Notable News in the Energy Industry

Keystone Pipeline Saga Still Has Several More Chapters    Settle back into your seat and get comfortable, because the next rounds in the Keystone XL pipeline fight are going to require digging into documents spanning thousands of pages, or at least waiting until someone else does it for you. The next two steps in the protracted regulatory review process will be in the State Department’s release of two documents: the final environmental impact statement and a related inspector general’s report.

New method of restoring wetlands successful along Gulf Coast  More than 135 acres of prairie wetland habitat have been restored near Houston with a new method that may help additional acreages be recovered, according to experts with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The prairie wetlands at Sheldon Lake State Park have been restored over a 10-year period using a novel approach of re- excavating soil covered by other land-use situations, particularly agriculture, said Marissa Sipocz, AgriLife Extension wetland program manager in Houston.

U.S. EPA Has Greatly Underestimated Emissions from Methane-Report  Environmental regulators may have underestimated by 50 percent the amount of the greenhouse gas methane emitted in the United States, according to a study published on Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, conducted by scientists at several institutions and led by researchers at Harvard University, found the discrepancy was greatest in south central United States, where total emissions are nearly five times greater than measurements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others.

Feds reveal data behind ‘social cost of carbon’

By Julian Hattem

The White House is publishing the data behind its decision to increase the “social cost of carbon,” which is used to calculate the benefits of regulations cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The metric, which was revised upward earlier this year, has been a point of contention for the Obama administration and critics who say that it was developed in a “black box” without proper oversight. The technical support document the White House is releasing will be open for public comment. Officials are especially interested in hearing how the three underlying assessment models are used to calculate the cost estimates, the way the carbon cost is used in analyses of regulations’ impacts and “the strengths and limitations of the overall approach,” the White House said. The social cost of carbon is a monetary estimate of how carbon pollution affects health, the environment, rising sea levels and a range of other factors. The head of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Howard Shelanski, announced earlier in November that it would release the technical support document. The public will have 60 days to comment on the document once it is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday.

KeystonePipelineSagaStillHasSeveral More Chapters    Settlebackinto yourseatandget comfortable,becausethenextroundsin theKeystoneXLpipelinefightaregoingtorequiredigging into documentsspanningthousandsof pages,oratleastwaitinguntilsomeoneelsedoesit foryou.The next twostepsintheprotractedregulatoryreviewprocesswill bein theStateDepartment’sreleaseof two documents: thefinalenvironmentalimpactstatement andarelated inspectorgeneral’sreport.


Newmethod ofrestoring wetlandssuccessfulalong GulfCoast  Morethan135acresof prairiewetland habitathavebeen restorednearHoustonwith anewmethodthat mayhelpadditional acreagesbe recovered,accordingtoexpertswiththeTexasA&M AgriLife Extension Service.Theprairiewetlandsat SheldonLakeStateParkhavebeenrestoredovera10yearperiod using anovel approachof re– excavatingsoil coveredbyotherland-usesituations,particularlyagriculture,said MarissaSipocz,AgriLife Extension wetlandprogrammanager inHouston.


U.S.EPA HasGreatly UnderestimatedEmissionsfrom MethaneReport  Environmentalregulatorsmay haveunderestimatedby50 percenttheamountofthegreenhousegasmethaneemittedin theUnited States,accordingto astudypublishedonMondayby theProceedingsof theNationalAcademyof Sciences.The study,conductedbyscientistsatseveralinstitutions andled byresearchersatHarvard University,found thediscrepancywasgreatestin southcentralUnitedStates,wheretotalemissionsare nearlyfivetimesgreaterthanmeasurementsbytheU.S. EnvironmentalProtectionAgencyandothers.


Feds revealdatabehind‘socialcostofcarbon



TheWhiteHouseispublishingthedatabehind itsdecision toincrease the“socialcostofcarbon,” which is used to calculatethebenefitsof regulationscuttinggreenhousegasemissions.The metric,whichwas revisedupwardearlierthis year,hasbeenapointofcontentionfortheObamaadministrationandcritics whosaythatit was developed in ablackbox without properoversight. Thetechnicalsupport documenttheWhiteHouseisreleasingwill be openforpublic comment.Officialsareespecially

interestedinhearinghowthethreeunderlyingassessmentmodelsareusedto calculatethe cost estimates, the way thecarbon costis usedinanalysesofregulations’impacts andthestrengths and limitationsof theoverallapproach,”theWhite Housesaid.The socialcostofcarbonisamonetary estimateof howcarbonpollutionaffectshealth,theenvironment,rising sealevelsandarangeofother factors. Theheadof theWhite House’sOfficeof Informationand Regulatory Affairs,Howard Shelanski, announcedearlierinNovemberthat itwouldreleasethetechnicalsupport document.Thepublicwill have 60 daystocommentonthe documentonceitispublishedinthe FederalRegisteronTuesday.

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