Category Archives: GHG/Climate Change

Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule

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The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 overturning part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPAs) permitting program for greenhouse gas emissions. The opinion in the case of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA determined that EPA had gone beyond its limits in requiring stationary sources to obtain air pollution permits and install pollution controls. The court also determined that part of the regulation does not comply with the Clean Air Act (CAA), as EPA revised numeric thresholds for greenhouse gases that forced power plants, industrial facilities, and factories to obtain a permit. [...]Read more

Clean Power Rule Published, Comment Period Begins

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The EPA’s Clean Power Rule, which we blogged and issued and advisory on, has been published in the Federal Register. With its publication, the public comment period has begun and will remain open until October 16, 2014. If commenters want their comments to be considered by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), they should submit them by July 18, 2014. As part of the comment period there will be four public hearings. They will be held on July 29, in Atlanta, Georgia and Denver, CO; July 30, in Washington, DC; and July 31 in Pittsburgh, PA. Follow us on Twitter [...]Read more

Senators Not Pleased with Proposed EPA Clean Power Plan Rule

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It did not take long for senators from both parties to voice their displeasure with EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule, which we blogged abouthere. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) are among those that have spoken out against the rule. Sen. Manchin said that he plans to examine every option Congress has in order to get legislation to the Senate floor because the proposed rule needs to be stopped. Sen. Landrieu voiced her displeasure as well but has yet to offer a proposal to prevent the rule from moving forward. The issue in [...]Read more

EPA Releases Proposed Clean Power Rule for Existing Power Plants

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its Clean Power Plan proposal as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The proposal aims to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants to 30 percent below 2005 carbon emission levels by 2030. On top of reducing carbon emissions, the proposed rule also aims to cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent by 2030. The proposed rule would “maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations,” [...]Read more

White House Set to Release Carbon Rules for Existing Power Plants

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President Barack Obama is expected to release rules that will put a cap on carbon emissions from existing power plants on June 2. The rules will likely provide many contentious issues. One to keep an eye on is how states handle the rules as they will likely be tasked with developing and implementing programs that comply with EPA guidelines. Another potential issue is how far the rules actually go to cap the greenhouse gas emissions. Will the owners of the power plants keep them open, retrofit them or close them based on how far the emissions limits go. Legal and congressional challenges will [...]Read more

Senators Ask EPA to End Hydraulic Fracturing Investigation

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U.S. Republican Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Tom Coburn (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), sent a letter to EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. informing him that they view the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG’s) recent announcement of plans to conduct research into states’ ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing and its potential threat on water sources as “wholly inappropriate,” and request that the investigation end immediately. The senators believe the planned research is outside of the scope of the EPA OIG’s core mission, [...]Read more

CCS Bills In the Senate

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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is trying to gain support from her colleagues for S. 2152, legislation that would increase the commercial availability of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. The “Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in our Nation Act of 2014” (AACTION Act) would expand the Department of Energy’s (DOEs) research and loan guarantee programs for CCS. Heitkamp believes the future of coal relies heavily on CCS technology. She doesn’t see her bill moving in this Congress, but is hopeful that her efforts to gain support from her colleagues that she will be able to [...]Read more

Supreme Court To Consider EPA’s Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

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On February 24, 2014, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to EPA’s rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions form stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration program. This case comes to Supreme Court as a consolidation of six cases after the D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld portions of the EPA’s greenhouse gas program. The Court granted certiorari a limited question: whether the EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary [...]Read more

President Orders Tighter Fuel Standards for Trucks

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President Obama has issued an order to the U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop tighter fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks beyond model year 2018. The new standards must be finalized by March 2016, with the proposed standards developed by March 2015. Obama said the standards represent “another big step to grow our economy and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.” The White House plans to work with truck manufacturers and operators in developing the standards.

Longtime Congressman Henry Waxman to Retire

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Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) will retire after four decades of serving the country as a member of Congress. Waxman served as a leader for the Democratic party on many health and environmental issues over the four decades, including: universal health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, cost of generic drugs, tobacco regulation, air and water quality standards, pesticide regulation, and climate change efforts. His leadership efforts earned him the spot of Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee from January 2009 – January 2011. If you asked Republicans, they would say Rep. Waxman [...]Read more