Trump's chances of ending China's coveted developing-nation status 'virtually nil'
The likelihood of President Donald Trump succeeding in stripping China of its developing-country status at the World Trade Organization is "virtually nil" as it would require the cooperation of other countries that benefit from the current system, according to a former U.S. trade representative.
Mexican president vows no new mining concessions, but explorers 'not panicking'
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said earlier this week that Mexico will not issue new mining concessions, but certain veterans of the country's mineral exploration sector said it remains to be seen if his vow will translate into action. López Obrador, a leftist politician elected in 2018, said Aug. 11 that enough mining concessions have been issued and that while Mexico will not cancel any existing claims, it will not hand out new ones. López Obrador said concessions are not being held for production purposes but rather for "financial speculation."
New York leads coalition of 22 states in legal challenge to US EPA's ACE rule
New York led a coalition of 22 states and seven municipalities Aug. 13 in launching a legal challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. Called the Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE, rule, the replacement regulation establishes a narrow legal interpretation of the EPA's authority to regulate planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. The far more sweeping Clean Power Plan, which would have set the first-ever federal CO2 emission limits on those generators, was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 before it could take effect.
Coal ash delays help US EPA exceed savings goals under Trump's '2-for-1' order
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has far exceeded its deregulatory mandate under President Donald Trump's executive order requiring federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every one they create, according to a new internal watchdog report. Over the course of fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the EPA finalized 26 deregulatory actions and just four regulatory actions, producing cost savings of $21.5 million and $75.1 million in those years, respectively, according to an Aug. 9 report from the agency's Office of Inspector General.
FERC chairman plans summit in Kentucky on 'future of American energy'
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee is organizing a bipartisan event planned for this fall in his home state of Kentucky focused on "the future of American energy." Scheduled for Oct. 21, the event will feature "a broad group of influencers" including energy executives, elected officials, academics, environmental and consumer advocates, and labor union representatives, according to a copy of an early invitation reviewed by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
TVA prepping environmental assessment of Foresight coal expansion in Illinois
The Tennessee Valley Authority is preparing an environmental impact statement on a proposed expansion of mining operations by Foresight Energy LP subsidiary Sugar Camp Energy LLC. The TVA, a federal corporation, is considering Sugar Camp's application to mine about 12,125 acres of TVA-owned coal reserves, part of a 37,971-acre expansion of Foresight's underground longwall mining operations at its Sugar Camp operations.
W.Va. green groups sue coal companies, alleging Clean Water Act violations
A coalition of conservation organizations in West Virginia is suing four coal and chemical facilities, alleging violations of the Clean Water Act. The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club alleged in an Aug. 6 release that the companies have violated permits by dumping toxic pollutants into local waterways. The groups said in June that they sent notices of intent to sue to each of the companies.