Seth Jaffe

Seth Jaffe

Foley Hoag LLP

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Some Regulations to Reduce GHG Emissions Probably Won’t Be Rolled Back By the New Administration.

This week, the Department of Energy finalized regulations to increase energy efficiency for central air conditioners and heat pumps. The regulations apply to products manufactured or imported into the United States beginning...more

12/9/2016 - DOE Energy Efficiency Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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

12/6/2016 - Climate Change DOE Electric Generation Suppliers Energy Policy Global Warming Solutions Act Greenhouse Gas Emissions MassDEP RGGI

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

11/21/2016 - Clean Energy Climate Change Global Warming Solutions Act Greenhouse Gas Emissions MassDEP RGGI

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

10/13/2016 - Carbon Emissions Clean Energy Climate Change Coal Energy Policy Global Warming Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hydropower Renewable Energy Solar Energy Wind Power

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

10/5/2016 - Climate Change Dams Energy Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hydropower Nuclear Power

RGGI Is a Success Story. When Will It Be Obsolete?

When RGGI was first implemented, I heard Ian Bowles, then Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts, say more than once that the purpose of RGGI wasn’t really to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or jump...more

9/27/2016 - Clean Energy Clean Power Plan Energy Efficiency Greenhouse Gas Emissions Renewable Energy RGGI

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

9/19/2016 - Climate Action Plan Climate Change Executive Orders Global Warming Solutions Act Governor Baker Greenhouse Gas Emissions MassDEP Oil & Gas

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

9/8/2016 - Agency Deference Appeals BACT Biomass Coal Mines EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Natural Gas Oil & Gas Permits Sierra Club

The Global Warming Solutions Act Requires MassDEP to Promulgate Declining Annual GHG Emissions Limits for Multiple Sources: ...

On Tuesday, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that MassDEP had violated the Global Warming Solutions Act by failing "To promulgate regulations that address multiple sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions,...more

5/18/2016 - Climate Change Global Warming Greenhouse Gas Emissions MassDEP

Big Changes With LIttle Fanfare: The FHWA Proposes to Use GHG Emissions as a Performance Measure

This week, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking to promulgate performance measures to be used in evaluating federal funding of transportation projects. The requirement for performance...more

4/20/2016 - Carbon Emissions Federal Highway Administration Greenhouse Gas Emissions MAP-21 NPRM

Massachusetts Updates Its Climate Song: I Can Get By With A Little Help From My (Canadian) Friends

Earlier this week, Massachusetts released its updated Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. The headline for the press release was “Massachusetts on Track to Meet 25% Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target for...more

1/22/2016 - Canada Carbon Emissions Clean Energy Climate Change Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hydropower

Does the Paris Agreement Provide EPA With Authority Under the CAA To Impose EconomyWide GHG Controls? Count Me Skeptical

In a very interesting article, Michael Burger of the Sabin Center and his co-authors suggest that, following the Paris climate agreement, § 115 of the Clean Air Act provides authority for EPA to develop economy-wide GHG...more

1/21/2016 - Administrative Authority Carbon Emissions Clean Air Act Climate Change EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Paris Agreement Reciprocity Rules

Washington Has A Public Trust Obligation to Address Climate Change — So What?

Last week, a trial judge in Washington State, in Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology, ruled that the Public Trust Doctrine requires the State of Washington to address climate change more aggressively. Greenwire’s...more

11/24/2015 - Arbitrary and Capricious Climate Change Environmental Litigation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Public Trust Doctrine

Perhaps Massive Purchases of Canadian Hydropower Would Not Be a Panacea

Governor Baker recently submitted Senate Bill No. 1965 to the Legislature. It calls for utilities to solicit long-term purchases of renewable energy. We are talking about as much as 1/3 of Massachusetts’ annual electricity...more

9/17/2015 - Canada Energy Sector Global Warming Solutions Act Governor Baker Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hydropower Pending Legislation Renewable Energy

Stop the Presses: RGGI Works

When the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was first implemented, there were questions regarding how much of an impact it would actually have on GHG emissions. I recall Ian Bowles, then Secretary of Environmental Affairs in...more

8/25/2015 - Economic Impact Analysis Emissions Trading System Greenhouse Gas Emissions RGGI

Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Next Step, Landfill Methane

Having gotten the Clean Power Plan out the door, EPA has moved on to another target of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: landfill methane emissions. Late last week, EPA proposed both new emission guidelines for...more

8/19/2015 - Clean Air Act Clean Power Plan Climate Action Plan EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Landfills MATS Methane

The Clean Power Plan. Is Better Good Enough? Is More Defensible Defensible Enough?

So the Clean Power Plan is out. It’s difficult to be pithy about such a big, sprawling, mess, other than to say that it’s probably about as good as it could be, though that may not be enough. Here are a few items that have...more

8/5/2015 - Cap-and-Trade Carbon Emissions Clean Power Plan Emissions Trading System Energy Efficiency EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Renewable Energy

Two Strikes and Oklahoma’s Out (For Now): Another Challenge to the Clean Power Plan Is Rejected

On Friday, Judge Claire Eagan dismissed Oklahoma’s latest challenge to EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Yes, that plan. The one that hasn’t been promulgated yet....more

7/21/2015 - Carbon Emissions Clean Air Act Clean Power Plan Coal-Fired Plants EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Ultra Vires

The Problem With Relying on Energy Efficiency to Reduce Emissions? People

The connection between energy use and emissions of air pollutants, including GHGs, is uncontroversial. It is also widely, if not universally, accepted that there is a lot of low-hanging fruit in energy efficiency. I agree...more

7/10/2015 - Carbon Emissions Energy Efficiency Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Do Climate Change and Same-Sex Marriage Have Anything in Common?

Recent events have me pondering this question. Most notably, in two court decisions last week, courts ordered the State of Washington and the government of the Netherlands to take more aggressive action against climate...more

6/29/2015 - Climate Change Greenhouse Gas Emissions Nuisance Standing

EPA Is Not an Expert in Determining Electric System Reliability

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed and remanded EPA’s rule allowing backup generators to operate for up to 100 hours per year as necessary for demand response. It’s an important decision that could have lessons...more

5/4/2015 - Appeals EPA FERC Greenhouse Gas Emissions NERC Reliability Standards

Conservative Support for a Carbon Tax? Hope Springs Eternal

I have long thought that the best argument for market-based approaches to climate change mitigation was the clunkiness of the alternative. However much time EPA has spent trying to make the GHG regulations efficient, no one...more

3/25/2015 - Carbon Taxes Energy Policy EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Legislative Agendas

EPA Extends The Schedule For Issuing Its Power Plant Carbon Rules

As most readers know, EPA has extended its schedule for issuing its rules addressing GHG emissions from both existing, and new and modified, power plants. EPA expects to issue the rules in the Summer of 2015. Only time will...more

1/13/2015 - EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulatory Standards Time Extensions

Not a Good Day For Cape Wind: NStar and National Grid Terminate the Power Purchase Agreements

According to today’s Boston Globe, both NStar and National Grid have terminated their power purchase agreements with Cape Wind, citing the failure by Cape Wind to meet a December 31, 2014 deadline to obtain financing and...more

1/7/2015 - Energy Projects Energy Sector Financing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Power Purchase Agreements

When Is a Solid Waste Not a Solid Waste? An Eternal Question

This year, EPA has proposed a rule to regulate GHG emissions from existing sources, the legality of which turns, in significant part, on the definition of a “source” under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. It has also...more

12/11/2014 - Clean Air Act EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Proposed Regulation RCRA Solid Waste Waters of the United States

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