In the news today and from the weekend…
- E&E News PM reports a draft DOE grid study concludes that vulnerabilities to the grid system are more important in causing power outages than fuel security or power plant operation.
- Argus reports the Wyoming Senate passed a bill on February 6 aimed at getting generators to sell coal-fired power plants rather than retire them.
- The Hill carries an op-ed from Bernard L. Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute and an adjunct professor of business economics in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In the piece, Weinstein writes that the combination of too few power plants being built and too many serviceable power plants being shuttered prematurely threatens the viability of America’s power supply.
- Politico Pro reports EPA is working “as expeditiously as practicable” to finalize its replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan, but its timeline may slip because of the government shutdown, the agency said in a court filing Friday.
- Inside EPA reports Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler plans for the agency to publish its proposal to narrow the scope of Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction in the Federal Register the week of Feb. 11, a long-awaited move that will formally start the 60-day clock for public comments at least two months after the rule was first unveiled.
- E&E Greenwire reports EPA expects to take action this spring on a high-stakes Clean Water Act debate pending before the Supreme Court. EPA is weighing whether to clarify and potentially narrow its interpretation of the types of pollution discharges that require federal permits.
- E&E Greenwire reports the Trump administration last week took a major step toward releasing long-anticipated guidance on how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
- The Hill reports 58 House Democrats and Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) sponsored a nonbinding resolution reaffirming support for the Paris climate change agreement and calling for no withdrawal from the pact. The U.S. cannot legally withdraw from the accord until November 2020, and the resolution would not require the country to return to the agreement.
- E&E Daily reports the House will return to work on climate change this week with four hearings that will help gauge where Democrats want to go with the issue in the 116th Congress.
- The Wall Street Journal reports David Bernhardt, acting secretary of the DOI who has been nominated to lead the agency, said his job “is one of balance” between environmental and production interests, and that while the agency will maintain its emphasis on energy, it will also support conservation.
- E&E Daily reports as momentum continues to build for a broad infrastructure package, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing this week on the nation’s infrastructure needs and potential funding opportunities.