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  1. Climate guidance is not necessarily requirement, CEQ chief testifies

    Final climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions guidance that the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued to federal agencies is not necessarily a requirement, CEQ Managing Director Christy Goldfuss told the US House Natural Resources Committee . But several Republican members warned that it is in danger of being interpreted as such. “The guidance fits in [the National Environmental Policy Act’s] regulatory framework, which requires agencies to look at the consequences of their actions,” Goldfuss said during the committee’s Sept. 21 hearing on the final guidance which CEQ issued last month ( OGJ Online, Aug. 3, 2016 ). “It says that when it comes to climate change, it recommends using the tools that are available. If those tools are not, the agencies are advised to note this.” CEQ has taken pains to explain that the guidance is not a requirement because it has no enforcement authority, she told the committee. “We urge agencies to look at the reasonably foreseeable impacts of the decisions they are making. That is what NEPA requires,” Goldfuss said. But committee chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said that Wildearth Guardians could cite the guidance when its Aug. 25 lawsuit to keep the US Department of the Interior and the US Bureau of Land Management from issuing oil and gas leases on onshore federal land comes to trial in US District Court for the District of Columbia. “If a court uses your voluntary guidance as something an agency should do, doesn’t it become a de facto responsibility? This is a dangerous and difficult area,” Bishop said. Goldfuss emphasized that the climate impact guidance has limitations. It specifically does not require that carbon emissions’ social costs be addressed, that specific economic impacts be considered, that determinations include life cycle analysis, or that agencies conduct additional analyses, she said. “Today, taking into account climate change in environmental impact assessment processes has become a standard practice that has been adopted by federal agencies, state agencies, international bodies, and public and private organizations around the world,” she said. “The final CEQ guidance is built on this record of experience to help ensure that NEPA analysis provides the public and federal agencies with a clear picture of how many types of federal actions can [affect] climate change issues and identify opportunities to build climate resilience,” Goldfuss said. Improving climate impact resilience is essential, she said. The White House Office of Management and Budget, in its fiscal 2017 budget request, noted that the nation has spent $257 billion already on climate change’s direct costs, Goldfuss said. “It makes sense to consider these pieces of information when designing a bridge, highway, or other infrastructure project. We recommend, where it’s appropriate, for agencies to consider how these projects will be affected by a changed environment,” she said. “As someone who worked in an agency, I can tell you that nothing delays things more than uncertainty,” Goldfuss said. “This guidance allows agencies to move beyond the debate and do analysis. It encourages them to use the tools that are available, and when the tools aren’t available, to move on.” Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com .

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    Wed, 21 Sep 2016

  2. Dakota Access construction temporarily blocked by DOJ, DOI

    The US Departments of Justice, Interior, and the Army jointly blocked construction of a portion of the proposed Dakota Access crude oil pipeline after a federal district judge rejected an Indian tribe’s request for a preliminary injunction.

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    Mon, 12 Sep 2016

  3. California governor pushes plan for Western power grid

    Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that he remains committed to expanding California's power grid to include other Western states 

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    Thu, 8 Sep 2016

  4. CEQ releases final climate-change guidance for agencies’ NEPA reviews

    The US White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance to federal agencies on how to consider climate-change impacts of their decisions during National Environmental Policy Act reviews. The US Chamber of Commerce and Center for LNG (CLNG) separately responded with ...

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    Wed, 3 Aug 2016

  1. Ocean Bureau Fields Lease Request for 765-MW Wind Project off of California

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    Wed, 17 Aug 2016

  2. HDR appoints six to hydropower team in U.S. Pacific Northwest

    HDR announces six appointments to its hydropower team in the Pacific Northwest: Emily Andersen, Le Bao, Jenna Borovansky, Sally Morsel, Cory Warnock, and Ed Zapel.

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    Thu, 18 Aug 2016

  3. Ocean bureau fields lease request for 765 MW wind project off of California

    BOEM received an unsolicited request from Trident Winds for a utility-scale floating wind energy facility offshore Morro Bay, California

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    Wed, 17 Aug 2016

  4. Cape Wind Project Suffers July 5 Loss at Federal Appeals Court

    A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on July 5 threw out two government approvals for the Cape Wind Energy Project, which is a proposal to generate electricity from windmills off the coast of Massachusetts.

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    Wed, 6 Jul 2016

  5. Federal agency issuing environmental review of Hawaii wind power project

    The project would supply electricity to Hawaii Electric Co.

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    Mon, 11 Jul 2016

  6. Federal Agency Issuing Final Enviro Review of 25-MW Wind Project in Hawaii

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will in the July 12 Federal Register announce the availability of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) and final habitat conservation plan (HCP) for Na Pua Makani Power Partners LLC’s 25-MW Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project.

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    Mon, 11 Jul 2016

  7. DoI issues final Arctic OCS drilling rule

    Three US Department of the Interior bureaus jointly released the final regulations governing drilling activities on the US Arctic outer continental shelf.

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    Thu, 7 Jul 2016

  8. US Senate picks members for conference on broad energy policy reforms

    The US Senate named seven of its members on July 12 to confer with a group from the House of Representatives on broad energy policy reform legislation. “This vote is a critical milestone that will allow Congress to begin the first conference on major energy legislation in more than a decade,” said ...

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    Wed, 13 Jul 2016

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