What Environmental News to Watch the Week of Jan. 23


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This week kicks off the start of the new Trump administration, and Congress is getting down to business. Here’s a list of some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch.

Hearing in Flint bottled water lawsuit. A federal court in Detroit holds a hearing Tuesday about whether city and state officials should be forced to go door to door in Flint, Mich., delivering bottled water to residents affected by the lead contamination crisis. David Schultz is on it.

Climate change mentions scrubbed. The Trump administration has erased all mention of fighting climate change from the White House website. Dean Scott is covering.

Environmental rules put on hold. The White House issued an order that will freeze or delay a bunch of environmental rules, including ones to boost energy efficiency in homes and commercial appliances. Amena Saiyid is writing it up.  

Who is the new acting energy secretary? Grace Bochenek is the newly appointed acting energy secretary for the Department of Energy. She used to direct the nation’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, the only federally owned Energy Department lab. Rebecca Kern has the story.

Keeping close watch on Clean Power Plan. Opponents of the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule are watching closely to see if President Donald Trump takes any early action to fulfill his campaign promises to roll back those regulations. Andrew Childers is keeping track.    

Lawmakers head to policy retreat. House and Senate Republicans attend a joint policy retreat later this week in Philadelphia. Rachel Leven is on it.

Energy bills in the House. The House is voting on energy bills this week related to FERC ratepayer cases, policies to speed deployment of advanced nuclear technologies and exempting efficiency standards for certain external power supplies. Rebecca Kern and Brian Dabbs are following.

EPA investigating hog waste. North Carolina’s swine waste-permitting program may discriminate against people of color, the EPA says. Andrew Ballard has the story.

China investing billions in energy-efficiency technologies. China plans to spend more than $165 billion on energy-saving technologies through 2020, with hybrid vehicle and engine technologies topping the list. Michael Standaert is reporting.

Brazilian forest making recovery. Tree replanting and natural recovery are helping the Atlantic Forest in Brazil regain some ground after years of illegal cutting in the woodland. Michael Kepp has the story.