Carbon Emissions

News & Analysis as of

Obama Administration Anticipates Movement in Doomsday Clock

Last week the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) moved the minute hand on the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight. Advancement of the clock hand symbolizes experts’ concerns on the threat of global catastrophe....more

FERC and EPA's Clean Power Plan

Following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2014 proposal to regulate carbon emissions from electric power plants and other major sources, federal energy regulators have scheduled a series of public technical...more

EPA Seeking Small Business Input on Federal Plan for Carbon Emission Goals

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will seek stakeholder input on the development of a federal plan for meeting the Clean Power Plan’s carbon emission goals. Earlier this month, the EPA set...more

The Shale Play Today - January 2015

In This Issue: - Enforcing a "Fair Day's Pay" - What Can You Do in the Face of This Initiative? - Pennsylvania Finds Naturally Occurring Radiation from Gas Drilling Poses Little Threat - Washington County...more

White House Announces Plan to Regulate Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector

On January 14, the Obama administration announced plans to reduce methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas operations as part of the president’s strategy to address climate change. The plan does not, however,...more

What is the Social Cost of Carbon? And Who Bears Those Costs?

As I noted last year, there has been significant criticism of the Integrated Assessment Models used to calculate the social cost of carbon. An article published this week in Nature Climate Change (not free), attempts to...more

Governor Brown Proposes “Big Ideas” for Energy and Climate in His Fourth and Final Term

Governor Brown was sworn into office yesterday and gave his fourth inaugural address, which also doubled as his State of the State. Though he touched on a variety of other proposals, the Governor kept his laser focused on...more

Governor Jerry Brown Calls for 50% Renewables by 2030

On January 5, during Governor Brown’s inaugural address for his 4th term, the Governor announced 3 ambitious carbon-reduction goals. Stay tuned. This means lots of new regulations and initiatives in California in the near...more

Environmental Issues and The Republican Majority

Expectations are running high among some that the incoming Republican majority in both Houses of Congress will act to change or eliminate various environmental regulations and statutory provisions that they claim harm the...more

Initial Take: Xcel Energy’s 2016-2013 Integrated Resource Plan for Minnesota

Today, Xcel Energy filed its 2016 – 2030 Integrated Resource Plan. Xcel Energy’s proposal is fairly significant in scope – it proposes to cut CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030, add new renewable and natural gas generating...more

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

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