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
- 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.