Bloomberg: EPA Overhauls Boiler Rules After Complaints About Cost: The Obama administration said it issued pollution rules for industrial boilers that are 50 percent less expensive than regulations proposed last year that drew industry opposition. The Environmental Protection Agency's final rules for boilers and incinerators will provide health benefits comparable to the previous standards while cutting costs, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy said today on a conference call with reporters. The EPA had estimated the earlier rules would cost $9.5 billion, while the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners set the cost at $20 billion and as many as 300,000 lost jobs. The agency's revamping of the rules followed President Barack Obama's pledge to review regulations that companies call excessive and a court order to act by this week. "We've done a great job," and the agency is "pretty comfortable" with the revised rules, McCarthy said. The regulations remain too costly to business, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. The rules will have an "immediate, negative impact on manufacturers' bottom lines at a time when they are trying to rebound economically and create jobs," Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations for the Washington-based trade association, said in a statement. The American Petroleum Institute, the biggest U.S. lobbying group for the oil and gas industry and a critic of the rules proposed last year, said it welcomed the EPA's efforts to change the regulations. "API is committed to work with the agency during its reconsideration period to ensure that the final rule protects the environment while allowing businesses to create jobs and get Americans back to work," Howard Feldman, director of science and regulatory policy at the Washington-based group, said in a statement today before release of the rules.
The Houston Chronicle: One condition: Capacity needed to get the oil out: The Eagle Ford shale, a vast oil and natural gas play in South Texas, will become one of the state's fastest-growing areas for new business and job creation over the next decade, experts said Wednesday. That's if they can get the oil out. Pipelines already are full, and companies are having to truck it out or ship it by rail. Jumps in leased acreage and in drilling permits signal the rapid advance of the Eagle Ford as an energy-producing area, experts said at a meeting of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers in San Antonio. The activity in the Eagle Ford started with drilling in gas regions and has moved into oil-producing regions, generally in the northern part of the play, as oil prices have jumped, said Ramona Hovey, senior vice president at DrillingInfo, an information company specializing in oil and gas. Drilling permits issued jumped to 944 for 2010 from 94 permits issued two years earlier, according to Railroad Commission data.