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EPA Proposes To Drop Direct Methane Rules For Oil & Gas Sector

The Trump EPA is proposing to drop direct methane regulations for new sources in the oil and gas sector, reverting to a prior approach that relies on controlling smog-forming emissions and would also captures methane as a co-benefit.

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EPA Expected To Make Aggressive Push To Drop Oil & Gas Methane Rules

Despite public critiques from the world’s largest oil and gas producers, many observers expect EPA to make an aggressive push to finalize its looming proposal to upend or eliminate the Obama administration’s direct methane rules for drilling equipment -- driven in part by a goal of precluding efforts by a future Congress to block it.

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5th Circuit Backs Broad EPA Power To Revise, Significantly Delay ELGs

A federal appeals court has upheld EPA’s authority to delay until 2020 or beyond the compliance deadlines for two provisions in a 2015 Clean Water Act (CWA) effluent regulation, holding that the agency has broad authority to revise existing water policies and opening the door to setting decades-long deadlines for other sectors’ effluent rules.

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EPA Urges D.C. Circuit To Expedite Lawsuits Over ACE Utility GHG Rule

EPA is urging appellate judges to expedite their consideration of a host of suits challenging its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) utility greenhouse gas rule that replaces the broader Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), with the agency hoping to resolve its initial legal defense of the rule before President Donald Trump’s first term ends.

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Trump Concessions Exacerbate Uncertainty Over EPA’s Biofuels Policy

Biofuel and oil industry officials are scrambling to resolve uncertainty over EPA’s biofuels policy stemming from possible new concessions by President Donald Trump, including a hike in future renewable fuel standard (RFS) blending requirements, to help blunt political attacks on RFS waivers that he authorized.

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PEER Petitions EPA To Phase Out Refiners’ Use Of Hydrogen Fluoride

A government watchdog group is petitioning EPA to phase out the use of hydrogen fluoride (HF) at oil refining facilities under its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and Clean Air Act (CAA) authorities, the latest in a series of actions to curb the use of the highly corrosive substance following several “near miss” incidents.

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Wyoming Lawmakers Suggest Appeal Of Landmark NEPA GHG Ruling

Wyoming’s congressional delegation is suggesting the Trump administration may need to appeal a landmark district court ruling that temporarily blocked oil and gas leasing in the state until officials completed a robust National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the proposed projects’ greenhouse gas impacts.

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USDA chief floats RFS options in wake of refiner waivers

Some of the options, like rescinding waivers, face “significant legal risk,” says Clearview Energy Partners, an independent research firm.

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GHG ‘Endangerment’ Questions Loom In Upcoming Oil & Gas NSPS Plan

Observers are closely watching how EPA will navigate the legal questions surrounding greenhouse gas “endangerment” in its forthcoming proposal to upend Obama-era oil and gas methane rules, including whether and to what degree it embraces industry claims that the rules omitted a required sector- or pollutant-specific risk review.

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Amid Court Losses, OMB Begins Review Of EPA Plan To Ease Utility ELG

The White House regulatory office has begun reviewing EPA’s draft proposal to ease aspects of the Obama EPA’s Clean Water Act (CWA) power plant effluent rule, though the plan’s rationale may be undercut by a series of court losses the agency has suffered over the effluent rule and a related waste rule governing coal ash.

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