Carbon Emissions

News & Analysis as of

I’m Still a Cockeyed Optimist When It Comes to Climate Change

Last week, NRG Energy announced plans to reduce CO2 emissions 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. And this reduction is not from a 1990 or 2005 baseline; it is from 2014 emissions. NRG’s statement indicated that it had already...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - - Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act, 33 C.F.R. Part 328 - - In connection with its proposed rule regarding the definition of...more

Historic U.S.-China Agreement to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In a surprise announcement last evening from Beijing, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to ambitious cuts in carbon emissions over the next 15 years with the hope of preventing catastrophic global...more

Climate Action Plan for San Diego County Struck Down Under CEQA by Court of Appeal for Failure to Comply with Requirements for...

On October 29, 2014, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of California upheld the Sierra Club’s challenges to the County of San Diego’s (“County”) approval of a climate action plan (“CAP”) and related significance thresholds...more

U.S. and China Reach Historic Accord on Climate Change

In a surprise announcement that capped months of secret negotiations, on November 11, 2014, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced an historic pact that commits each country to ambitious goals to cap...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - Coastal California residents using far less water: Associated Press - Nov 4: Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their inland counterparts, but still find ways to...more

Questions about EPA regulation of power plant carbon emissions

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a public notice relating to its Clean Power Plan, the agency's proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions from the nation's existing power plants. The notice reiterates...more

Blue vs. Grey Over Green in Murray v. EPA; Cross-Border Rule Goes Ahead

As I posted earlier, in Murray, et al v. EPA , plaintiff Murray Energy Corporation seeks to enjoin EPA's Clean Power Plan rule even before it has been issued as a Final Rule. The Clean Power Plan proposes to regulate the...more

The Obama Clean Power Plan Nuclear Gap

If we want to arrest climate change, all we need are more renewables like wind and solar, right? Not exactly, according to a newly published Canadian report from Hatch Ltd. on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”). The...more

News Flash: Cap-and-Trade Remains the Most Efficient Way to Reduce Emissions

Notwithstanding Congressional gridlock on climate change legislation, cap-and-trade remains the tried and true efficient method for reducing air emissions. Although the acid rain provisions of the Clean Air Act are the most...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Army Corps Drops Regional Permit - The Army Corps has announced that it has abandoned the idea of establishing a regional general permit for the New England states. The proposal would have replaced the individual...more

MiFID II: Commodity Derivatives and Emissions

MiFID II is the latest piece in a package of European and global reforms impacting commodity derivatives and emissions traders, drawn up in response to concerns as to excessive speculation and volatility in the commodities...more

Exemptions for Excess Emissions During Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Are In Jeopardy – What Can You Do?

For many years, a number of state air regulations, including certain MEDEP, NHDES, and RIDEM regulations, have contained exemptions and/or affirmative defenses for excess air emissions occurring during startup, shutdown...more

We Need a Smarter, Greener Grid, But How?

There is no denying that the U.S. electrical grid is in need of replacing, but the route to achieving that goal is unclear. The EPA added another curve in June 2014 with its proposed and highly controversial Clean Power Plan,...more

Carbon and Climate Continue to Create Controversy

Late last month, President Obama addressed the United Nations Climate Summit and just a few days ahead of that, EPA announced that it has extended the comment period on the Clean Power Plant proposed rule to December 1, 2014....more

Alaska Supreme Court Opens the Door for Alternative Theory in Public Trust Litigation

As this blog has discussed on several prior occasions, Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon public interest group, has coordinated lawsuits in numerous states seeking to apply the public trust doctrine to the atmosphere. While...more

NextEnergy: Incubating Technology for Tomorrow's Homes and Cars

Two major forces are reshaping the cars that people will drive in coming years: the push to create a smarter (and eventually, even an autonomous) car, and the push for better fuel efficiency. Smarter cars are seen as a way to...more

ML Strategies Energy & Environment Update: Week of 9/23/2014

Energy and Climate Debate - Congress has recessed until after the November elections, and we turn our attention this week to energy and climate issues on the Administration and international fronts....more

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Considers State Perspectives on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

On Tuesday, September 9, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule at a hearing titled “State Perspectives: Questions...more

Renewable Energy Update -- September 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Blue and red states going green on energy policy: USA Today - Sep 11: Politically "red" and "blue" states are increasingly turning green as they push energy efficiency and renewable power to...more

EPA Proposes to Eliminate Affirmative Defenses for Excess Emissions During Startups, Shutdowns, or Malfunctions — Get Ready for...

This past April, the D.C. Circuit struck down the part of EPA’s cement kiln rule that would have provided an affirmative defense to civil penalties for excess emissions resulting from unavoidable malfunctions. As we noted at...more

MN PUC Affirms Path of Contentious Litigation for Externalities Value Determination

The MN PUC held a hearing on September 4, 2014, to address the impending investigation of social costs of pollutants under Minn. Stat. § 216B.2422 subd. 3 (known as externalities values). First established in the late 1990s,...more

ABA Endangered Species Committee Releases Newsletter

The Endangered Species Committee within the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources recently released its periodic Endangered Species Committee Newsletter. The newsletter includes articles...more

Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules That Emission Of Locomotive Diesel Particulate Matter Is Not Disposal Under RCRA

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on August 20, 2014, upheld a lower court’s ruling and rejected an attempt by several environmental groups to use the citizen suit provision under the...more

Real Estate Group Newsletter

In this issue: - “United States Environmental Protection Agency Proposes Carbon Dioxide Emissions Limits for Existing Power Plants” - “New York Adopts Rule Allowing Parties to Agree to 'Accelerated...more

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