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Tag: Federal Regulation
Pumped and Quartered
February 29, 2012
As American families pay 25 cents more for a gallon of gas, big oil earns $5 Billion more in profits.
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John Hofmeister on The Willis Report
February 04, 2012
John Hofmeister speaks on The Willis Report about green initiatives, and stimulus money funding.
John Hofmeister speaks about an "all in" energy policy
January 18, 2012
John Hofmeister on Fox Business Channel speaking about domestic drilling and oil exploration.
Feds propose allowing wind-farm developer to kill golden eagles
January 11, 2012
The federal government is proposing to grant a first-of-its-kind permit that would allow the developer of a central Oregon wind-power project to legally kill golden eagles, a regulatory move being closely watched by conservationists.
Feds: Pay attention to drilling in Pa., elsewhere
December 09, 2011
PITTSBURGH — The final report from a federal panel on natural gas drilling warns that the industry and the government need to do more to address environmental concerns.
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State issues final report clearing way for Canadian pipeline
August 28, 2011
State issues final report clearing way for Canadian pipeline
By John Solomon
Sticking to its original conclusions, the State Department on Friday issued its final report concluding that a pipeline designed to carry oil from Canada’s oil sands fields to Gulf Coast refineries would have only limited “adverse impact” on the environment.
The decision clears the way for the Obama administration to issue a permit for the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Alberta to Texas, a project that environmentalists and liberal Democrats have made a key test of the president’s environmental record.
More than a hundred protesters were arrested last weekend outside the White House, hoping to pressure President Barack Obama to block the permit.
The State Department’s final report reached the same conclusion that two preliminary environmental impact statements did—that the pipeline’s impact on the environment was limited.
Supporters of the project, including some labor unions usually aligned with the Democratic Party, have argued the project would create badly needed jobs, especially in the Gulf Coast region still reeling from last year’s oil spill. They also say it would amount to a big step toward weening America off Middle East oil, by turning to a trusted ally just across the northern border.
The project has even caused controversy inside the administration, as the Environmental Protection Agency objected to some of State’s environmental assessments. The EPA can’t block the project, but could pressure Obama to step in and reject the permit.
The pipeline is supposed to be built by mid-2013 and could start carrying a half-million barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf refineries.
NRC abandons prior estimate on reactor lifespans
June 29, 2011
By Jeff Donn
ROCKVILLE, Maryland (AP) — When commercial nuclear power was getting its start in the 1960s and 1970s, industry and regulators stated unequivocally that reactors were designed only to operate for 40 years. Now they tell another story — insisting that the units were built with no inherent life span, and can run for up to a century, an Associated Press investigation shows.
By rewriting history, plant owners are making it easier to extend the lives of dozens of reactors in a relicensing process that resembles nothing more than an elaborate rubber stamp.
As part of a yearlong investigation of aging issues at the nation’s nuclear power plants, the AP found that the relicensing process often lacks fully independent safety reviews. Records show that paperwork of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission sometimes matches word-for-word the language used in a plant operator’s application.
Also, the relicensing process relies heavily on such paperwork, with very little onsite inspection and verification.
And under relicensing rules, tighter standards are not required to compensate for decades of wear and tear.
So far, 66 of 104 reactors have been granted license renewals. Most of the 20-year extensions have been granted with scant public attention. And the NRC has yet to reject a single application to extend an original license. The process has been so routine that many in the industry are already planning for additional license extensions, which could push the plants to operate for 80 years, and then 100.
Regulators and industry now contend that the 40-year limit was chosen for economic reasons and to satisfy antitrust concerns, not for safety issues. They contend that a nuclear plant has no technical limit on its life.
But an AP review of historical records, along with interviews with engineers who helped develop nuclear power, shows just the opposite: Reactors were made to last only 40 years. Period.
The record also shows that a design limitation on operating life was an accepted truism.
U.S. May Be Blocked From Spreading Power-Line Costs to Consumers
February 18, 2011
U.S. electricity regulators would be blocked from spreading the costs for building interstate power lines among customers of regional systems, under legislation introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators.
EPA Toxics Release Inventory and the “Right to Know”
November 04, 2010
Each year, the EPA requires certain industries to publicly report toxic chemical and waste releases. The “Toxics Release Inventory Program,” aims to provide communities and others with facts about environmental conditions in their area.
Environmental Protection Agency rules could hurt Barack Obama in 2012
October 05, 2010
President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is putting some hazardous speed bumps on his 2012 electoral road in key swing states.