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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

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

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

The Latest on Shareholder Climate Activity: BlackRock Begins Explaining Its Votes

We previously noted BlackRock’s recent shareholder votes in favor of increased reporting of climate risks by ExxonMobil and Occidental. Now, BlackRock has stepped it up a notch by including “vote bulletins” on its investment...more

Shareholders Are Getting Restless; Climate Change Resolution Passes at Occidental

In March, I noted BlackRock’s increasing concern over climate. One element of its statement was “potential support for shareholder resolutions on climate risk”, where “management’s response to our prior engagement has been...more

Will There Be a Trial on Climate Change Public Trust Claims? It’s Looking that Way.

Last November, the District Court of Oregon denied the motion of the United States to dismiss claims that the United States had violated a public trust obligation it owes to US citizens to protect the atmosphere from climate...more

South Florida — The Front Lines of Climate Change?

Two related items about climate change resilience and adaptation caught my eye this week. First, the American Academy of Actuaries issued a report on “The National Flood Insurance Program: Challenges and Solutions.” Those...more

Exxon Case Against AGs Transferred to New York: Judge Kinkeade Fires a Parting Shot

On Wednesday, Judge Ed Kinkeade ordered that Exxon Mobil’s suit against NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey be transferred to the Southern District of New York.  The AGs must...more

If a Climate Change Report Falls in the White House, Does Anyone Hear It?

This week, the National Academy of Sciences Committee tasked with reviewing the Climate Science Special Report, issued by the Obama administration, basically blessed it. They had some comments, but I’ve been through the NAS...more

Investors Don’t Think That Climate Change Is A Hoax: Black Rock Is Losing Its Patience

Black Rock, which manages more than $5 trillion in assets, has released a statement on how it “engages with climate risk.” The statement has three main elements. ...more

3/14/2017  /  BlackRock , Climate Change , Investors

Climate Change Will Increase Peak Energy Demand By More Than We Thought: More Storage, Perhaps?

In an interesting study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors predict that climate change will have a more significant impact on peak energy demand than had previously been...more

The Conservative Uphill Slog for a Carbon Tax

Earlier this week, the Climate Leadership Council rolled out The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends (note the absence of the “T” word in that title!). It’s a serious proposal and, if we lived in a world of facts, rather...more

Does MassDEP Have Authority to Regulate Electric Generating Emissions Under Section 3(d) of the GWSA? I’m Not So Sure.

As I have previously noted, I sympathize with the difficulties faced by MassDEP in trying to implement the SJC decision in Kain. However, that does not mean that MassDEP can simply take the easy way out. After rereading...more

DEP Is Trying to Implement Kain. How Are They Doing?

When the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Kain that § 3(d) of the Global Warming Solutions act requires MassDEP to promulgate emission limits for multiple source categories, requiring declining annual emissions enforceable in...more

Let the Environmental Trade Wars Begin!

While speculation is rampant regarding just far President Trump will go to roll back progress on climate change in the United States, Nicolas Sarkozy has fired what might be called a metaphorical shot across Trump’s bow. In...more

A Reminder of the Progress We’ve Made

Given how easy it can be to get discouraged about progress in addressing climate change, I think it’s helpful periodically to remember how much progress the U.S. has made in fighting air pollution. It thus seemed useful to...more

11/8/2016  /  Air Pollution , Climate Change

It’s Foreseeable That More Species Will Be Listed Under the ESA Due to Climate Change

The drumbeat of cases, either approving agency action under the ESA – or reversing agency refusal to act – due to habitat alteration resulting from climate change continues to grow. In February, the 9th Circuit reversed a...more

FWS Goes Back to Square One On Listing the Wolverine. It’s Not Going to Be Any Easier This Time Around.

As we noted in this space in April, Judge Dana Christensen vacated the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to withdraw its proposed listing of a distinct population segment of the North American wolverine as threatened under...more

What a Surprise! Increased Renewal Energy Decreases GHG Emissions.

On October 12, 2016, the Energy Information Administration reported that “Energy-related CO2 emissions for first six months of 2016 are lowest since 1991.” The EIA gave three reasons for the drop in CO2 emissions. ...more

Massachusetts Innovates Again, This Time With New Climate Change Litigation

As an MIT grad and loyal resident (Go Sox!), I’m always happy to see stories about Massachusetts’ role in the innovation economy. Last week news arrived of more innovation in Massachusetts – this time on the legal front. ...more

Stop the Presses: Nuclear Power Still Does Not Emit Greenhouse Gases

On Monday, the TVA announced that Watts Bar Unit 2 had successfully completed what is known as its final power ascension test. It is now producing 1,150 MW of power in pre-commercial operation. Though EnergyWire did report...more

Governor Baker’s Executive Order on Change: Good News; Still Work To Be Done By MassDEP

Last Friday, Governor Baker issued Executive Order 569, “Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth.” EO 569 will advance climate policy in Massachusetts in a number of important ways. It also...more

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