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Energy

Lawmakers Drop Clean Air Act Revisions From Clean-Coal Legislation

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Utility lobbyists are cautiously supporting a move in the House and Senate to strip from "clean coal" legislation any amendments to the Clean Air Act. The industry is going along with this shift in strategy out of a sense of confidence that the Bush administration will make regulatory changes to the agency's embattled new source review program.

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California Official Sees Adequate Ethanol Supplies To Meet Federal Fuel Specifications

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California Energy Commission (CEC) officials say that planned expansion of ethanol production in the Midwest is expected to allow the state to meet its gasoline oxygenate needs beginning in 2003, when its ban on methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) kicks in. The state's ability to meet its oxygenate demands is being closely watched by other states, particularly in the Northeast, that are considering banning MTBE, which has been found to cause widespread groundwater contamination.

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House Panel Clears Non-Controversial Energy Bill Including Small Hike In Fuel Economy

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The House energy and air quality subcommittee on July 12 easily approved energy legislation that contains mostly non-controversial items, including an amendment that would result in a slight increase in the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles.

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Oil Marketers Win Legislative Rejection Of EPA-Negotiated Diesel Rule

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A House energy subcommittee handed petroleum marketers a major victory by adopting legislation that would eliminate EPA's current phase-in of a low-sulfur diesel fuel. The legislation would overturn an agreement between refiners and environmentalists brokered by EPA on implementation of the tougher diesel standards.

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House GOP Leaders Seek Support Of California Governor For Air Act Revisions

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House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and energy subcommittee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) are challenging California Gov. Gray Davis (D) to refute his earlier assertion that Clean Air Act changes are not necessary to promote quick construction of power plants to ease the state's energy woes. The chairmen argue that growing legal challenges to proposed power plants in the state substantiate the urgent need for a legislative "safe harbor" from air quality standards.

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House Energy Subcommittee Punts On Key Environment Amendments

A House energy subcommittee has put off until full committee markup next week an amendment that would dramatically boost fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. The subcommittee also postponed action on a proposal that would effectively overturn the Bush administration's rejection of a California request to be excused from federal reformulated gasoline standards.

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Alliance Of Labor and Environmentalists Drafts Major Global Warming Strategy

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Environmentalists and labor groups have drafted a plan on global warming in an effort to forge a major alliance that is expected to exert major political muscle on the contentious issue.

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Energy Officials Say California MTBE Ban Will Prompt Fuel Shortages

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California energy officials are warning that the state's ban on the controversial fuel additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which has been found to contaminate drinking water sources, could result in a one-billion-gallon shortfall in gasoline blendstocks. The shortfall would force the state to look for supplies outside of California that would likely further drive up gasoline prices and exacerbate the state's energy woes.

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Waxman Expected To Push Legislative Reversal On Bush Denial Of California's Clean-Fuel Waiver

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A legislative plan to allow California to produce gasoline without clean-burning oxygenates is expected to be offered by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) as an amendment to broad energy legislation slated to be marked up by a House clean air subcommittee on July 12. The amendment would attempt to legislatively overturn a Bush administration rejection of the state's request for a waiver from the Clean Air Act's requirement that gasoline in the nation's smoggiest areas include two percent oxygenates.

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