Our Top 5: The Weekly Round-up, Environmental & Sustainability — February 9, 2011

1) Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Prevent EPA from Limiting Emissions 

Acting on a vow to fight the Obama administration on climate issues, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, unveiled draft legislation to try to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Sen. James M. Inhofe (Okla.), ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the subcommittee on energy and power, joined Upton in issuing what they called the Energy Tax Prevention Act.

Source: The Washington Post (free reg. req’d), 2011-02-03.

2) White House to Unveil Plan to Urge More Energy Efficient Building 

The White House will unveil a five-point plan to persuade owners of commercial buildings to retrofit them to be more energy efficient, but aides will not say how much the program will cost.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2011-02-03.

3) EPA Announces Perchlorate Regulations for Drinking Water 

The Environmental Protection Agency reversed Bush administration drinking water policies, announcing that it will regulate perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, and 16 other chemicals — called volatile organic compounds — that can cause cancer at high enough doses. The perchlorate decision “is about protecting the health of between five [million] and 17 million Americans that are exposed to perchlorate in the water they drink,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in remarks to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Source: The Washington Post (free reg. req’d), 2011-02-03.

4) Energy Efficiency Investing Expected to Continue Performing Well 

When it comes to green investing and profiting from efforts to curb carbon emissions, stocks of companies that make light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and insulation offer better prospects than wind and solar power. “Clean energy investments are riskier today, but energy efficiency is a no-brainer,” says Nino Tronchetti Provera, chief executive officer of Milan’s Ambienta SGR, a private equity investor that manages a $294 million environmental fund.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2011-02-03.

5) Obama Tries to Boost Nuclear Energy Production, But Falls Short 

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed giving the nuclear construction business a type of help it has never had, a role in a quota for clean energy. But recent setbacks in a hoped-for “nuclear renaissance” raise questions about how much of a role nuclear power can play.

Source: The New York Times (free reg. req’d), 2011-01-31.

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