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Climate Policy Watch

REFINERIES COULD FACE GHG RULES UNDER CALIFORNIA CLIMATE CAP

California is considering a first-of-its-kind effort to include refineries and other non-utility emitters under an upcoming emissions cap on greenhouse gases (GHG), which would go beyond current state GHG control efforts that target power plants.

Observers say the proposed cap, if fully implemented, would go beyond an approach recently agreed to by northeastern state officials that restricts GHG emission curbs to utilities.

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EPA FINDS NEW UTILITY EQUIPMENT LEAKING POTENT GREENHOUSE GAS

A recent EPA study shows new high-voltage electrical equipment installed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is leaking an extremely powerful GHG at higher-than-anticipated rates, suggesting the agency will have to take new action under a voluntary partnership with utilities and equipment makers to curb the unexpected emissions.

The findings present a new challenge for an EPA partnership with the utility industry geared toward reducing emissions of the gas, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), through strategies that include upgrading older leaking equipment.

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EPA SCIENCE CHIEF PUSHES PLAN FOR RISK RANGES AMID MIXED RESPONSES

EPA science chief George Gray is vowing to quickly implement his plan to overhaul agency chemical toxicity estimates by creating ranges of acceptable values to reflect what is not known about regulated compounds, even as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and EPA sources are suggesting a phased approach.

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SEC BACKS SHAREHOLDER CHALLENGE TO GE GREENHOUSE GAS CONTROLS

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed with a free-market advocacy group that General Electric (GE) must allow shareholders to vote on whether the company must defend the commercial benefit of its climate change policies, which are part of its highly publicized "Ecomagination" campaign.

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INDUSTRY REPORTS SHOW MAJOR WASTE LIABILITIES IN ASSET RETIREMENTS

Publicly held companies are beginning to report for the first time to the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) tens of millions of dollars in estimated liabilities that they face for retiring assets that contain hazardous materials, such as asbestos or other toxic compounds, to comply with a new accounting rule that took effect late last year.

Corporations are required to comply with the new accounting rule because it is considered a Generally Accepted Accounting Procedure under the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reporting law.

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EPA Finds New Utility Equipment Leaking Potent Greenhouse Gas

A recent EPA study shows new high-voltage electrical equipment installed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is leaking an extremely powerful GHG at higher-than-anticipated rates, suggesting the agency will have to take new action under a voluntary partnership with utilities and equipment makers to curb the unexpected emissions.

The findings present a new challenge for an EPA partnership with the utility industry geared toward reducing emissions of the gas, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), through strategies that include upgrading older leaking equipment.

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Senate Energy Panel's Climate Plan Rekindles Committees' Jurisdiction Battle

A Senate energy committee effort to push forward with discussions on a possible mandatory climate change program is renewing a jurisdictional face-off with the environment committee over the proper venue for developing the initiative, a dispute that underscores continuing resistance to climate legislation.

Energy committee aides, however, are indicating their intention to press on with the debate on the issue prior to resolving the procedural concerns.

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Cal/EPA Chief Brushes Off Industry Criticisms Of Climate Change Report

California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Secretary Alan Lloyd is acknowledging industry criticisms that the agency's recent report on the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions may be incomplete, but nevertheless says the report is adequate to advance recommendations for action to the legislature and governor.

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SEC Backs Shareholder Challenge To GE Greenhouse Controls

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed with a free-market advocacy group that General Electric Company (GE) must allow shareholders to vote on whether the company must defend the commercial benefit of its climate change policies which are part of its highly publicized "Ecomagination" campaign.

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INDUSTRY RIPS LACK OF PEER REVIEW, TRANSPARENCY OF CLIMATE COST STUDY

Major industry groups this week charged Cal/EPA has failed to provide proper transparency and peer review of its economic impact analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-reduction recommendations, warning that decision-makers cannot rely on shaky conclusions to back specific rules. Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd acknowledged that the analysis is incomplete, but said it is nonetheless adequate to advance recommendations for action to the Legislature and governor.

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