December 14, 2012, meeting the court ordered deadline established under a consent agreement with the American Lung Association and the National Parks Conservation Association,” EPA said in a statement Tuesday.

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The tougher soot rules have faced pushback from industry groups and some senior GOP lawmakers. Environmentalists have applauded the proposal while calling for even tougher standards than EPA proposed.

Click here for much more on all that.

With new rules coming down the pike, The National Journal will host a forum at The Newseum Wednesday morning on the past and future of the Clean Air Act.

Speakers include Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who is a frequent critic of EPA, and Carol Browner, who headed the agency under former President Clinton and later served as President Obama’s energy and climate czar.

The event will be webcast. Click here for more.


THE REST OF WEDNESDAY’S AGENDA:

Forecasting the U.S. energy future

The federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its closely watched annual forecast of U.S. energy supply, demand and price trends on Wednesday.

EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will present the 2013 Annual Energy Outlook, which looks out to 2040, at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

The 1 p.m. event will be webcast. Click here for more.

Iranian oil in focus

The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center wants to know: “Can the World Live Without Iranian Oil?”

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, and Denise Natali, of the National Defense University, will probe the question at a forum Wednesday.

Click here for more.

Legacy of 1992 energy law discussed

The Compete Coalition will host a Wednesday forum on the Energy Policy Act of 1992 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Speakers will discuss the legacy of the law, which created incentives for renewable energy and opened electric utility markets to competition.

The policy also established an energy efficiency program for buildings and efficiency standards for appliances.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) will deliver the keynote address. Other speakers include former Sens. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) and Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and former Energy Secretary Federico Peña.

Click here for more.

Energy Department official to talk electric grid infrastructure

A senior Energy Department adviser will deliver the opening remarks at a conference on electric power grid infrastructure.

Lauren Azar, senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, will discuss the administration’s efforts to fast-track transmission line planning during Energy Central’s TransForum East conference on Wednesday.

The administration has attempted to streamline planning for those lines, which carry bulk power to electrical substations. It says doing so will help integrate renewable and other remote power sources onto the electric grid.

Click here for more on the two-day conference.


Climate update: Amendment fails to get vote

The Senate passed the defense authorization bill Tuesday without voting on an amendment that would have recognized climate change as a national security threat.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) submitted the amendment last week. It had support from a handful of Senate Democrats, but was not called for a vote.

The Hill has more on the amendment here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these recent E2-Wire stories ...

– House approves bill easing energy efficiency rules
– US oil production hits 15-year high
– Senate Dems push climate change amendment
– Top Reid energy aide to leave Capitol Hill
– Former Gov. Whitman sees turning tide for Republican centrists


Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Zack Colman, zcolman@thehill.com.

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