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Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

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Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

REPUBLICANS TAKE AIM AT WIDELY REFERENCED CLIMATE CHANGE STUDY

Senate Republicans are calling into question the validity of a scientific study that forms the basis of many climate change policies, including the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Republican Policy Committee (RPC) is now highlighting arguments raised by economists who say the so-called hockey stick study, authored by Michael Mann and first published in 1998, includes faulty assumptions, unreliable methodology and cannot be trusted, these critics charge. The RPC released a report last month highlighting alleged...

CALIFORNIA'S CO2 RULE FACES MAJOR HURDLES BEFORE TAKING EFFECT

Implementation of California's landmark greenhouse gas regulations for passenger and light-duty vehicles faces several substantial administrative hurdles, in addition to a likely lawsuit by the auto industry. Not only must the California Air Resources Board (CARB) convince EPA that a Clean Air Act waiver is warranted to allow the rules to take effect, but it faces potential noncompliance by the industry based on arguments that there is inadequate lead-time to meet the new technology requirements, according to government and industry...

NORTHEAST GRAPPLING WITH KEY ISSUES FOR NATIONAL CLIMATE MODEL

Northeast regulators seeking to develop a landmark regional climate change program are confronting several issues that could make it difficult for the program to achieve its goal of becoming a national model for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, according to observers and participants in the effort. These sources say the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is working to addresses concerns that future regional restrictions on energy production will increase power imports and boost emissions in other areas. The issue, known as...

POWELL URGED TO OK INDEPENDENT RELEASE OF ARCTIC WARMING REPORT

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing Secretary of State Colin Powell to allow the stand-alone release of a key international report recommending policies to mitigate the effects of climate change on the Arctic. The group, including Senate science committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), is asking Powell to ensure that the report is presented to foreign ministers of the seven-nation Arctic Council later this year in stand-alone form after State Department officials sought...

INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE COULD HALT NEW CLIMATE GUIDELINES FOR SHIPS

An emerging global dispute is threatening to derail the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) development of first-time guidelines for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from ships, leaving EPA and other U.S. officials concerned that the disagreement could not only threaten the pending guidelines, but also undermine a host of future IMO standards on the environment and other issues. At an upcoming meeting of the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee, developing countries including India and China are expected to argue that they should...

THINK TANK EYES FORMING PANEL WITH EPA TO HELP COMPLETE MERCURY RULE

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) may form a policy panel to provide advice on the feasibility of EPA's proposed mercury rule as the agency seeks to finalize the controversial plan, which would require utilities to reduce toxic mercury emissions for the first time. However, it is unclear what relationship the group would have with EPA, which has already disbanded one mercury advisory group and rejected suggestions to convene another. Any plan to hold such a forum has not been finalized,...

PENNSYLVANIA DEP, INDUSTRY JOIN FORCES TO OPPOSE EPA MERCURY PLAN

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Kathleen McGinty has persuaded the coal industry and its union to put aside differences with the state over EPA's proposed mercury plan, and join forces to seek to persuade the agency to back away from a proposal that they believe would disproportionately harm Eastern coal. McGinty, a Democrat who advised former Vice President Al Gore, along with the Pennsylvania Coal Association and the United Mine Workers of America, sent a letter to EPA...

STATES' STUDY ON MERCURY CONTROL BENEFITS MAY TIGHTEN EPA UTILITY RULE

A draft analysis conducted for Northeast states on the benefits of mercury controls for power plants could pressure the Bush administration to tighten its controversial proposed mercury rules because it increases the estimated health benefits of regulating mercury emissions over previous government and industry assessments, sources say. Increasing the estimated health benefits of reducing mercury makes it easier to justify the higher costs of imposing stricter controls. "If these new values are considered credible they would significantly boost the benefits...

WISCONSIN ACTIVISTS SEEK TOUGHEST-EVER BACT LIMITS FOR NEW COAL PLANT

Environmentalists in Wisconsin are pressing the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to require a proposed 500-megawatt, coal-fired power plant to meet clean air standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) far lower than have ever been permitted before. A draft air permit issued in July for Wisconsin Public Service Corp.'s proposed Weston 4 plant would require stringent best available control technology (BACT) limits for NOx and SO2, but the Sierra Club is pressing hard for those limits...

INDUSTRY BLASTS STATE DIESEL EFFORTS, SAYS FEDERAL RULE DELAY POSSIBLE

Engine manufacturers are holding open the possibility that EPA could ease or delay a pending highway diesel engine rule, while criticizing an effort in several Eastern states to adopt California's identical standard as a backstop in case the high-profile federal rule does not go into effect as planned in 2007. Industry groups stress they do not expect EPA to delay implementation of the rule, and say they are on track to meet engine requirements to reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate...

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