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Energy

EPA To Accelerate Fuels Study To Influence Possible Clean Air Act Revisions

EPA's deputy administrator announced that the agency will accelerate its work on a study on clean-fuel requirements in an attempt to influence congressional efforts to reduce the number of so-called "boutique" fuels used in smog-ridden areas. The report was called for by President Bush's energy strategy to examine the feasibility of streamlining fuel standards that refiners say are in part responsible for driving up gasoline prices.

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House Blocks Key Bush Energy Initiatives

The Republican-led House has handed President Bush a major defeat on key elements of his energy agenda. Lawmakers have adopted provisions as part of an Interior Department appropriations bill that would ban offshore drilling along much of Florida's coastline, prohibit department spending on a possible rollback of hardrock mining standards, and block fossil-fuel extraction in wilderness areas that have been designated as national monuments.

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EPA Likely To Settle California Dispute Over Air Quality Standards And New Power Plants

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EPA is expected to step in and resolve a brewing controversy over air quality standards established by Los Angeles regulators that conflict with an executive order by Gov. Gray Davis (D) intended to ease the state's power crisis by promoting the construction of new power plants.

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Shift In Senate Subcommittee Jurisdictions Raises Major Obstacle For Nuclear Waste Repository

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Staff on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are expecting that jurisdiction over the construction of national nuclear waste repository will be shifted to the transportation and infrastructure subcommittee, which is expected to be headed by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), a staunch opponent of the facility proposed for construction in his home state.

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House Energy Subcommittee Chairman Eyes CAFE Legislation

The chairman of the House energy and air quality subcommittee said he is seriously considering introducing legislation that could close the gap in fuel efficiency requirements between cars and light trucks, which includes sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

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'Blue Dog' Democrats Drop Potential Endorsement Of Arctic Drilling

Conservative Democrats in the House who are drafting an energy plan that is expected to include key proposals by President Bush, reportedly have dropped their support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is arguably one of the most controversial proposals in the president's energy strategy.

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DOE Urges Weakening EPA Water Intake Rule To Protect Drilling

The Department of Energy (DOE) is pressing EPA to roll back its controversial proposal for regulating cooling water intakes, charging that the plan contradicts key elements of the president's energy strategy for promoting offshore oil and gas drilling. DOE says EPA has underestimated the energy implications of the rule, and the department has developed its own modeling which challenges the agency's assessment process, an issue that is likely to reemerge in other upcoming regulations.

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GOP Drops Hold On Patients Bill Despite No Concessions On Energy Legislation

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Senate Republicans have abandoned efforts to block a leading Democratic legislative priority, the patients' bill of rights, even though the new majority refused to offer concessions on passing comprehensive energy legislation. The energy bill is intended to enact key elements of President Bush's national strategy, which has been criticized by environmentalists and some Democrats for relying too heavily on fossil fuels and nuclear power.

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Congressional Democrats Mount Campaign To Block New Drilling On the Great Lakes

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Key Democratic members of Congress from Michigan have initiated what amounts to a public relations campaign against the state's governor to pressure him to hold off on approving oil and gas drilling along Great Lakes. The Democrats have introduced legislation in both the House and Senate that sources concede is not likely to reach the president's desk, but is intended to raise a national debate on the water quality dangers of drilling in the Great Lakes.

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Congress Poised To Substantially Increase Renewable Energy Funding

Advocates of alternative energy sources are confident they have enough votes in the House to restore and even increase research funds proposed for cuts by President Bush. The advocates have criticized the president for targeting funding cuts on alternative energy sources that could improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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