Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  Say what…?  Nine days to comment on the easy, non-controversial subject of “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth?”  That’s the topic of a Federal Register request for information, published by the Department of the Treasury, on July 6, part of Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.  All comments were due Friday, July 14 – 7 business days later, 9 days total if your team was working again all day Saturday and Sunday (which, of course, they were…*:)) laughing ).  Was that deadline a typo?  I’m trying to find out; stay tuned for an update.
*   Good news from Michigan: the state’s Department of Environmental Quality announced a milestone in the recovery of the St. Clair River Area of Concern. Multiple studies show that the reproduction and life cycles of area wildlife are not being hindered by historic development activities. The findings are attributed to improved environmental protection practices reducing regional pollution levels.  The St. Clair River carries Great Lakes water from Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair and forms a natural border with Canada.  US EPA agreed with MDEQ’s assessment based on a review of environmental data, including studies of the fish, tree swallows, mink, and bald eagles within the St. Clair River region.

*  Oregon’s legislative session ended July 10.  We’ve been tracking some issues in that state because its attention to certain energy and environmental issues is so prominently out front compared to other states, and, now, of course, new federal directions.  One bill introduced in the waning days, is called a “cap and price” bill “designed to reduce carbon emissions and create new jobs in communities across Oregon.”  The bill would establish a price per ton of emissions for the state’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, then spend about $700 million/year on “projects to reduce pollution and bring job opportunities to economically distressed communities across the state – rural, urban and everywhere in between.”  Sponsors say the bill is intended to “tee up the conversation for the 2018 Legislative Session by incorporating all the feedback that’s been received throughout this session’s work.”

Tom Ewing
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