Policy & Enforcement Briefing: ANWR Drilling Push, Canada Reacts, EV Fire Probe

by | Nov 14, 2011

A jobs-related proposal from House Republicans to support new infrastructure spending is dominating by a plan to massively expand offshore oil and gas leasing and open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, The Hill reported. The proposal was announced days after President Obama unveiled a five-year offshore drilling plan that slow walks new Arctic drilling and keeps drilling off limits in the Eastern Seaboard and Pacific coast.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has failed yet again in his attempt to push through a bill overturning the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported. The Senate voted 56-41, with many Republicans defecting, against Paul’s measure. A similar bill has already passed the House of Representatives.

The government of Canada, fuming from President Obama’s decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline until after 2012, said it will try to sell more energy to Asia, Reuters reported. Prime Minister Steven Harper (pictured left) said the pipeline delay would force Canada, the largest supplier of oil and natural gas to the U.S., to rely more on China and other Asian economies as trading partners.

Regulators will conduct further tests on EV batteries used to power the Chevrolet Volt and other electric cars after a Volt caught fire in a crash test, Reuters reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will ask automakers for more information on lithium-ion batteries, but does not believe the EV batteries pose a greater fire risk than the older nickel metal hydride battery technology used in hybrids.

Iraq’s government is warning ExxonMobil not to expand its massive oil holdings into the semiautonomous Kurdish region in the country’s north, The New York Times reported. Oil deals in Kurdistan are illegal until regulations can be drafted that will split revenues with Iraq’s central government, but Exxon may have already signed a contract for exploration in the region according to several news reports.

United States trade negotiators said on Sunday that they expected Asia Pacific leaders to take a “significant step” toward reducing tariffs on renewable energy technologies and services, Reuters reported. The annual summit meeting of the 21 members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation wrapped up this weekend.

The EPA, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Department of Justice announced that DuPont has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at its DuPont Edge Moor plant. The EPA said the plant, which makes white pigment from titanium used in the print and publishing industries, exceeded the discharge limits set forth in its NPDES permit.

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