Regulatory Activity

Wind Turbine Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Program intends to release a funding opportunity in early 2014 targeting the development of taller wind turbines. According to DOE, “the funding opportunity is expected to focus on innovative designs and processes for wind turbine tower manufacturing and turbine system installations that are demonstrably cost-competitive…for multi-megawatt turbines with hub heights of at least 120 meters.” DOE maintains that “scaling to taller towers allows wind turbines to capture less turbulent and often stronger wind resources.”

Public Comment Regarding Carbon Capture

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting public comment on its draft guidance regarding transitioning Class II wells that are currently used to inject carbon dioxide for oil and gas development to Class VI wells to be used for carbon capture and sequestration.

EPA Invitation To Identify Hazardous Chemicals

EPA has released data on 1,800 chemicals used in industrial and consumer products, food additives and drugs. Along with the data release EPA is inviting the science and technology community to work with the data “to predict potential health effects.”  This effort is intended by the EPA “to better identify hazardous chemicals.”

Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

Coal and Jobs Losses

Thursday, January 9: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing concerning the December report by the Inspector General of the Interior Department, which examines the validity of two allegations concerning the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) allegedly pressuring contractors to change job loss calculation methods and that OSM ended the contract because the contractors refused to do so. The report also examines the accuracy of the figure that 7,000 jobs would be lost if the new rule concerning stream protection near coal mines was implemented.

Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf

Friday, January 10: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, will hold a hearing concerning seismic exploration and the future of the Atlantic outer continental shelf.