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May 2, 2011
DOE Office of Enforcement Continues Aggressive Energy Efficiency Enforcement Effort with 20 New Proposed Penalty Notices

Demonstrating its continuing commitment to rigorous enforcement of important federal efficiency requirements, the Department of Energy’s Office of Enforcement today announced 20 new enforcement cases.

April 22, 2011
DOE Settles Elk Hills Equity Claims

The Department of Energy announced today that it has settled a longstanding dispute over equity rights to the Naval Petroleum Reserve-1 (commonly referred to as “Elk Hills”) located in Bakersfield, California.  Under the agreement, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. has agreed to pay $108 million to the United States to resolve all outstanding equity claims. 

April 21, 2011
DOE Issues Two Notices Seeking Comment on the Implementation of Its Certification and Enforcement Rules

Last week, the Department of Energy issued two Notices related to the application of its certification and enforcement regulations. First, the Department issued a Request for Information seeking information and data related to the use of computer simulations, mathematical methods, and other alternative methods of determining the efficiency of certain types of consumer products and commercial and industrial equipment. Comments are requested on or before May 18, 2011. Second, the Department issued a 

March 31, 2011
DOE Extends Comment Period for Reply Comments on Reducing Regulatory Burden

The Department of Energy today announces an extension of the reply comment period for its Request for Information implementing Executive Order 13563, seeking public comment on how best to review its existing regulations.

March 29, 2011
DOE Encourages Utility Sector Nominations to the Federal Communications Commission's Communications, Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council

Because of the role communications technologies will play in the evolution toward a smarter national grid, DOE recommended in its October 2010 report, The Communications Requirements of Smart Grid Technologies, that members of the utility sector become more engaged in the federal advisory committees that consider key policy issues related to the Smart Grid, including the reliability of communications networks.  Last week, the Federal Communications Commission announc

March 22, 2011
DOE Seeks Reply Comments on Reducing Regulatory Burden

The Department of Energy today announces the opening of the reply comment period for its Request for Information implementing Executive Order 13563, seeking public comment on how best to review its existing regulations and to identify whether any of its existing regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed.

March 8, 2011
DOE Proposes New Rules to Protect Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information

The Department of Energy today proposed to revise its rules to standardize how private parties applying for DOE assistance should submit trade secrets and other confidential business information.  Currently, different DOE programs have different rules for how to submit such information.  The confusion caused has made it difficult for the Department to respond promptly to Freedom of Information Act requests while meeting its obligations to protect confidential information.  The proposed rules, modeled on procedures used by the Department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing  program

March 4, 2011
DOE Withdraws Interpretive Rule and Provides Enforcement Guidance on Showerheads

The Department has withdrawn as unwarranted the draft interpretative rule setting out the Department's views on the definition of a "showerhead" for purposes of the water conservation standard enacted by Congress in 1992. To provide certainty going forward, however, the Department today provides a brief enforcement guidance, which balances the Department’s obligation to enforce the congressional standard with its determination to avoid needless economic dislocation.

February 17, 2011
Department of Energy Extends Comment Period on Proposed Revisions to its NEPA Rules

The Department of Energy today announced that,  in response to requests from a number of parties, it has re-opened the public comment period on its proposed revisions to the Department’s NEPA rules.  The public comment period will be extended three weeks and will now close on March 7, 2011. 

February 15, 2011
Two Manufacturers Agree to Civil Penalties to Resolve Enforcement Actions

The Department of Energy today announced it has now settled two civil penalty actions against companies for violations of DOE regulations requiring that they certify products as compliant with federal efficiency standards.  In the first case, DOE cited Perlick Residential & Hospitality Products (Perlick) for failure to certify properly its residential refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers.  DOE agreed to accept a civil penalty of $5,000 for the certification violations to settle the case, after considering factors set forth in DOE’s penalty guidance