OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Feds move on safety rules for oil trains

NEW WORLD ORDER: We aren't talking about the illuminati, we are talking about crude oil transported by railcars, and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the U.S. is about to enter a “new world order” when it comes to energy transportation.

“We need a new world order on how this stuff moves,” Foxx said Wednesday when unveiling new regulations on railway safety.

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The Transportation Department proposal mandates the phase-out of thousands of older tank car models, and sets new braking standards and speed limits for trains carrying highly flammable fuels, specifically drawing attention to crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken formation.

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ON TAP THURSDAY: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the nomination of Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to be deputy secretary of energy. Sherwood-Randall has advised President Obama on nuclear weapons and arms control since 2013. She would replace Dan Poneman, who announced in June that he would step down as the Energy Department’s No. 2 after five years.

 

ON TAP THURSDAY II: The House Natural Resources Committee’s subpanel on public lands and environmental regulation will hear Thursday about allegations that federal land managers have threatened, intimidated and bullied people who use the land. All of the witnesses will be from Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. The panel will hear from local officials and representatives of wildlife and agriculture advocacy.

 

Rest of Thursday’s agenda ...

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s subcommittee on water resources and environment will hold a hearing Thursday to examine the Environmental Protection Agency’s integrated planning and permitting initiative for water pollution control. The lawmakers will hear from state and local government officials involved in water permitting decisions about how providing more flexibility would affect permitting. 

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on the economic impact of state energy policies. Steve Clemmer of the Union for Concerned Scientists, and Paul Polzin of the University of Montana are among those testifying.

The Heritage Foundation is going to talk energy exports with Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), whose bill to expedite liquified natural gas exports recently passed the House.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will host a webinar on innovative and effective engagement on water and energy issues.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Brookings Institute are hosting a talk on the new geopolitics of energy and coming challenges.

 

NEWS BITES: 

Heitkamp on rail rules ... Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) weighed in on the Transportation Department's new proposal for crude-by-rail standards, hitting on the urgency of the situation.

“Today’s new rules are an important and needed step toward making sure families and communities across the country are safe,” Heitkamp said. “Crude oil is a valuable resource and a major economic engine for North Dakota, but the derailment in Casselton last December was another wakeup call that we must do a better job in how we transport it."

Climate hearing ... The Senate Budget Committee, led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), announced Wednesday that it will hold a hearing next week on the costs to the economy and the federal budget from climate change. 

“At the hearing Murray will discuss how climate change is not only an environmental and economic challenge, but also increasingly a fiscal challenge, and will examine how failing to mitigate the risks associated with climate change will affect the U.S. federal budget,” the panel said in a statement.

Senators will hear from witnesses representing the Government Accountability Office, corporate sustainability group Ceres, CNA Corp.’s military advisory board, NERA Economic Consulting and the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

 

AROUND THE WEB:

The locomotive from the oil train that derailed in Quebec last year, killing 47, is up for auction, with an opening bid of C$10,667, the Canadian Press reports.

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts predict that the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide limits for power plants will reduce the country’s coal burn by 24 percent by 2020, SNL Financial reports.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health will pay for studies that could cost up to $1.2 million into the health effects of MCHM, the chemical that spilled from a Freedom Industries tank into Charleston, W.Va.’s water supply this year, the Charleston Daily Mail reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Wednesday’s stories ...

EPA gears up for public hearings on climate rule
Green group targets Latinos in clean energy push
Hoeven offers natural gas ‘compromise’
Obama officials tighten safety rules for railways
Republican senator slams EPA chief: 'You don't run this country'
Senate confirms nuclear security official
DOE chief Moniz defends loans
Oil industry poll finds voters want more oil, gas development
Small biz owners support EPA water rule, poll says
Senate Republicans meet with EPA’s McCarthy on regs
Administration to unveil stricter rules for carrying crude by rail
Labor officials vow to fix black lung benefits program

 

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