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Senate OKs Trump pick to lead MSHA; Chatterjee promotes alternative to DOE plan


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Senate OKs Trump pick to lead MSHA; Chatterjee promotes alternative to DOE plan

As his days as FERC chair dwindle, Chatterjee promotes alternative to DOE plan

Following what he acknowledged will be his last open monthly meeting chairing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Neil Chatterjee on Nov. 16 further outlined to reporters his plan to have the agency approve an interim solution to potential threats to grid resilience.

A day earlier, Chatterjee, who soon will hand the agency's gavel to recently confirmed appointee Kevin McIntyre, revealed to the trade publication Utility Dive more details of his interim plan designed to keep at-risk coal and nuclear generators online while FERC further considers the DOE's notice of proposed rulemaking.

Under the chairman's plan, FERC would use Section 206 of the Federal Power Act to order grid operators to either provide interim compensation for existing resources that may provide necessary resilience attributes and are at risk of retirement or "show cause" why they should not be required to do so.

Senate approves Trump pick to lead MSHA

The U.S. Senate voted Nov. 15 to confirm David Zatezalo, President Donald Trump's pick to head the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The former president and CEO of Rhino Resource Partners LP was confirmed on a 52-46 vote to fill a vacant position formerly held by Obama-appointee Joseph Main.

Senate proposes more modest cuts for EPA, Interior

The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations released a fiscal year 2018 spending bill Nov. 20 that proposed more modest cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of the Interior than called for by President Donald Trump or Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill would provide $32.6 billion in discretionary funding for the EPA, Interior and related agencies. The proposal is higher than the $31.4 billion requested by the House Appropriations Committee, which was $4.3 billion above the president's proposed budget.

US House committee passes bill to repeal mine safety disclosure requirements

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee approved a bill Nov. 15 that would repeal certain mine safety disclosure requirements in reporting to the SEC.

Introduced by Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., H.R. 4289 seeks to repeal legislation that requires mining companies to include information about mining-related fatalities and violations in quarterly and annual reports filed with the SEC.

The bill passed the committee 33-25.

Judge denies Millennium Bulk critical shoreline permits; terminal to appeal

Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview received yet another blow in its quest to move forward with a coal export terminal in Washington with the denial of two permits.

A Cowlitz County hearings examiner denied the permits for the coal export terminal related to the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Management Program, concluding that Millennium Bulk failed to reasonably mitigate the unavoidable and significant impacts identified in the final environmental impact statement released in April.