Legislative and Regulatory Activity

Senate Energy Committee Clears Two Nominees

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a business meeting in executive session on Tuesday, October 8 to consider the nominations of Mr. Michael Connor and Ms. Elizabeth Robinson to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior and Under Secretary of Energy, respectively. The committee favorably reported both nominees by a voice vote, with no members of the committee voicing opposition.

EPA Postpones New Power Plant Rule Listening Sessions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that, due to the government shutdown, the agency will postpone the first two of 11 listening sessions designed to solicit public feedback regarding potential approaches to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants.

The two listening sessions were originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 15 in Boston and Friday, October 18 in Philadelphia. EPA recently released a proposed rule to govern carbon emissions for new power plants on September 20, but the listening sessions are not designed to address that issue.

Instead, the listening sessions are intended to inform the agency’s decision-making as it prepares a proposal to govern carbon emissions at existing power plants, which should be proposed by June, 2014 if EPA sticks to the timelines outlined in President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan.