Members of Congress left for the campaign trail on September 30, passing a bill to temporarily fund the federal government just hours prior to a midnight government shutdown. The temporary spending measure funds government operations through December 16, delaying substantive legislation until December.
On September 7, the U.S. Department of Energy released its “Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap,” which identifies four pathways to reduce industrial emissions from five manufacturing industries: chemical, petroleum refining, iron and steel, food and beverage, and cement. The four pathways include: energy efficiency; industrial electrification; low-carbon fuels, feedstocks and energy sources (LCFFES); and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).
On the heels of the major climate and energy bill being signed into law in August 2022, the EPA recently sent to the White House for their formal review several major environmental regulations prior to their publications. Among those rules under review include the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM), where the EPA says that “information indicates that the current standards may not be adequate to protect public health and welfare, as required by the Clean Air Act.”
After decades of failed attempts by members of both parties in the U.S. to enact meaningful energy and climate-change policy, Democrats in Congress in August sent a $737 billion package to President Biden, unthinkable just weeks ago.
The Bipartisan Innovation Act that funds advanced manufacturing and semiconductors likely will not pass prior to the August Congressional break. The House and Senate are in a formal conference committee to negotiate the differences between the bipartisan Senate bill and the House measure, which passed with only a single GOP vote. The Democrats’ provisions on unions and climate change are now largely gone.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently concluded its term with a decision that could hamstring the Biden admiration’s effort to further restrict greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. In a 6-3 ruling in West Virginia v. EPA, the Court held that an Obama EPA rule exceeded the agency’s authority and is not permitted to regulate emissions system-wide, or “beyond the fence line” of a utility.
Among us trade lobbyists in Washington, D.C., rumors are increasing that President Biden might make an announcement in the coming weeks over the future of tariffs on Chinese imports. The current administration has thus far maintained the policies of the previous – 25% tariffs on roughly 7,000 imported goods and 7.5% on over 3,000 products.
In a one-line order issued on May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Biden administration’s continued use of the social cost of carbon, which applies a dollar amount for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The EPA uses this calculus to develop and justify rules that regulate emissions from utilities, vehicles, manufacturing plants and other sources.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is accepting comments from supporters of the 25% and 7.5% tariffs on Chinese imports on whether to continue the Section 301 action. If USTR receives a request for continuation, as is expected, it will conduct a full review of the tariff actions where opponents and supporters of individual tariffs can weigh in.
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