Policy Update Week of April 4, 2011
- The Society of American Foresters, The Nature Conservancy and the National Alliance of Forest Owners comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Performance Standards Proposal
To read the testimony click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm
In the Administration
- EPA to Hold Public Hearing on Three Year Permitting Deferral for Biomass Facilities
EPA News Release, April 4th
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing on April 5 on a proposal to defer, for three years, Clean Air Act permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic sources. This additional time will allow the agency to conduct a detailed examination of the science on this issue.
Seeking advice of federal partners, states, a diverse group of expert scientists including industry and other stakeholders, and an independent scientific panel, will help to determine how these emissions should be treated under EPA's air permitting program. In July 2010, EPA issued a call for information seeking public comment. To read more of this article link to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/8B2CF822C77036838525786800570C1C
- White House Promises Veto of Anti-E.P.A. Bill
The New York Times, Published by John Broder, April 6th
In case there was any doubt, the White House on Tuesday issued a formal statement opposing a bill now before the House that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases for the purpose of combating climate change.
The bill, known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, could come up for a vote as early as Wednesday and is almost certain to pass when it does. It has virtually unanimous support among the Republican majority and will probably draw votes from a few Democrats from coal and oil producing states. To read more of this article link to: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/white-house-promises-veto-of-anti-e-p-a-bill/
- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Local Projects to Help Kids Get Outdoors
USDA Press Release, April 4th
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $1 million in cost-share funding for children's programs in 18 states and Puerto Rico, furthering USDA's commitment to connect young people around the country with America's great outdoors. The two programs receiving funding through this announcement will reach tens of thousands of young people this year, and support the goals of both President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Initiative. To read more of this article click here.
This Week in Congress
- April 5th - House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on "Effect of the President's FY-2012 Budget and Legislative Proposals for the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service's Energy and Minerals Programs on Private Sector Job Creation, Domestic Energy and Minerals Production and Deficit Reduction."
To visit the committee website click here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=231001
- Murkowski Offers Revised Sealaska Lands Bill
The Tundra Drums, Published by Alaska Newspaper Staff, April 6th
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has introduced revised legislation to allow Sealaska Corp. to complete land selections promised in the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The measure, introduced on April 5, is co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska. It will be referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Murkowski is the ranking member. The Sealaska bill, originally introduced in 2007, then again in 2009, has undergone major revisions to reflect public comments gathered at town hall meetings in Southeast Alaska communities over the past year, Murkowski said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.thetundradrums.com/article/1114murkowski_offers_revised_sealaska_lands_bill
- Udalls Revive Push for Renewable Power Standard
The Hill, Published by Ben Geman, April 6th
Democratic Sens. Tom Udall (N.M.) and Mark Udall (Colo.) are renewing their push to require utilities to ramp up the amount of power they supply from renewable sources like wind and solar energy.Their reintroduction Wednesday of legislation to create a "renewable electricity standard" - or RES - comes even as the White House is courting Republicans by promoting a wider utility standard that would credit other low-carbon sources including nuclear power. To read more of this article link to: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/154293-udalls-revive-push-for-renewable-power-standard
- Senate Rejects Efforts to Block EPA Climate Regulations
Politico, Published by Robin Bravender and Darren Samuelsohn, April 6thThe Senate today knocked down a series of attempts to kneecap the Obama administration's climate policies, but the White House isn't out of the woods yet. Forty-six Senate Republicans and four Democrats voted to support a GOP amendment blocking the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. One Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, sided with the remainder of the Democrats and the White House in opposing the amendment to the small-business bill that needed 60 votes to pass. To read more of this article link to: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/52699.html#ixzz1IqtvFSH3
- House GOP's 2012 Budget Promises Overhaul of Energy, Environmental Goals
The New York Times, Elena Schor of GreenWire, Published April 5th
House Republicans rolled out a 2012 budget today that aims to vastly reshape federal policy on a number of fronts, cutting energy research, agriculture subsidies and the government workforce while lifting current "moratoriums and bans" on domestic fossil-fuel exploration. The budget blueprint released by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) marks a raising of the stakes for a 2011 spending battle that continues to leave the capital braced for a potential Friday shutdown.
But even as Ryan's plan generates national attention for its approach to entitlements and corporate taxes, his budget also promises to be a potent vehicle for advancing domestic production and regulatory easing proposals that Republicans have dubbed the "American Energy Initiative." To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/04/05/05greenwire-house-gops-2012-budget-promises-overhaul-of-en-97569.html
In the States: Oregon and Wisconsin
- Judge Tells Obama Administration to Give Public Chance to Comment on Yanking Ore. Logging Plan
The Washington Post, Published by The Associated Press, March 31st
A federal judge ruled Thursday the Obama administration has to go through a public comment period before it can yank a controversial plan to double the amount of logging allowed on some federal forests in Western Oregon. The ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stops Interior Secretary Ken Salazar from withdrawing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Western Oregon Plan Revision. It remains unclear whether Salazar will let the plan stand or go through the public process to withdraw it. To read more of this article link to:
- DNR Issues Permit for Biomass Project
The Journal Sentinel, Published by Thomas Content, March 30th
A proposed biomass power plant We Energies is seeking to build in north-central Wisconsin cleared another regulatory hurdle this week when the state Department of Natural Resources issued a permit for the project.The permit spells out the maximum level of air pollution emissions that may be released into the air from the renewable energy project, which would burn wood chips and other forms of biomass. To read more of this article link to: http://www.jsonline.com/business/118957964.html
Last Week in Congress
- Daylight? New Start in Budget Talks
Politico, Published by David Rogers, March 30th
With time running out, House and Senate Appropriations Committee staff were to begin meeting Wednesday for the first time to craft a final six month budget bill, the final contours of which are still being negotiated by the White House and Speaker John Boehner. "We're going to start talking with the Senate to see if we can find some good common ground," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers told POLITICO. To read more of this article link to: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52232.html#ixzz1I7Lw0xTO
- March 30th -The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public works held a full committee hearing on Oversight joint hearing entitled, "GSA: Opportunities to Cut Costs, Improve Energy Performance, and Eliminate Waste."
To visit the committee website click here: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Home.Home
- March 30th - The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing on Improving the Nation's Response to Catastrophic Disasters: How to Minimize Costs and Streamline our Emergency Management Programs.
To visit the committee website click here:http://transportation.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?NewsID=1193
- Forester: 2011 Wildfire Season Could be Historic
The Coloradoan, Published by Kelly King, April 4th
As rain, sleet and snow fell at the Crystal Fire firegrounds west of Fort Collins on Sunday morning, there was optimism that Mother Nature would help douse the blaze that grew from 25 to nearly 4,500 acres overnight. Sadly, there is little optimism for the remainder of Colorado's wildfire season as foresters and meteorologists say the state's dry winter and warm spring temperatures have created conditions ripe for more blazes. To read more of this article link to:http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110404/NEWS01/104040333
- Dry, Windy Weather Prompts Warnings of Wildfire Danger
The Star-Telegram, Published by Domingo Ramirez Jr. and Chance Welch
The dry and windy weather in the Metroplex is adding fuel to the elevated risk of wildfires. Forest Service officials said Tuesday that several critical fire weather days were ahead for Texas as temperatures continued to warm and strong winds continued to blow. Extreme fire dangers exist in parts of the Panhandle, South Plains and West Texas. To read more of this article link to: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/04/05/2975807/forest-service-warns-of-fire-danger.html#ixzz1IlkHcFeD
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