Overnight Energy & Environment

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senators want more time for climate rule comments

WE NEED MORE TIME: A slim majority of the Senate sent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a letter Thursday asking for more time to comment on its major climate rule to limit carbon pollution from power plants.

The 53 senators, including 10 Democrats, said 60 additional days of comment time “is critical to ensure that state regulatory agencies and other stakeholders have adequate time to fully analyze and comment on the proposal.”

{mosads}The EPA already went out of its way to give more time for comments, stretching the usual 60-day period to 120 days. If it grants this latest extension, the comment period would be 180 days, or almost half a year, pushing it nearly to Christmas.

Adding 60 days to the comment period could make it harder for the EPA to finalize the rule by June 2015, as President Obama has ordered.

Read more here.

ON TAP FRIDAY: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is hosting a conference call for reporters Friday on this month’s United Nations Climate Summit and the related People’s Climate March. WWF officials will speak about what they expect at the event and the ongoing lead-up to the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the organization hopes to come to an international agreement to limit climate change.


The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to confirm President Obama’s nominees for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday, nearly along party lines.

The vote was 11-7 for Jeffery Baran and 6-11 for Stephen Burns. Only Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) crossed the aisle to vote for both nominees. The full Senate plans to vote on the nominations Tuesday.

“I believe the nominees that were approved by the EPW Committee today are highly qualified, and their commitment to NRC’s mission will increase the level of confidence the American people have in the safety of the nation’s nuclear facilities,” Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who sits on the EPW Committee, wasn’t happy about the nominees.

“I was uneasy,” Sessions told reporters on Thursday. “I felt like both of them lacked the kind of experience and expertise that their predecessors had.”


The International Energy Agency cut its forecast for oil demand, citing a “remarkable” decrease in the need for oil internationally, Bloomberg News reports.

This year’s wildfire season has been one of the most destructive on record for Washington state, Reuters reports.

The Canada lynx gained federal protections in New Mexico Thursday, but Fish and Wildlife Service officials declined to expand its critical habitat designations to the Southern Rockies, New England and other areas, the Associated Press reports.


Check out Thursday’s stories …

– Oil lobby: Iowa politics behind Obama’s ethanol moves
– Ex-coal worker says she was fired over political contributions
– Green groups sue DOT over crude oil trains
– Obama science adviser to testify on climate plan
– Interior watchdog accused of withholding information from Congress
– Senate calls hearing on energy tax policy
– Canada PM to miss UN climate summit
– Dems call for House polystyrene ban
– Democratic Senate candidate slams party on Keystone in ad
– Majority of Senate backs climate rule extension
– Senate panel approves new deputy energy secretary
– Shell CEO: Climate debate ‘gone to la-la land
– FBI: California substation attack wasn’t terrorism
– University of California decides against divesting from fossil fuels


Please send tips and comments to Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com, and Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @thehill @lbarronlopez @Timothy_Cama

Tags Barbara Boxer Climate change Environmental Protection Agency Jeff Sessions Jeff Sessions Jim Inhofe United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

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