ICYMI: Energy & Environmental News Roundup

Oil & Gas

Bureau of Land Management Accepts Bids for Oil & Gas Leases in Wayne National Park

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began accepting bids for oil and gas leases on a 719-acre stretch of Ohio’s Wayne National Forest. The move comes despite strong opposition, including a 92,000-signature petition. More information can be found here and here.

Alternative & Renewable Energy

Notable Investors Launch $1 Billion Clean Energy Venture Capital Fund

On Monday, December 12, 2016, notable investors launched venture capital fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which will invest in generating renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency.  Investors include John Doerr, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Michael Bloomberg, Reid Hoffman, and Richard Branson. Bill Gates will chair Breakthrough’s board of directors. More information can be found here.

Regulatory

EPA Considers Bulking Up Financial Responsibility Test for Hard-Rock Miners

On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two new financial responsibility tests under Superfund regulations for hard-rock mining companies. The proposed regulations would require owners and operators of hard-rock mining companies to either 1.) post a bond or buy insurance (or similar financial instrument); or alternatively 2.) issue a corporate guarantee.  More information can be found here.

Oklahoma Attorney General Tapped to Lead EPA

On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he intends to nominate incumbent Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, to lead EPA. Pruitt often challenged EPA regulations during his tenure as Oklahoma Attorney General. More information can be found here.

Millennium Pipeline Sues NY State Regulators for Inaction on Supply Line to Power Plant

In a suit filed on Monday, December 5, 2016, in the federal District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Millennium Pipeline alleged that New York State regulators failed to make a timely permitting decision on a pipeline that would supply a newly constructed $1 billion, 650 megawatt power plant with natural gas. More information can be found here and here.

EPA Adds Subsurface Intrusion to Superfund Remediation Methodology

On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, EPA added subsurface intrusion, a process whereby ground contaminants might seep into an overlying structure, to its remediation methodology for Superfund sites. The EPA noted that intrusion by vapor is the most common type of subsurface intrusion and may raise the lifetime risk of chronic disease from exposure.  More information can be found here.

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