Driving the Day: 4/19/12

Apr 19, 2012

Need to know…

  • EPA’s Fracking Rule to Require Compliance by 2015. The EPA said today that it will delay requirements for capturing air emissions from oil and gas wells until 2015, though in the interim the agency will impose other requirements, including gas flaring, that it said would reduce the release of smog-forming and toxic chemicals by 90%. The move represents a victory for firms that use hydraulic fracturing. The American Petroleum Institute said EPA’s final rules made “constructive changes” from rules the agency proposed earlier.
  • House Clears Highway Bill with Keystone Pipeline Mandate. In a 293-127 vote, Republicans defied a White House veto threat yesterday and passed legislation that extends transportation program funding through September and mandates construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. All but 14 Republicans, with support from 69 Democrats, voted for the legislation. The vote sets up talks with the Senate on the highway bill and keeps the Keystone pipeline — a centerpiece of GOP attacks on White House energy policy — front and center ahead of the November election.
  • Postal Office Closings Make Small Businesses Nervous. Owners of small businesses fear their businesses will suffer if local mail-processing and distribution centers are shut down. Some areas have already faced closures in the past year, forcing difficult adjustments including crowded post offices, leaving packages for extra days, and a delay in mail, all hurting the small businesses. If Congress doesn’t act by May 15, there is potential for 250 U.S. postal office and distribution center closings as a part of a pan to consolidate and save money.
  • House GOP Advances Dodd-Frank Reform Legislation. House Republicans advanced legislation on Wednesday that would roll back portions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Members of the House Financial Services Committee touted a set of four measures as cutting $35 billion from the deficit. The measures would target a number of pieces of the Dodd-Frank law that Republicans have long found problematic, including the “bank tax” measure and the creation of the Office of Financial Research.

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