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DOE, UTILITY CLIMATE PACT OMITS ENDORSEMENT OF REGULATORY CREDITS

The Department of Energy and the electricity utility sector have signed an agreement on voluntary greenhouse gas cuts that omits language from an earlier proposal which would have committed the department to awarding emission-reduction credits for any future regulations as part of a climate change registry being revamped by the agency.

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REPORT FINDS POWER COMPANIES UNPREPARED FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION

As pressure builds for the Bush administration to return to its 2000 campaign promise supporting mandatory action to combat climate change, a new report by environmentalists finds that both U.S. power companies and their European counterparts are ill-prepared to reduce greenhouse gases. However, the report finds that European companies fare better than those in this country.

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MINERS BACK CALL FOR GREENHOUSE GAS LIMITS IN BIPARTISAN ENERGY REPORT

The United Mine Workers of America is endorsing recommendations by a bipartisan energy policy commission that call for mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions in conjunction with a new federal program to promote specific clean-coal technology.

Sources say the endorsement may indicate growing momentum for global warming regulations, but backs policy initiatives less stringent than a climate change bill by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT).

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POSSIBLE IDAHO PACT COULD HELP ACTIVISTS PUSH FOR CAFO CONTROLS

Environmentalists may agree to a court settlement in the coming weeks that could strengthen their campaign for strictly enforced air permitting requirements at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The settlement could mandate emissions controls at a large Idaho dairy, and comes after a district court ruled for the first time that feedlots must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

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CRITICS SAY AUTOMAKER SUIT OVER CALIFORNIA CLIMATE RULE PREMATURE

California state officials and environmentalist attorneys say the lawsuit filed last week by the auto industry to overturn the state's greenhouse gas auto regulation is aimed at slowing momentum behind the adoption of similar rules elsewhere, and is an effort to "make people nervous" in California and other states. They add that the suit is almost certain to be dismissed because it was filed while the rule is not yet final.

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DOJ SEEKS REVERSAL OF OPEN RECORD RULES FOR SOME ADVISORY PANELS

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse an earlier ruling that applied the open record requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to executive branch task forces that informally included non-governmental members. Oral arguments are scheduled for Jan. 27 in the case, which is on remand from the Supreme Court.

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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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