Executive Activity

President’s Task Force To Meet on Climate Change

The President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience will meet for the first time on Tuesday, December 10. The Task Force is composed of 26 state, local and tribal officials and is charged with identifying ways to prepare communities for the impact of climate change. According to the President’s Executive Order, preparations could include “removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools needed to prepare regarding climate change.”

Regulatory Activity

EPA and USDA To Create New Water Quality Trading Policy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced the agencies are jointly working on creating a new water quality trading policy which would “allow regulated entities to purchase and use pollutant reduction credits generated by other sources in a watershed.” The intent of the anticipated policy is to establish a “cost-effective approach for regulated entities to comply with EPA Clean Water Act requirements, including water quality-based effluent limits in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.” According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack , “these efforts will strengthen businesses across the nation by providing a new pathway to comply with regulatory requirements.” The new policy is intended to benefit rural areas, agricultural producers, regulated sources, interested third parties and states. EPA and USDA will develop the water quality trading policy in 2014 and the policy is estimated to be in place by 2015.

EPA and Department of Energy Release 2014 Fuel Economy Guide

The EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy have released the 2014 Fuel Economy Guide to highlight fuel efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles.  The guide provides top ten lists, estimated annual fuel costs for vehicles, greenhouse gas ratings for models, tax incentives/disincentives and related vehicle and fuel efficiency information.

Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Monday, December 9: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing titled “The Future of the US-Canada Columbia River Treaty – Building on 60 years of Coordinated Power Generation and Flood Control.” The hearing will focus on draft potential modifications to the treaty concerning power and flooding with regard to the river’s role in hydropower, irrigation and navigation in the region.