Our Top 5: The Weekly Round-up, Environmental & Sustainability — April 6, 2011

1) Obama Proposes Plan to Reduce Dependence on Oil 

President Barack Obama, under pressure to respond to rising gas prices, proposed a basket of ideas for reducing U.S. dependence on oil, endorsing for the first time a plan backed by oilman T. Boone Pickens to subsidize purchase of trucks and fleets that run on domestically produced natural gas. Mr. Obama said his goal was to cut U.S. oil imports by a third by 2025.

(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2011-03-31)

2) Coalition Asks EPA Not to Set Any “Interim Guidance” Rules 

A coalition of state environmental secretaries has asked U.S. EPA not to set out any new requirements using “interim guidance,” saying the practice can short-circuit the rulemaking process and make it impossible for states to follow the law. 

(Source: The New York Times, 2011-03-31)

3) EPA Could Require Utilities to Protect Fish from Water Systems 

Utilities such as Entergy face U.S. rules aimed at preventing fish from being sucked into cooling-water systems and costing industry $384 million a year, the Environmental Protection Agency said. The Obama administration’s proposal will affect more than 1,200 facilities and save billions of aquatic organisms, including 615 million fish and shellfish a year, the agency said in an e-mailed statement.

(Source: Bloomberg, 2011-03-29)

4) Legislatures Back Congress Efforts to Block EPA Emissions Rules 

As members of Congress consider whether to block U.S. EPA regulation of greenhouse gases, many state legislators across the country are cheering them on. Eight states ranging from Michigan to Virginia have adopted formal resolutions this year pressing Capitol Hill lawmakers to block what they term the agency’s regulatory “train wreck.”

(Source: The New York Times, 2011-04-01)

5) United States Moves to Third Place in Clean-Energy Investments 

The United States fell one spot to third place in clean-energy investment last year as the lack of a national energy policy hurt purchases in wind and solar power and other technologies, a report said. China came in first and Germany second, according to the report “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race” by the Pew Charitable Trusts, an independent, nonprofit group.

(Source: Reuters, 2011-03-29)

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