1. EPA Delays Proposed Power Plant Emissions Rule by Two Months

Facing opposition from congressional Republicans and industry over a broad range of new air-quality regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency said that it was delaying by two months the release of a proposed rule on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources. The rule would have a major impact on the nation’s efforts to reduce emissions of gases blamed for climate change, and its postponement is the latest step by the EPA to slow the issuing of regulations that critics say will slow economic growth, drive up energy costs and reduce employment.

(Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2011-06-14)

  1. Senate Votes to Repeal $5 Billion in Ethanol Tax Credits

The Senate voted to repeal tax credits for producing ethanol, a vote that budget cutters hope will demonstrate a growing appetite in Congress to end special interest tax breaks to help reduce government borrowing. The Senate voted 73-27 to repeal the $5 billion annual subsidy, just two days after rejecting an identical measure.

(Source: USA Today, 2011-06-16)

  1. NRC Officials Say U.S. Nuclear Safety Rules Inadequate

Nuclear safety rules in the United States do not adequately weigh the risk that a single event would knock out electricity from both the grid and from emergency generators, as an earthquake and tsunami recently did at a nuclear plant in Japan, officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. Commission officials said they had learned that some of the safety equipment installed at American nuclear plants over the years, including hardware added after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is not maintained or inspected as diligently as the original components are.

(Source: The New York Times, 2011-06-15)

  1. Judge Dismisses Claims Against BP, Others in Gulf Oil Spill Case

A federal judge dismissed a batch of court claims that accused BP and other companies sued over the massive Gulf oil spill of violating the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said some of the claims brought by environmental groups are moot because BP’s blown-out well was killed last summer and isn’t spewing any more oil.

(Source: Miami Herald, 2011-06-16)

  1. EPA Moves to Reduce Haze Among Coal Power Plants

Aging coal-fired power plants across the West could be forced to install costly pollution-control equipment under an agreement between federal regulators and environmentalists aimed at jump-starting a delayed clean-air initiative. The cuts would improve visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas by clearing the air of pollutants that cause haze.

(Source: The Washington Post, 2011-06-19)