In the news today…
- Associated Press carries a piece on President Trump’s plan to roll back Obama-era pollution controls on coal-fired power plants.
- S&P Global reports a slate of potential policy changes that would advance U.S. coal exports is being completed for U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry by a council primarily consisting of representatives of the coal industry. Perry directed the National Coal Council, to prepare the report in January and to propose what could be done to increase export opportunities for U.S. coal.
- UtilityDive reports Georgia Power is “completely excavating” and closing two coal ash ponds at its Branch and Bowen coal plants, the utility announced Thursday, part of its larger plan to close 29 such facilities across the state.
- Penn Live reports coal could be coming out of the ground as early as next month at what is described as the largest current development in the Pennsylvania’s anthracite region. Blaschak Coal Co., based in Mahanoy City, is in the process of reopening an old surface mine north of Route 61 between Mount Carmel and Centralia in Columbia County.
- POLITICO Pro reports a coalition of environmental groups and Democratic attorneys general today urged a federal court to issue its ruling in a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, even as EPA takes comment on a replacement carbon rule for power plants.
- E&E Climatewire reports on rapid succession, the Trump administration last month took aim at a trio of President Obama’s biggest air pollution and climate change rules. Earlier in August, EPA moved to dismantle both the Obama-era clean car rules and the CPP.
- Bloomberg reports the EPA made last-minute deletions of over 500 words highlighting the consequences of climate change from the regulatory impact analysis for its ACE rule proposal, which would replace the CPP, according to internal government documents recently released online. Agency spokeswoman Molly Block acknowledged the revisions but did not explain the rationale.
- InsideEPA reports federal appellate judges are questioning whether environmentalists have standing to challenge a district judge’s order that blocked enforcement of EPA’s 2015 Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule in 13 states, giving opponents of the order just two weeks to address their doubts or face the risk of having the appeal dismissed.
- E&E Climatewire reports William Happer, a physics professor and vocal critic of mainstream climate science, has joined the White House as a top adviser. Happer, 79, told E&E News in email that he began serving yesterday on the National Security Council as the senior director for emerging technologies.
- E&E Energywire reports Tesla Inc.’s lead in battery technology gives it a cost advantage that may last for several years and help the U.S. electric-car maker face down an onslaught of new competition, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Batteries made by the U.S. manufacturer and its Japanese partner, Panasonic Corp., require less cobalt, the metal whose price has shot up with demand for electric cars.
- Argus reports the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC) will soon be without enough members to act, leaving it unable to weigh in on disputes surrounding federal mine health and safety laws. The body will be down to two commissioners tomorrow after the six-year terms of acting chairman William Althen and commissioner Robert Cohen Jr expire.