Energy Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review

Pushback on EPA delays

  • Environmental Protection Agency efforts to delay environmental protections continue to be challenged in court by states and environmental and public health advocates.
  • The EPA said it won’t need the previously announced one-year delay for the agency to weigh in on compliance with smog pollution. The decision came a day before the department had to respond to a lawsuit from green advocacy groups regarding the delay.
  • A court ruling from the beginning of July that blocked a 90-day stay of the Obama-era methane pollution rule was enforced earlier this week after the Department of Justice did not challenge the ruling.

Nuclear power future uncertain

  • South Carolina utilities canceled two of the only three nuclear reactors currently under construction in the U.S. due to cost overruns and the bankruptcy of Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Co., which had a large stake in the two projects.
  • Southern Company said the price tag to complete their Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia nearly doubled to $25 billion from the $14 billion forecast.

Changes in Trump’s cabinet

FERC quorum

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regained quorum for the first time since February after the Senate approved the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson.
  • Two seats remain open on the commission but energy industry groups hope to see FERC mobilize quickly to approve pipeline projects that were left in the queue.

What’s Ahead

  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced decisions on his national monuments review soon after visiting them and meeting with local stakeholders. After exempting four monuments from any changes, decisions on New Mexico’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and Nevada’s Gold Butte and Basin and Range monuments are expected soon.
  • FERC will proceed with its quorum to issue decisions on pipeline projects. It will host a 3-day seminar on developing and restoring pipeline infrastructure and how natural gas facilities can best comply with environmental review standards.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Interior Department webinar on ecological drought solutions 1 p.m.
FERC seminar on environmental reviews in pipeline construction projects 8 a.m.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace panel discussion on oil corruption and controversies 12 p.m.
FERC seminar on environmental reviews in pipeline construction projects 8 a.m.
2017 Offshore Wind Executive Summit in Houston 8:30 a.m.
Webinar on energy resources booms hosted by Resources for the Future 1 p.m.
FERC seminar on environmental reviews in pipeline construction projects 8 a.m.
2017 Offshore Wind Executive Summit in Houston 8:30 a.m.
Boston Climate Action Network meeting 6 p.m.
International Food Policy Research Institute event on agricultural research and development 12 p.m.

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Energy Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

A special science section of the National Climate Assessment and a separate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the severe effects of climate change on the United States, potentially making it more difficult for President Donald Trump to roll back his predecessor’s environmental regulations.

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