Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

* The President’s 03/28 Executive Order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” deserves a close read. This is the EO that upends the Clean Power Plan and related issues such as calculating the “social cost of carbon,” sometimes referred to as the most important number most people have never heard of. Agency heads face specific deadlines, the first one in 45 days, to present a plan for reviewing “all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources.”

* The Massachusetts Cape Wind energy project is one of those projects that you hear about, forget about, hear about, forget about (at least if you’re not living near Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket). Now it’s back in the news: On March 30 the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) about whether the ocean floor can support structural frameworks: yes, it can. But does this mean anything for this tortuous, twisted, never ending timeline and process that started in 2001?! Remember that old movie – 2001: A Wind Odyssey

* OK, yes, it’s an overly blunt metric but the annual, total number of Federal Register pages does give some insight into big and bigger government. So what’s the total number of FR pages after the 1st quarter? Glad you asked. As of March 31, the FR was up to page 16099. One year ago, the total was 18737 pages. So this year, for what it’s worth: 2,638 fewer pages.

Tom Ewing