Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  Last week I noted the federal regulatory review process getting underway, a result of two recent Presidential Executive Orders.  The FAA presented its approach last week in a Federal Register notice.  Contrary to Internet news headlines on this broader topic, FAA’s work hardly presents as despotic.  It reads as reasonable and fair, although the scope is broad and deadlines are tight.  FAA’s  Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee will take the lead.  The focus: evaluate CFR Title 14 (FAA regs) “to determine any and all regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified.”  That’s a lot of territory.  An initial report is due in June, a follow up at the end of August.

*  DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) holds an Executive Summit on Hydropower Research and Development this week in Washington.  WPTO seeks to engage industry and researchers to articulate hydropower industry R&D, discuss capabilities of DOE’s national laboratories, and provide industry guidance on how to engage with the national labs to accelerate innovation and achieve bottom-line results. Workshops will address four primary R&D categories: (1) Enhanced Revenue and Market Structures, (2) Optimization of Hydropower Security, Reliability, and Value Sustainable Development and Operation, (3) Addressing Hydropower Sustainability Optimization, and (4) Technology Advancements.  DOE will prepare a meeting summary and post it for public comments.
*  Oregon’s House Committee on Energy and Environment and the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources holds a joint meeting today, a hearing on a document to de-carbonize Oregon’s economy, prepared by an Oregon business “Emissions Reduction Task Force.”  This group has a goal “to design a five-year strategy for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the viability and competitive health of Oregon businesses.” Top ideas include congestion road pricing and a complementary transit improvement program for the Portland metropolitan area, using alternative-fuel vehicle incentives and updating energy building codes and related tax incentives.  The Task Force says a carbon pricing program might be a good idea but it still needs more analysis of overall statewide economic impacts.
Tom Ewing