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Leading Democrat Says Energy Efficiency Key To Passage Of Senate Energy Bill


The leading Democrat on the Senate energy committee has issued an apparent warning to his GOP colleagues that failure to boost energy conservation and efficiency in the measure would jeopardize passage of comprehensive legislation to deal with the nation's energy crisis. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-MN) questions whether the bill will garner bipartisan support without a boost to energy efficiency provisions.

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Court Reaffirms Environmental Controls On Hydro Power Dams

Environmentalists are hailing a recent federal court decision as a warning to energy regulators that efforts to avoid power shortages do not justify circumventing environmental requirements. A federal court in Oregon earlier this month decided that the Corps of Engineers is responsible for ensuring that the federal hydropower system in the Snake River complies with Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements.

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Murkowski Fires Opening Shot In Debate Over National Energy Legislation

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) has introduced comprehensive legislation intended to resolve the nation's energy crisis. The chairman offered the bill as a starting point for debate in Congress, while the White House is drafting its own plan that is expected to be folded into the Senate bill, according to Murkowski.

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California Lawmaker To Tackle Air Quality Impact Of Bill To Boost Use Of Backup Generators


A key California assemblyman said this week he intends to amend a bill that relaxes air pollution permit limits for backup generators to address concerns raised by members of a special energy committee that approved the bill earlier this week. The bill proposes to allow companies participating in utility "interruptible service" programs to avoid emission limits for backup generators that are used during shutdowns and start-ups and other circumstances deemed as "emergencies" by the bill.

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Senate Energy Chairman To Unveil Comprehensive Legislation

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) will introduce comprehensive energy legislation on Feb. 26. The bill is expected to pull together a wide range of proposals to address the nation's energy crisis, including subsides for fossil fuel industries and tax credits to encourage energy efficiency.

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Davis Order To Fast-Track Power Plants Attracts Legal Challenge

A California city has issued what could turn out to be the first legal challenge to Gov. Gray Davis's (D) efforts to fast-track electricity generation in response to the state's power crisis. Huntington Beach has filed a formal complaint with the energy commission and has threatened to sue the state over a proposed 60-day approval process for a 450-megawatt expansion of a power plant.

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Nevada Eyes Novel Plan To Restrict Regulatory Impact Of New Power Plant

Air regulators in Nevada are expected to unveil next month an unusual plan to allow construction of a power plant without subjecting surrounding businesses to tougher air quality standards. The plan would create a new local air quality planning district specifically around the proposed power plant to avoid extending federal emissions reporting requirements to other businesses in the area.

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Natural Gas Advocates Intensify Efforts For Drilling, New Pipelines

As the debate heats up over boosting the nation's energy supplies, the natural gas industry is stepping up its pressure for more drilling and pipeline construction, arguing that only quick action will ensure that supply meets demand.

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