Policy & Regulatory Briefing: SEC Climate Disclosure, San Fran Gold, EPA Sued Over Smog

by | Jul 21, 2011

Wyoming senator John Barrasso on Wednesday reintroduced a bill to stop the Securities and Exchange Commission’s policy of requiring companies to reveal their climate change risks. The Hill article says the lawmaker would rather the agency focus on protecting investors and maintaining fair markets.

The Bonneville Power Administration, which has both hydro and wind energy interests in the Northwest, wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to dismiss a complaint from wind farm owners who say they have not been compensated fairly, due to BPA’s power source balancing act, according to Reuters. BPA argued that its actions have maintained transmission reliability.

The Examiner reports that mayor Edwin Lee wants to upgrade San Francisco’s LEED requirements from Silver to Gold certification for all municipal construction and major renovation projects after Sept. 1. The city already requires new commercial and residential construction to reach LEED Gold standards by 2012, the most stringent green building standards in the country.

U.S. automakers are concerned that a California Air Resource Board regulation for zero-emissions vehicles will clash with Obama administration requirements for fuel economy, both of which are due by the end of September, according to Green Autoblog. Nine states currently enforce standards developed from the California rules.

As the only industry witness, Dow Chemical Company’s George Blitz on Tuesday told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that the government needs policies that encourage natural gas production. The company uses natural gas as a fuel for heating, cooling and processing, as well as a raw material for the manufacturing.

Japan has asserted that an Ontario, Canada feed-in tariff that guarantees electricity prices from renewable energy facilities discriminates against foreign producers, an AFP report says. A World Trade Organization panel is scheduled to rule on the matter in six months.

Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Natural Resources Defense Council are suing the EPA for missing a deadline in May that would have certified whether Los Angeles smog levels are hazardous, an Associated Press report says. A similar lawsuit was filed for the San Joaquin Valley.

In another effort to provide regulatory relief, senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would require the EPA to rework maximum achievable control technology rules for industrial boilers and incinerators, the Hill said. Backing the bill were the American Forest and Paper Association, the National Association of Manufacturing, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.

By December, U.S. government agencies will shut down 195 data centers in an administration-wide effort to cut waste and save money, the Federal Times said. Many of the 81 centers that have already closed are contractor-owned.

A District Court judge has partially granted an injunction against the Montana Department of Transportation and Imperial Oil/Exxon Mobil for the Kearl Module Transportation Project, the Missoulian said. The judge said that the agency approved an insufficient environmental assessment of the project, which would move 200 megaloads of processing equipment to Canada on two-lane roads

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