What Environmental News to Watch the Week of Nov. 21


Here are some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch for this week. And have a great Thanksgiving!

Congress is out until next Monday. When they come back, lawmakers have a jam-packed agenda that must include a government funding bill before Dec. 9, when current funding expires. Republicans are aiming to pass a short-term bill to fund the government through March 31, 2017, and still haven’t closed the door on passing a major energy bill or water infrastructure bill before leaving Washington for holidays in December. Rachel Leven and Brian Dabbs are keeping watch.

EPA administrator talks on agency’s climate, public health legacy. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy takes the stage at 12:30 p.m. today for 90 minutes at the National Press Club to talk about the agency’s environment and public health legacy under President Barack Obama. (The event is live streamed too.) Rachel Leven is covering and listening for news.

Watching for Trump policy video.  The transition team for Donald Trump says the Republican president-elect is releasing a video today on his legislative and policy priorities. It’s expected to include energy and coal, among other topics. Brian Dabbs is tracking this.   

Have something to say on DOE’s gas residential furnace proposed rule? Public comments are due Nov. 22 on the Energy Department’s supplement to its proposed rule to crank up energy-efficiency standards for gas residential furnaces.  The agency faced a lot of heat from the gas industry when the guidance was issued in September. Rebecca Kern is tracking.

Time narrows for energy package deal this year. Energy House members sent an energy package counter proposal to Senate counterparts on Friday. Brian Dabbs is fleshing out the substance of the counter proposal.

President Obama nominates administration posts. Yes, you read that correctly. On Friday, the White House released names of some people the outgoing president nominated to administration posts, including Rachel A. Meidl as a member of Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Sam Pearson is reporting.     

UN international climate talks come to an end. UN climate talks held this year for two weeks in Marrakech, Morocco, have ended and delayed most of the decision-making on implementing the Paris Agreement until 2017 and 2018. Eric Lyman has the story.

Implementation plan submission deadline looms for some states. States have different responses to a 2015 EPA rule, which requires revisions to their emissions mitigation plans. Some are heading in a direction that will likely draw lawsuits from environmental advocates. The agency gave 36 states until Tuesday to submit their revised plans. Patrick Ambrosio has the story.

Pushing to regulate fracking before it starts in Georgia. Oil and gas drilling is practically nonexistent in Georgia, and environmentalists want it to stay that way. Advocates in Georgia are working to get legislation drafted for stricter regulation of oil and gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing rules. Chris Marr is on it.   

Don’t mess with TSCA reporting. Changes made with the amended Toxic Substances Control Act increase the situations where the EPA can charge companies of criminally concealing chemical risk data. Pat Rizzuto is all over this one.