Obama final state of union

President Barack Obama delivered his final State of the Union address this week, and lawmakers converged (briefly) on Capitol Hill to discuss their priorities for this election year. Dual environmental crises, concerning drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and a massive methane leak in Los Angeles, worsened.

And the head of Volkswagen AG met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about potential fixes to the company’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal one day after the top California environmental regulator rejected the automaker’s initial proposed solution.

Here are some other stories you may have missed this week:

  • Broad energy legislation could be poised for Senate floor consideration for the first time in years. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told Bloomberg BNA her bill is “in the queue” for the chamber’s consideration (Free story by Ari Natter).
  • Obama used his final State of the Union address to tout progress made on combatting climate change, including a landmark international agreement in Paris, but congressional Republicans warned the president’s environmental efforts will continue to face strenuous opposition (Story for subscribers by Dean Scott).
  • Litigants fighting over the VW emissions scandal will run up against a “no nonsense” jurist, who just so happens to be the brother of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. The lawsuits claim the automaker installed emissions-cheating software in approximately 480,000 diesel cars nationwide (Story for subscribers by Steven M. Sellers).
  • Efforts to revamp the nation’s primary chemicals law are heating up. Top House and Senate Republicans discussed how to merge their bills overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act at a party retreat and say a final bill might be ready as soon as next month (Story for subscribers by yours truly).

    Be sure to also check out Bloomberg BNA’s video roundup of everything to expect in environmental and energy news this year.