News

Bailout oversight board to get a chair, Trump administration uses pandemic used to justify environmental rollbacks, and other news from around the web

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from June 26, 2020.

Reports: Fmr Joint Chiefs Chair Dunford to head Congress' Bailout Oversight Panel

Retired Gen. Joseph Dunford is the leading candidate for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to chair the five-member commission tasked with monitoring the Trump administration’s economic rescue effort amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dunford, who stepped down last fall after four years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would run the Congressional Oversight Commission, a body established in the $2 trillion law known as the CARES Act. The chairmanship has remained vacant for three months since the passage of the law and as the other four members of the commission have been actively monitoring the implementation of the new programs.

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Citing economic crisis, Trump administration speeds up environmental rollbacks

The Trump administration’s march to reshape federal environmental protection has gathered pace during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in lighter regulation of America’s air and water.

In response to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, President Donald Trump has ordered officials to find ways to speed up construction of highway or pipeline projects that could circumvent environmental reviews. The Environmental Protection Agency has adopted “enforcement discretion” for polluters unable to meet monitoring and testing duties.

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Companies want to renege on promises made to settle environmental violations

EPA has received several notices from companies and local governments asserting that they may have to break settlement agreements in administrative cases because of COVID-19.

Companies or jurisdictions enter consent decrees with EPA and the Justice Department to resolve alleged violations of air pollution or water quality laws. Those consent decrees may require them to construct pollution control devices or new sewage lines on a specific timeline, for instance.

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O&G execs expect shale industry to recover slowly, at best

A new Dallas Fed survey of energy executives and the upswing in COVID-19 cases together signal the near- and long-term problems facing domestic oil producers.

It's another window onto something we wrote about earlier this week: The once-booming shale patch may never achieve its former output, and if it does, it'll be reshaped as some financially weaker players face insolvency and potential acquisition.

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