What Environmental News to Watch the Week of Nov. 28

Appalachia coal

Here are some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch for this week.

House Democratic Caucus holds its leadership elections this week. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) is being challenged by Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio). Dean Scott and Rachel Leven are following.

What will happen to the Water Resources Development Act of 2016? It’s almost down to the wire for the House and Senate to resolve what they’re going to do this year with the two water infrastructure bills, known around town as WRDA. Will the matter get punted to next year? Alan Kovski is reporting.

And the energy package? What’s going on? Senate negotiators reinserted expedited liquefied natural gas export provisions and Land and Water Conservation Fund authorization in recent days as part of a back-and-forth with House counterparts on an energy package, and time is narrowing to pass it. Brian Dabbs is on it.

Reaching out to the EPA. How’s the Trump transition team’s outreach to the Environmental Protection Agency? Brian Dabbs is looking into it.   

Analyzing what fossil fuel companies knew about climate change: Panelists discuss state attorney general investigations and the legal foundations for accountability from fossil fuel companies about climate change misinformation on Wednesday at the Center for American Progress. Bloomberg BNA’s climate team will cover.

Looking ahead to the Trump administration’s stance on coal. President-elect Donald Trump should see in person the effects of coal mining in Appalachia before firing off plans to ramp up coal production and killing off environmental regulations, says Joe Pizarchik, director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Stephen Lee has a story coming.  

Disputes rise over the future of EPA’s Safer Choice program. A fight is brewing over an EPA program called Safer Choice, the agency’s label for safer chemical-based products, because it involves a hazard-based rather than risk-based approach to identifying chemical ingredients in products. Pat Rizzuto has the story.  

New offshore well control rules bring new questions. Oil and gas companies are wading through compliance questions for new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement regulations designed to prevent well blowouts and more in U.S. offshore waters. Alan Kovski is reporting.   

Companies to report certain flame retardant releases. An EPA rule that becomes effective Wednesday requires companies to track and report releases of 100 pounds or more of hexabromocyclododecanes, used largely as flame retardants in polystyrene foams for thermal insulation in the building and construction industry. Pat Rizzuto is on the story.

Ontario Considers Forest Policies as Carbon Offsets. Ontario is thinking about incentives for new forests on private and government land as carbon offsets to help the province meet its climate change targets. Peter Menyasz has the story.