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Congress

Congressional Study Details EPA Options For Implementing CO2 Ruling

A recent study from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), lawmakers' public policy research arm, says EPA has broad discretion to implement the Supreme Court's landmark ruling authorizing the agency to address carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act. But the study questions whether courts would uphold all of EPA's approaches. The report underscores the uncertainty EPA faces as it moves to implement the high court's April 2 ruling in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al. v.

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Court Weighs 'Full Frontal' Industry Assault Over SO2 Portions Of CAIR

A federal appeals court is considering a landmark industry challenge to EPA's clean air interstate rule (CAIR), which threatens to bring down the agency's most significant regulation to reduce air pollution in the past 12 years, according to sources on both sides of the issue.

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Key Senators Seek To Stave Off Controversial OMB Risk Bulletin

Two key Senate committee chairs are urging the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to withdraw a controversial risk assessment guidance in response to indications the office intends to go forward with the guidance despite criticism from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), EPA and others.

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Democrats' Split On Energy Issues May Stall Action On Climate Change

Growing Democratic divisions on major energy issues could stall action this Congress on legislation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with one supporter of a GHG cap-and-trade program worrying that Senate leaders are starting to talk up incremental accomplishments as a possible political substitute for comprehensive climate legislation.

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Meyers Promotion May Hint At Nomination As EPA's New Air Office Chief

EPA's decision to promote Robert Meyers, the agency's deputy air chief, to the position of acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air & Radiation could signal that the White House is preparing to nominate Meyers to the slot following the resignation of controversial acting air chief William Wehrum, sources say.

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Bill May Expand EPA's Water Act Power Beyond Commerce Clause Limits

Supporters of a recently introduced House bill expanding the scope of EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) powers appear to be seeking to protect the law from possible constitutional challenges alleging that it exceeds the scope of Congress' powers under the Constitution's Commerce Clause.

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Key Children's Health Study Moves Closer To Winning FY08 Funding Hike

A major federal study on children's health, which could provide significant data for EPA risk assessors, appears likely to win a major funding boost in the upcoming fiscal year 2008 budget, after a broad group of House lawmakers backed calls by Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) to increase funds for the study.

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House Spending Bill Seeks To Speed EPA Study On Endocrine Chemicals

Draft report language intended for the fiscal year 2008 House interior and environment appropriations bill includes several provisions aimed at speeding the pace of EPA's endocrine disruptor screening program originally mandated in federal laws passed in 1996, according to a source with Rep. James Moran (D-VA), a member of the House Appropriations environment subcommittee who has criticized EPA's efforts on the issue in the past.

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Lawmakers Seek To Broaden EPA's Role In Future GHG Regulations

Key members of Congress are introducing legislation giving EPA greater authority over tracking and managing the federal government's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which could signal a clash over whether the agency or the Department of Energy (DOE) tracks emissions in any future climate change control regime.

Supporters of the bills say the legislation is intended to give EPA a significant new role in any future GHG program and also signals concerns that DOE's voluntary reporting mechanism --- known as the 1605(b) registry --- does not adequately track emissions.

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Under Pressure, EPA Extends Moratorium On Library Closures Indefinitely

EPA is assuring concerned House lawmakers that it will continue its moratorium on closing any of its technical libraries, Capitol Hill sources say, apparently in response to pressure from prominent House lawmakers who raised concerns that the closures would impair EPA's ability to conduct research and enforce environmental laws.

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