Overnight Energy & Environment – Biden maintains rule on Trump-era aircraft emissions
Welcome to Tuesday’s show on energy and the environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-inscription.
Today we look at the Biden administration’s decision to retain Trump-era aircraft emissions standards, a finding by the EPA that two types of “forever chemicals” are more toxic than not previously thought and the offshore oil and gas rental sale of tomorrow.
EPA sticks to Trump-era aircraft standards
The Biden administration in a court case Monday night said it would uphold Trump-era regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed the case Monday as part of a multi-state lawsuit filed in the dying days of the Trump administration. In the lawsuit, the EPA said it would not begin a new rulemaking process for the rule, proposed in July 2020.
In a statement, the EPA defended the move and said it understands the need for further action to reduce aviation emissions.
“This is why the United States will push for ambitious new international CO2 standards in the next round of ICAO negotiations, why in September the Biden administration announced a series of actions to boost the development of sustainable aviation fuel, and why earlier this month, the Biden The US administration released the US aviation climate action plan at COP26, âthe statement read.
The agency added that it would explore other possible actions under the Clean Air Act, which is independent of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
The Trump administration’s rule, which would implement ICAO standards, has been heavily criticized by conservationists, who note that it would do little to significantly reduce emissions of aviation. The agency itself wrote in 2020 that it “does not anticipate any emission reductions associated with the GHG regulations proposed today.”
Learn more about the ruling here.
âFOREVER CHEMICALSâ MORE TOXIC THAN THOUGHT IN THE FOREFRONT: EPA
New draft reports from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found that two “forever chemicals” are more toxic than previously thought, and that one is likely carcinogenic to humans.
The drafts revealed that the safe ingestion levels for the chemicals PFOA and PFOS are much lower than those the agency found in previous assessments.
The agency also found that PFOA is “probably” carcinogenic to humans. This is a step forward, as it has already been said that there is “suggestive” evidence that the substance can cause cancer.
PFOA and PFOS can be found in drinking water, as well as in other substances. PFOA has been used in non-stick cookware, flame retardants, and cosmetics. PFOS has been used in water and stain resistant products.
The latest findings are part of an effort by the EPA to regulate the substances, with the agency saying it will aim to complete drinking water limits for PFOA and PFOS in 2023.
Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at the environmental task force, told The Hill that the stronger toxicity finding is a sign the agency will issue strict regulations.
âThere is no turning back. The evidence is now overwhelming that PFAS is toxic at very low levels and that tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of Americans have dangerous levels of PFOA, especially in their drinking water, âsaid Faber.
Learn more about the new releases here.
The interior prepares for the sale of the drilling lease
The Biden administration will hold its first sale of new oil and gas leases on Wednesday since implementing a now-reversed pause on lease sales earlier this year.
The sale will auction over 15,000 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. The department is holding out in response to a court ruling ending its moratorium on leases after Republican-led states sued the administration over it.
Still, the sale is being pushed back by environmentalists and some Democrats, who argue that if the lease sale is to take place, it should do so under more stringent regulations.
House natural resources committee chair RaÃºl Grijalva (D-Arizona) lamented what he described as “lax” environmental and safety standards under which leases would be operated.
But, he said, he would rather see the Biden administration shut down altogether while the department appeals the court ruling rather than just making a modified sale.
“I think that should be left on hold,” he told The Hill.
Asked for comment, Interior spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz declined to respond directly to criticism. But she noted in a statement that the government is appealing the court ruling and highlighted other efforts by the ministry to limit emissions from future lease sales.
âThe department is complying with a US district court ruling on sale 257 while the government is appealing the decision. At the same time, Interior is conducting a more comprehensive analysis of the greenhouse gas impacts from potential oil and gas concession sales than ever before, âsaid Schwartz.
She particularly highlighted the efforts of the Bureau of Land Management to take into account cumulative greenhouse gas emissions – or how those emissions will impact the country’s national emissions targets as a whole – and the use by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for updated emission models.
IN THE PRESS FOR TOMORROW
- Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to Hold Hearing on Martha Williams’ Appointment to Head Fish and Wildlife Service
- House Science, Space and Technology Committee to hold hearing on nuclear fusion energy research
Check out our Virtual Event on the US Economic Recovery – Thursday, November 18 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Rising consumer prices, product shortages and workforce inconsistencies are shaking the US economic recovery. Yet the economy has created more than four million jobs this year and wages continue to rise. What role will consumers and businesses play in the economic recovery and how will they emerge from the crisis? What is the domestic growth forecast for next year? Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-Arizona), ADP Chief Economist, Dr Nela Richardson and Princeton Economist Janet Currie Join Steve Clemons of The Hill for a discussion on the new economic landscape and the changing workforce. RSVP today.
WHAT WE READ
- Floods and nuclear waste eat away at the ancestral home of a tribe, The New York Times reports
- Proponents of clean energy fear the tax plan will hurt growth, E&E news reports
- The German regulator puts the brakes on Nord Stream 2 in a new blow to the gas pipeline, Reuters reports
- The main US environmental regulator will visit the neighborhoods of Houston where black and Latino residents are the most polluted, Houston Public Media Reports
- Environmental groups plan to sue the city of Florida for wastewater discharges, WTSP Reports
Duckworth touts drinking water infrastructure fund in bipartite bill
And finally, something quirky and quirky: Armageddon
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Discover The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.