Our Top 5: The Weekly Round-up, Environmental & Sustainability — August 3, 2011

 1) Obama, Automakers Reach Deal to Raise Fuel Efficiency Standards 

The Obama administration and major auto manufacturers have reached a deal to raise fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks between 2017 and 2025, resolving a contentious negotiation over how to cut vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement would require U.S. vehicle fleets to average 54.5 miles per gallon or 163 grams per mile of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025, which represents a 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases and a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared with today’s vehicles, according to sources briefed on the matter.

(Source: The Washington Post, 2011-07-27)

2) EPA Proposes New Standards to Protect Environment from Fracking 

Natural gas is a key component of a clean energy future, though extracting those resources must be done in an environmentally friendly way, the EPA said. The Environmental Protection Agency said that it was responding to a court order by proposing new standards that would seek to limit volatile organic compound emissions associated with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shale gas deposits.

(Source: United Press International, 2011-07-29)

3) EPA Says Agency Forced to Propose Slew of New Rules 

The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. regulator criticized by business groups for proposing the most new rules of any agency, says the courts and former President George W. Bush have left it no choice. Companies are bracing for and complaining about a raft of requirements with three- to four-year deadlines for compliance.

(Source: Bloomberg, 2011-07-25)  

4) House Republicans Looking to Make Big Cuts in Environmental Rules 

With the nation’s attention diverted by the drama over the debt ceiling, Republicans in the House of Representatives are loading up an appropriations bill with 39 ways — and counting — to significantly curtail environmental regulation. There is little chance that all the 39 proposals identified by Democrats will be approved by the Senate, which they control, or that a substantial number could elude a presidential veto.

(Source: The New York Times, 2011-07-27)  

5) EPA Calls for Public Comment on Toxicity Testing of Bisphenol A 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to carry out toxicity testing and environmental sampling for Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the manufacture of many consumer goods, that animal studies suggest can disrupt normal growth and development by interfering with hormone levels. The agency announced that it will be requesting public comment on the matter.

(Source: Medical News Today, 2011-07-27)

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