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POWER COMPANY CLIMATE REPORTS MAY BOOST LEGISLATIVE MOMENTUM

Investor groups say reports issued to shareholders this year by two electric power companies may increase momentum for greenhouse gas (GHG) legislation similar to the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. While not endorsing any new law, the reports acknowledge that future climate mandates for the power sector are all but certain.

"For them to recognize that greenhouse gas regulation is inevitable, that's a big step," one source with an investor group says.

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INVESTORS EXTEND CLIMATE CHANGE PUSH TO REAL ESTATE, MANUFACTURERS

Sustainable investment groups are planning to ask real estate companies how they are taking action to reduce energy use that contributes to global warming, as part of a push to extend a shareholder climate change campaign to a broader range of industries.

The shareholder groups also expect to file new resolutions at manufacturing companies, while continuing efforts from past years to target automakers and power plants.

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NEW MOBILE SOURCE MODEL MAY BOOST CALLS FOR STRICTER REGULATIONS

EPA's ongoing development of a new generation mobile source model that will, for the first time, include uncertainty as a factor among other unprecedented features, could convince Congress that additional regulation of mobile sources is necessary, according to an EPA official.

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EEI OFFICIAL PREDICTS EPA WILL LOWER COST THRESHOLD IN NSR REFORM

SAVANNAH, GA -- An Edison Electric Institute (EEI) official expects EPA to tighten the controversial 20 percent cost threshold the agency finalized in its contentious new source review (NSR) equipment replacement rule, which determines whether utilities are exempt from emission control requirements when modifying their plants.

Quin Shae, EEI's environment group director, told a National Conference of State Legislature's (NCSL) meeting here that he expects EPA to lower the 20 percent exemption when the agency replies to a petition for reconsideration of the rule early next year.

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GROUPS EYE NEW LAWSUIT OVER HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS RULE

Environmentalists are considering fresh legal action against EPA because they say the agency's proposed rule for the last remaining category of waste incinerators falls far short of what a court-ordered agreement requires.

Earthjustice and Sierra Club say they may go back to court under the existing consent decree to try and force a more stringent proposal or file a new lawsuit, should EPA finalize what they consider a weak maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for the last remaining category of hazardous waste incinerators.

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EPA, PULP INDUSTRY DOUBT BENEFIT FROM MEETING ACTIVIST DEMANDS

EPA and the pulp and paper industry are raising doubts about a new campaign launched by environmentalists to encourage facilities to clean up their production methods so they can be declassified as major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

One agency source says the declassification incentive is false because of an agency air toxics policy known as "once in, always in," meaning that factories already subject to regulation could not be released.

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EPA DEFENDS TOXICS PROGRAMS DESPITE NEW DATA ON HIGH CANCER RISK

EPA is defending the effectiveness of its air toxics programs despite new, unpublished data showing the average person has a 48 in a million risk of developing cancer because of exposure to hazardous air pollutants far exceeding the agency's one in a million risk goal. The data also finds that in some areas of the country, the risk could be higher than 100 in a million. EPA generally considers cancer risk levels exceeding one in a million from a particular source "actionable."

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NEW STUDY PROVIDES ROADMAP ON CREDITING EFFICIENCY IN TRADING PLANS

An energy efficiency group is developing a roadmap on ways to credit energy-saving measures toward pollution reduction goals in emissions trading programs, which could play a role in increasingly high-profile state and federal discussions on addressing rising natural gas prices, along with air pollution and climate change, according to industry and environmental groups.

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CRITICS FEAR CLEAR SKIES SPONSORS MAY SEEK ALTERNATIVE VEHICLE

Senate supporters of the Bush administration's Clear Skies proposal are unlikely to find the votes to pass it in the Environment & Public Works Committee, and may instead try to attach the legislation to an unrelated measure on the floor, environmentalists and congressional sources say.

But a spokesperson for committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) says the senator intends to pass Clear Skies as freestanding legislation. The source says Inhofe plans to hold hearings on the bill next month and a committee markup in February.

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Clear Skies Critics Expect Sponsors Will Seek Alternative Legislative Vehicle

Senate supporters of the Bush administration's Clear Skies proposal are unlikely to find the votes to pass it in the Environment and Public Works Committee, and may instead try to attach the legislation to an unrelated measure on the floor, say environmentalists and congressional sources opposed to the plan.

But a spokesperson for committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) says the senator intends to pass Clear Skies as freestanding legislation. The source says Inhofe plans to hold hearings on the bill next month and a committee markup in February.

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