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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 10/20/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

With just over two weeks until election day, Congress is preparing for a brief but intense Lame Duck session, while continuing final campaign pushes. With several races still in the too-close-to-call column, the Senate’s balance of power remains uncertain, though Republicans will retain control of the House.

In the meantime, climate negotiators will spend the week in Bonn, Germany, with the last United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit prior to the annual international climate negotiation this December in Lima, Peru.

CONGRESS

Recess
Congress is in recess until after the November 4 elections.

ADMINISTRATION

AFPM Supports RFS Decrease
The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers sent a letter October 14 to President Obama in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed 16 percent reduction of the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standards, siting the E10 blend wall. The Obama Administration plans to finalize the standards in the coming weeks.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Climate Action CBA Necessary
The Government Accountability Office released a report October 16 advising the Department of Agriculture to make information on the farm-level economic costs and benefits of addressing climate change more available to farmers. Farmers told the agency that they currently make decisions based on short-term economic incentives because they are focused on producing commodities at the lowest price, but costs and benefits of climate adaptation and mitigation efforts often accrue over several years.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Trade Mission
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker led a business development mission beginning October 18 focused on healthcare and energy sectors in Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, Korea. This is Secretary Pritzker’s first trade mission to Asia since taking office in June 2013.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Green Building Standards
The Department of Energy published a final rule October 14 that lays out criteria federal agencies must follow when using green building rating systems. Under the new rule, rated buildings must be able to demonstrate continued energy and water efficiency gains at least every four years, and agencies may use the rating system most appropriate for their buildings. The rule goes into effect November 13.

The weekly Energy & Environment Update from ML Strategies provides an overview of what’s happening on and off Capitol Hill and around the world that may impact energy and environmental policies and industry players. Read the update here.

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Author

David Leiter