Energy Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead


Week in Review

EPA shrinking

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s workforce is on course to fall to its lowest level since the Reagan administration. Buyouts and retirements are expected to shrink the number of employees from about 15,000 to 14,428 by next month, according to an EPA official.

Hurricane Irma

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) called fuel availability a top priority as South Floridians stocked up in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, prompting fuel shortages at more than 1,800 gas stations.
  • Florida’s attorney general said she received complaints of inflated prices at Chevron Corp.-branded gas stations in the days leading up to Irma’s landfall. Later in the week she said Chevron has been “great” after receiving complaints about a franchise owner.

NAFTA negotiations

Electric cars

  • Nissan Motor Co. executives introduced a new version of the Nissan Leaf with a range of 150 miles that will be sold for about $31,000 — well below its long-range electric rivals, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3.

This brief has been updated to include developments regarding complaints of price gouging at Florida gas stations.

What’s Ahead

  • The House is expected to vote this week on EPA and Interior Department spending packages.
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency has worked to apply the lessons learned during Hurricane Harvey to secure almost 80 Superfund sites in the path of Hurricane Irma. Federal, state and local officials said they will continue monitoring and maintaining the sites based on their vulnerabilities to flooding and strong winds.
  • The EPA said in a court filing that federal officials expect to finalize their review of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan this fall.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Monday
EESI, NLC briefing on cities and extreme weather 3 p.m.
Tuesday
CSIS, George W. Bush Presidential Center event on NAFTA’s future 9 a.m.
Atlantic Council event on geopolitics of natural gas 9 a.m.
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions webinar on companies pricing carbon 10 a.m.
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on energy reliability 10 a.m.
House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on recreation on federal lands, SHARE Act 10 a.m.
House Science Committee hearing on energy resiliency 10 a.m.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee oversight hearing on the Department of Energy’s National Labs 2:30 p.m.
House Natural Resources Committee markup 4 p.m.
Wednesday
House Natural Resources Committee markup 10 a.m.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on carbon capture, utilization, sequestration 10 a.m.
CSIS event on the future of Japan’s nuclear energy program 1 p.m.
Thursday
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions event on innovations in carbon capture and use 8:30 a.m.
EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 presentation 10 a.m.
Friday
The Midwest Energy Storage Summit 7:30 a.m.
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Briefings

Energy Brief: White House Denies Reports That U.S. Is Rethinking Paris Withdrawal

Three months after President Donald Trump said the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord without more favorable terms, the Trump administration is said to be considering remaining in the agreement. National security adviser H.R. McMaster denied that Trump is reconsidering his decision to pull out of the international accord, while noting that the door remains open for a better deal down the road.

Energy Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn will convene a meeting of energy and climate ministers from about a dozen countries on Monday, ahead of the U.N. General Assembly meeting this week, for an informal discussion on how they can “move forward productively” on international climate change negotiations.

Energy Brief: Valero ‘Significantly Underestimated’ Harvey-Related Benzene Leak at Houston Plant

Valero Energy Partners informed the EPA that the company thinks it “significantly underestimated” the amount of chemicals and benzene that leaked after a light crude storage tank’s roof was damaged at its Houston refinery as a result of Hurricane Harvey, according to a state official. Valero initially reported to the state that the spill released seven pounds of benzene, a carcinogenic chemical, into the air.

Energy Brief: Top White House Official to Discuss Climate Change With Ministers From About a Dozen Countries

The White House said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn will convene a meeting of energy and climate ministers from about a dozen countries next week ahead of the U.N. General Assembly meeting. The event will involve officials from the world’s largest economies for an informal discussion on how they can “move forward productively” on international climate change negotiations.

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