TOP ENERGY NEWS
HOUSE FLOATS REVISED CHEMICAL REFORM BILL. Ahead of a hearing next Tuesday, Republican John Shimkus of Illinois has offered up a new version of his draft proposal to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, which has not been updated since its original passage in 1976. The new draft language, which he says reflects input from both sides, would give states more leeway to enforce their own, stronger, chemical regulations, but public health groups say it still does not go far enough.
CALIFORNIA BROADENS POLLUTION MAP. In a move that supporters say can refocus and reshape the way the state deals with its dirtiest communities, California has for the first time released a list of all of its census tracts that are most affected by pollution. (Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times)
FEDS SAY W.VA. SYMPTOMS CONSISTENT WITH CHEMICAL LEAK. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health said in a report today that the symptoms of those hospitalized after January's chemical leak into the Elk River are "consistent" with what's known about MCHM, the primary chemical involved in the spill. The data can't prove that MCHM was behind the symptoms, the report said, but do line up with the results of animal studies. (Dave Boucher, Charleston Daily Mail)
CLIMATE DENIAL ALL THE RAGE IN NORTH CAROLINA. Greg Brannon, Heather Grant, Mark Harris, and Thom Tillis—Republican challengers in North Carolina's Senate race—have all said that climate change is not a fact. (Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill)
CLIMATE DENIAL ALL THE RAGE IN NORTH CAROLINA, PART II. Hagan's campaign responded to the comments from her GOP challengers. "This is just one in a string of examples—like opposing the minimum wage—that show all of the candidates in this primary are out of touch and would rather push a fringe, special interest agenda than look out for North Carolina's middle class families," her campaign said in a statement.
CREDO WEIGHS IN ON SENATE RACES. CREDO super PAC—a political funding machine with a focus on environmental issues—has announced that it will support a number of vulnerable Senate Democrats in their midterm election campaigns. But it will not go to bat for Sens. Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor, two of the Senate's strongest supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Jaime Fuller, Washington Post)
OBAMA TESTS LIMITS OF AUTHORITY TO ACT ON CLIMATE. Rolling Stone is out with a feature that delves into the president's bet that he can create a legacy on climate change. (Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone)
CAN THE U.S. DEAL WITH ARCTIC ACCIDENTS? A report published by the National Research Council says that emergency-response mechanisms and infrastructure are poorly prepared to deal with oil spills that could result from Arctic oil and gas exploration. (Jennifer Dlouhy, Houston Chronicle)
LISA JACKSON DOESN'T MISS WASHINGTON. The former Environmental Protection Agency administrator says that her new job working for Apple in the San Francisco Bay Area is a far cry from the circles she used to run in while working in Washington. "It's a very, very different environment outside the Washington bubble," Jackson said. "And I think it's really important to be outside of it, and I'm just really enjoying it." (Robin Bravender, Greenwire)
GOOGLE ORDERS UP SOLAR POWER. Google is partnering with SunPower, a solar-panel manufacturer, to help foot the bill for roughly $250 million in solar projects. Google will pony up $100 million, while SunPower will pay the rest to help fund residential solar leases. (Ben Fox Rubin, Wall Street Journal)
BIG BUSINESS LINES UP FOR LANDRIEU. Large corporations are spending big to help Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu win reelection in a contested Louisiana Senate race as she squares off against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. (Amy Harder and Brody Mullins, Wall Street Journal)
LAWMAKERS WEIGH ACTION ON KEYSTONE. Following the State Department's decision to delay its review of the Keystone XL pipeline, pro-Keystone lawmakers in the Senate are talking about moving a bill to approve the pipeline. Their efforts are likely to be blocked, however, by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Jim Snyder and Laura Litvan, Bloomberg)
MOSCOW WANTS TO TALK ENERGY. Russian authorities will meet with European officials in an attempt to head off gas-supply disruptions from the Kremlin. In the meantime, European nations are exploring their options to help send gas to Ukraine in the event that Russia halts its flow of gas to the country. (Barbara Lewis and Vladimir Soldatkin, Reuters)
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING
ARE STATES MISSING OUT ON MILLIONS FROM THE FRACKING BOOM? Can a balance be found to make sure state residents benefit from the boom without driving drillers away? Or are the policies that already exist detrimental to the industry?
"States should thoughtfully plan for long-term boom-bust scenarios, but the priority should be on immediate concerns--most notably, court challenges. The proper focus should continue to be ensuring and spurring advancement in technology to further protect the environment AND thoughtful energy development. Too much of the discussion some groups are trying to lead is focus on creating a false choice that pits the environments against energy production." --David Holt, president, Consumer Energy Alliance
MILITARY ENERGY EVENT. The Center for National Policy holds a discussion on "Powering Defense: A Call for Military Energy Security."
KEYSTONE PROTEST. The Cowboy Indian Alliance holds an event titled "Reject and Protect," featuring a weeklong series of actions by farmers, ranchers, and tribes to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, April 22-27.
CLEAN-ENERGY EVENT. The United States Energy Association holds a discussion on "Implementing Clean Energy Programs: The Sacramento Municipal Utility District Story."