Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 29, 2015

Posts in "Emissions"

January 26, 2015

This Week: Keystone Vote, Oil Prices and EPA Regs

There’s no shortage of energy events this week. The Senate is scheduled to continue Keystone XL pipeline votes Monday and the House is expected to consider legislation to expedite exports of liquefied natural gas.  Full story

January 23, 2015

Enviros Want CO2 Regs for Aircraft

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Environmental organizations are pressing the EPA to pick up the pace on developing regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft. Full story

January 20, 2015

This Week: Keystone, SOTU & Outlooks

Here are the week’s energy events. Full story

January 16, 2015

ICYMI: Oil Drop, EPA Regs & Mexico Swap

Here is what has been happening in energy this week.

The spread between U.S. crude prices and the global benchmark has narrowed as prices have plummeted since June. Russia is feeling the effects of lower oil prices, and to a lesser degree, sanctions. The resulting cascade in U.S. gasoline prices may have tempered a much-anticipated bump at the pump from a California cap-and-trade rule that requires oil companies to buy carbon allowances if greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks exceed a limit set by the state. Full story

January 7, 2015

Demand Response Part II – Roadblocks

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff outlined the successes and roadblocks of state and regional demand response programs in a recent annual report. While demand response programs have made progress, there are potential snags and recent efforts to overcome them. Full story

FERC Outlines CO2 Talk

(Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

(Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission laid out the agenda for next month’s technical conference on EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. Full story

December 30, 2014

Looking Ahead to 2015

The 114th Congress will convene next week with Republican majorities controlling both chambers. Here is a look at energy issues on the horizon.

Keystone XL Pipeline – A still-pending Nebraska court decision means the Barack Obama administration won’t likely act on the pipeline before the new Congress is seated, leaving some time for Republicans to force an approval or for the White House to use the pipeline as a bargaining chip to advance other priorities.

Cross-border Infrastructure – And what about the next Keystone? A push to give Congress and agencies control of the permitting process that has stymied the Keystone project resulted in a measure that was passed in the House and got as far as the Senate calendar last month. Under GOP control, similar legislation could possibly land on the president’s desk, though the White House has threatened a veto.

Oil Prices – The more than 40-percent tumble in global oil prices will have wide-ranging effects that will be seen throughout 2015. Shale producers in the United States have already announced plans to scale back new investment by as much as 75 percent. Lower prices have ramifications for Russia, which is already dealing with the effects of sanctions. Though speculators expect an eventual rebound in prices, sustained long-term cheaper oil could erode the incentives for U.S. liquefied natural gas exports.

Tax Overhaul – House and Senate finance leaders on both side of the aisle have promised renewed efforts to make permanent changes to the tax code that could end up providing more clarity for renewable energy credits or revisions to breaks for fossil fuels.

Energy Efficiency – After falling just short of a procedural hurdle Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., will likely try to rekindle bipartisan support for their energy efficiency legislation.

EPA Regulations – Proposed restrictions on carbon dioxide, ozone levels and other EPA regulations were a lightning rod for Republican criticism this year, with energy funding hitting a roadblock blamed in part on an amendment from then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The intensity of GOP objections is likely to increase as McConnell takes leadership of the Senate and the agency moves forward with its proposals.

Energy Xtra will resume regular publication on Jan. 5 — Have a safe and happy New Year’s!

December 15, 2014

Capturing CO2 with Fuel Cells

Using the gas separating properties of fuel cells, a Connecticut company is developing technology to add carbon dioxide capturing capabilities to power plants, which it says could provide an economic way to meet EPA’s proposed power plant regulations. The process, developed by FuelCell Energy using a $2.5 million grant from the Energy Department, would also provide additional power generation to reduce the ratio of a coal plant’s carbon dioxide to kilowatts, the New York Times reported:

In FuelCell’s design, a coal plant adds a fuel cell unit next to its smokestack, and the fuel cell soaks up the carbon dioxide and adds power to overall output. Some energy is used — the demonstration unit here would produce eight kilowatts, enough for a midsize commercial air-conditioner, but in carbon capture mode makes only about six kilowatts — but the loss is more manageable than drawing energy from the coal plant for conventional carbon capture.

The process also unexpectedly breaks down nitrogen oxide emissions, a pollutant that is regulated directly and contributes to ozone pollution. The company’s next step is to build a full-sized demonstration facility at an operating coal power plant.

Moniz, van der Hoeven & Moniz

Following Thursday’s nail-bitter as the omnibus bill squeaked through the House, the Senate cleared the bill late Saturday over the objections of more than 20 Democrats. The Senate is around this week to wrap up nominations and potentially clear a package of tax extensions including a break for wind energy. Here’s what else is going on as the holidays approach: Full story

December 12, 2014

ICYMI: Omnibus, Ozone and Mexico

The Senate will consider the House-passed omnibus spending package as soon as today, but lawmakers would need procedural agreements to expedite the process before Monday. The measure includes $34.2 billion for energy and water programs but it would dole out no additional funds for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The bill would include $345 million and a requirement to continue construction on the mixed oxide plutonium facility. Appropriators also tucked in a provision to throw a $97 million lifeline to the troubled American Centrifuge Project. Full story

December 11, 2014

Another Look at Ozone Rule Impact

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The expected costs of EPA’s proposed rule for ozone vary by industry and geography, potentially dividing opposition groups. Full story

December 10, 2014

Wide Disparity in Ozone Rule Costs

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While Republicans have decried the expense of the EPA’s proposed tightening of ozone restrictions, the costs of the final rule are uncertain and depend on the level on which the agency settles. Full story

FERC to Consult on CO2 Regs

The Appalachian Electric Power coal-fired Big Sandy power plant, seen in June. (Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

The Appalachian Electric Power coal-fired Big Sandy power plant, seen in June. (Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a series of technical conferences to confer with those involved in the EPA’s proposed regulations for carbon dioxide, known as the Clean Power Plan. Full story

December 3, 2014

Camp: Extenders E-bike Omission not a Jab

As the House prepared to vote on a bill to extend dozens of tax credits for 2014, one missing credit raised eyebrows. Full story

December 2, 2014

Upton Eyes the ‘Architecture of Abundance’ for Energy

The following is a special report, which CQ Roll Call subscribers received last week.

After peeking inside Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s, R-Alaska, energy manifesto Monday for clues on how she’ll run the Energy and Natural Resources Committee next year, we turn today to the corresponding plan by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. Full story

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