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The Drumbeat Continues: Another Court Rejects an FEIR For Not Properly Considering Climate Change

Last week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a District Court decision approving a decision by the Bureau of Land Management to approve new leases on mines that account for 20% of U.S. coal production. ...more

How Imminent Are the Impacts of Climate Change in Everett?

On September 13, 2017, Judge Mark Wolf dismissed part of the Conservation Law Foundation’s claims in its litigation against ExxonMobil concerning ExxonMobil’s Everett Terminal facility. The opinion is both interesting and...more

9/15/2017  /  Climate Change , Exxon Mobil , FEMA

If China Can Cap-and-Trade Auto Fuel, Why Can’t We?

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that: China will soon unveil a mandatory cap-and-trade credit program for electric cars, starting the countdown for carmakers to be in compliance with stricter rules on emissions and...more

Trump’s 2-For-1 Order: Still Arbitrary and Capricious After All These Months

In June, I posted about Foley’s brief in support of those challenging Executive Order 13771, the so-called “2 for 1” EO. By ignoring the benefits of existing and proposed regulations, the Order ignores the purposes behind...more

Cooperative Federalism Requires Cooperation From Both Sides

In 2011, the National Parks Conservation Association sued EPA for failure to enforce the regional haze requirements of the Clean Air Act. EPA and the NPCA settled in 2012, establishing a schedule by when SIPs or FIPs had to...more

What’s a Court to Do When EPA Misses a Statutory Deadline?

Earlier this week, a divided 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed entry of a consent decree between the Sierra Club and EPA, resolving litigation over EPA’s failure to promulgate attainment designations for the sulfur...more

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains in the Eye of the Beholder

In a very interesting – and extremely rare – case, Emhart Industries has successfully defended itself against a unilateral administrative order issued by EPA under CERCLA, on the ground that key decisions made by EPA were...more

State Street Global Advisors Gets on the Climate Disclosure Express — In a Big Way

Earlier this month, State Street Global Advisors joined the chorus of money managers urging corporate boards, particularly those in “high-impact sectors” – meaning “oil and gas, utilities and mining” – to do a better job...more

Does NEPA Require Assessment of Downstream GHG Emissions Resulting From Gas Pipelines?

Last week, a divided panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that FERC violated NEPA in failing to assess downstream greenhouse gas emissions resulting from construction of the Sabal Trail pipeline, part of the...more

The Social Cost of Carbon: Not Too Speculative for NEPA

Earlier this week, the Judge Donald Malloy of the District Court for the District of Montana granted summary judgment to the Montana Environmental Information Center on several of its claims alleging that the Office of...more

The Montreal Protocol Is Not a Climate Change Statute

Earlier this week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down part of an EPA rule promulgated pursuant to the Montreal Protocol. The section that was struck down would have required manufacturers of HFC-134a, which is not...more

Coming Soon To a Massachusetts Facility Near You: More Citizen Enforcement?

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs went live with two new web sites intended to increase the public availability of information concerning regulated entities in Massachusetts. The...more

Real Superfund Reform Would Not Place It At the Center of EPA’s Core Mission

Earlier this week, Scott Pruitt released the results of the Superfund Task Force he established in May.  Though skeptical, I was pleased at the creation of the task force and goals he established for it.  With the release of...more

7/28/2017  /  EPA , Superfund

State Programs to Encourage Zero-Emitting Generation are Really, Really, Constitutional

Hard on the heels of decision upholding the Illinois “zero-emission credit” program to prop up nuclear plants in that state, Judge Valerie Caproni of the South District of New York has now upheld a similar ZEC program in New...more

State Programs to Encourage Zero-Emitting Generation Are Constitutional

Late last month, the 2nd Circuit Court of appeals rejected a challenge to Connecticut laws intended to encourage use of renewable energy. Earlier this month, Judge Manish Shah, of the Northern District of Illinois, issued a...more

Reports of the Death of the SEP Have Not Been Greatly Exaggerated

Last month, Attorney General Sessions barred DOJ from entering into settlements that provide for payments to non-governmental persons not a party to the dispute. At the time, I peered into my crystal ball and proclaimed that...more

EPA Fails to Justify Its Use of Surrogates for Certain Hazardous Air Pollutants

July 18, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals remanded EPA’s MACT standards for PCBs, polycyclic organic matter, and hexachlorobenzene to EPA. Rather than setting specific MACT standards for these compounds, EPA regulated...more

7/20/2017  /  Air Pollution , Appeals , EPA

EPA Delays Compliance with Massachusetts MS4 Permit

On July 13, 2017, EPA extended the compliance deadline for its General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems for one year, until July 1, 2018. The move almost certainly prompted a collective sigh of relief...more

NGOs 1, Trump EPA 0: The First Skirmish in the Great Environmental Rollback War Goes to the Greens

Earlier this week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals handed environmentalists at least a temporary win in what I think was the first case to reach judicial decision in Scott Pruitt’s great environmental roll-back tour of...more

State Programs to Encourage Renewable Energy Are Constitutional (In Case You Were Worried)

Last week, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court decision rejecting a challenge to Connecticut statutes intended to encourage renewable energy development in Connecticut. It’s a critical win, not just...more

EPA Does Not Have a Non-Discretionary Duty to Assess the Impact of Clean Air Regulations on Employment

On June 29, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit reversed a District Court decision and rejected the lawsuit by Murray Energy which argued that EPA had a non-discretionary duty under § 321(a) of the Clean Air Act...more

Meet the New WOTUS. Same as the Old WOTUS.

Earlier this week, EPA and the ACOE began implementing the Trump administration’s efforts to deconstruct the Obama rule defining “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. EPA and the ACOE submitted for Federal...more

Does the Concept of Regulatory Takings Comport With Original Intent?

On June 23, 2017, the Supreme Court issued an important regulatory takings case, refining the test to be used to determine what is the appropriate unit of property to use to assess the impact of a regulation. It’s an...more

6/26/2017  /  Coal Industry , SCOTUS , Takings Clause

Is It a Dividend? Is It a Tax? Could President Trump Care Less?

In February, I posted about the formation of the Climate Leadership Council and its push for what it calls its “Carbon Dividend” plan. In essence, it’s a gradually increasing carbon tax. The plan would be revenue neutral,...more

Climate Change Skeptics Occasionally Become Believers, But Believers Don’t Become Skeptics. Why Is That?

Greenwire today published a very interesting interview with Jerry Taylor, every climate advocate’s favorite Libertarian. The interview chronicles Taylor’s journey from climate skeptic to climate believer. For those of you...more

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