In the news today…
- The New York Times reports the Trump administration on Monday declined to tighten controls on industrial soot emissions, disregarding an emerging scientific link between dirty air and Covid-19 death rates.
- E&E Greenwire reports with six weeks left in President Trump’s term, EPA has cemented plans to bypass tighter soot standards, despite agency career staff conclusions and concerns about tens of thousands of additional deaths every year.
- Politico Pro reports EPA on Monday released the text of its final rule (Reg. 2060-AS50) to retain, without revision, the current national standards for particulate matter.
- Politico Pro reports EPA is significantly underestimating the public health costs of air pollution, which in turn leads to undercounting the benefits of regulations that reduce such pollution, according to a study conducted by the Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm.
- E&E News PM reports EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler yesterday afternoon formally announced his decision to leave national soot standards unchanged in a virtual event with West Virginia officials that made no mention of agency staff conclusions that the existing limits don’t do enough to protect public health.
- E&E Daily reports House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will host the latest forum tomorrow in a series promoting his environmental justice legislation.
- Politico Pro reports two dozen conservative groups, led by Americans for Tax Reform, are lining up in opposition of any extension for the wind energy production tax credit that is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
- Utility Dive reports a district court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s challenge to a settlement agreement between DTE Energy and Sierra Club that led to the utility committing to retire three coal-fired plants.
- Casper Star Tribune reports Wyoming is spending to promote coal even while the government is trying to cut spending overall.
- Argus reports Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Arch Resources’ credit rating, citing challenging conditions for the coal industry going into 2021.
- Argus reports US coal imports are on track to reach a 28-year low this year as the economic collapse associated with the Covid-19 pandemic puts a damper on electricity demand and industrial production.
- E&E News PM reports a lithium mine proposal in Nevada inched closer to gaining approval after the Bureau of Land Management published an environmental review Friday.
- Mining.com reports plans by US President-elect Joe Biden to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure are expected to underpin metals prices in the coming months as the world’s biggest economy moves towards greener policies that are metal-intensive.