Congress should revisit the landmark environmental regulations initiated by the National Environmental Policy Act if it wanted to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and help the environment, a panel told the House Natural Resources Committee at an oversight hearing today. A Wyoming county commissioner, a national infrastructure expert, and a union representative from the construction industry told members of the House committee that the effects of NEPA, signed into law in 1970, had “metastasized” into permitting “bottlenecks” that raised costs, drew excessive litigation, and imposed significant environmental harm on projects of all sizes, especially in the West, undermining the legislation’s original intent.
A Nebraska Public Service Commission decision last week to approve the Keystone XL pipeline with an alternate route through the state prompted a motion to reconsider by TransCanada, the pipeline’s builder. “TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP (“Keystone”) hereby requests the Public Service Commission (“Commission”) reconsider its order dated November 20, 2017. In support of this motion, Keystone asks that the Commission consider Keystone’s filing of an amended application in accordance with the findings of the Commission that the Mainline Alternative Route is in the public interest,” the company wrote in its filing.
There’s a buzz of curiosity in the West as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke considers possible relocation options for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters, a plan that has garnered bipartisan support from elected officials out west. Speaking to The Salt Lake City Tribune, Zinke named two potential locations for BLM’s headquarters relocation, “perhaps in Salt Lake City or Denver.”
Backers of a controversial lawsuit aiming to provide the Colorado River personhood rights admitted recently that their legal endeavor faced long odds of success. A lawyer closely associated with the suit, Jason Flores-Williams, a lawyer representing Deep Green Resistance, told the Post Independent, “The court isn’t going to just give us anything. How we won’t lose is not based on whatever will happen inside the courtroom, but what happens outside of it.”
The Bureau of Land Management has a new acting director after Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tapped Brian Steed to take over. Steed, formerly chief of staff for Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), will replace Mike Nedd, acting director for BLM since March.
A University of Wyoming researcher and the head of one of the largest trade associations in the country told a Senate committee today that air emission reductions could be achieved through technological advances, offering real world examples in research and development and company-level deployment. Experts appeared at the hearing, “Promoting American Leadership in Reducing Air Emissions Through Innovation,” before the Senate’s powerful Environment and Public Works committee.
A new database for tracking attacks and other incidents involving the nation’s energy infrastructure launched in late October, according to Energy Builders, a coalition of energy infrastructure providers. The Energy Builders’ Energy Infrastructure Incident Reporting Center (EIIRC), intended to be a warehouse for gathering publicly sourced information, independent reporting, and firsthand accounts, will be “dedicated to tracking and exposing attacks on critical energy infrastructure.”