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EPA Is On a Legal Winning Streak EPA Is On a Legal Winning Streak

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EPA Is On a Legal Winning Streak

TOP ENERGY NEWS

By Jason Plautz (@jason_plautz), Ben Geman (@ben_geman), and Clare Foran (@ckmarie)

EPA Is On a Legal Winning Streak

 

The Supreme Court has reinstated a major EPA rule to curb soot- and smog-forming power-plant pollution that crosses state lines and damages air quality in the Eastern United States.

Tuesday's 6-2 ruling arrives two weeks after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a separate rule to cut mercury and other air toxics from power plants.

The high court's decision Tuesday revives the cross-state air-pollution rule, overturning a 2012 Appeals Court decision that sided with industry groups and states that challenged the regulation.

 

Both power-plant rules are major pillars of President Obama's first-term air-quality agenda.

Click here for more about the ruling and the reaction to it.

REID MIGHT ALLOW A VOTE ON KEYSTONE. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid signaled a willingness to allow senators to weigh in on the controversial oil sands pipeline as a way to secure passage of the Shaheen-Portman energy-efficiency bill. "I'm open to anything that will move energy efficiency," he said. (Richard Cowan, Reuters)

...BUT NO AMENDMENT AGREEMENT YET. New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen however, told reporters that there's no agreement yet on amendments for the bill. She said that Reid had mentioned bringing the bill to the floor next Tuesday, but there's no firm agreement on timing yet.

 

BP PROFIT MARGINS FALL SHORT. The multinational oil and gas giant's $3.2 billion first-quarter earnings are down 23.5 percent relative to one year ago, despite the fact that the company continues to shed holdings. (Stanley Reed, New York Times)

A BLOOD-THIRSTY BUG IS KILLING AMERICA'S HONEYBEES. Honeybees are disappearing at an alarming rate. And a bloodthirsty parasite is at least partially to blame. The vampire mite feeds on bees by drinking their blood. It made its way to the U.S. in the late 1980s and has been a honeybee scourge ever since. But President Obama has a plan to solve the problem. The president's budget for fiscal 2015 would invest more than $71 million in USDA-led research efforts to better understand the pollinator decline. (Clare Foran, National Journal)

ENERGY DEPT. FORECAST SHOWS CARBON PRICE DRIVES RENEWABLES. The federal Energy Information Administration published an analysis concluding that imposing a direct price on carbon emissions would drive up renewable power generation sharply in coming decades.

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Under EIA's forecast, a fee on CO2 emissions that starts at $25 per metric ton and rises 5% annually would push non-hydro renewables (largely wind and solar) up to 27 percent of the U.S. power mix in 2040. Click here to read the analysis by EIA, which is the Energy Department's independent statistical arm.

SORT OF RELATED TO CARBON DIOXIDE. Canadian runner James Nielsen has shattered the "beer mile" world record. The running website Flotrack covers the California resident's historic run here.

WAXMAN AIDE HEADS TO CAP. The Center for American Progress announced that Greg Dotson, the longtime top energy and environment aide for retiring House Energy and Commerce ranking member Henry Waxman, would join the group as vice president for energy policy.

EPA DOESN'T BACK CHEMICAL BILL. Although the agency did not offer an official position, EPA's chemical chief Jim Jones said there were still a number of areas of improvement for a House discussion draft of a proposal to reform the nation's chemical system. At a House hearing on the bill today, Democrats and green groups said the draft is worse than current law, while sponsor John Shimkus sought areas of bipartisan compromise.

WEST BLAST FUND FALLS SHORT OF GOAL. A fund overseeing $3.6 million in donations for victims of last year's fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas has distributed less than half of it's cash. (Steve Thompson, Dallas Morning News)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth." -- John 3:8, a Bible verse quoted by the majority in today's Supreme Court decision on the EPA's cross-state air pollution rule.

WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING

WILL THE PRESIDENT PUNT ON KEYSTONE? What does Obama have to lose by delaying a final determination and what does he stand to gain?

"The President's slow walking on such an important energy project could make a glacier's movement seem like a sprint. Shameless and inexcusable are the only words that come to mind for the President's inaction. It is ironic that the President has spent a great deal of time over the past few weeks talking about income inequality while at the same time trying to find a a way to kill a project that would invest over $7 billion and create a large number of good paying jobs.." –William O'Keefe, CEO, George C. Marshall Institute

HAPPENING TOMORROW

HOUSE COMMITTEE VOTES ON ENERGY BILLS. The House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a markup on a series of energy bills, including one from Rep. Cory Gardner to expedite applications for the export of domestic gas.

GAS EXPORT HEARING. The House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on energy policy, health care and entitlements holds a hearing on the impact of natural gas exports on U.S. foreign policy.

MILITARY ENERGY PRESS CONFERENCE. Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Scott Peters host a press conference to unveil a bill on reducing energy use by the military.

FOREST SERVICE BUDGET HEARING. The Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and related agencies holds a hearing on the fiscal 2015 budget request for the U.S. Forest Service.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY DISCUSSION. OurEnergyPolicy.org and the University of Texas host a discussion titled "American Perspectives on Energy Efficiency."

LATIN AMERICA RENEWABLE ENERGY WEBINAR. The American Council on Renewable Energy hosts a webinar on renewable energy opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Samantha, Student

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