Environmental Policies Carbon Emissions

News & Analysis as of

China Demonstrates Increasing Commitment to Addressing Climate Change and Air Pollution Challenges

In the past few weeks, China has taken major steps to revamp its air pollution and climate change policies, domestically and internationally. On September 25, 2015, China entered into a Joint Statement with the United States...more

Compliance at the Tipping Point, Part III – The VW Emissions-Testing Scandal

I continue my series on why I believe that compliance is at the ‘Tipping Point’ with a discussion of the Volkswagen (VW) emissions-testing scandal and its effect on the greater compliance world. Myself and many other...more

Obama Announces Clean Power Plan, Fights to Follow

On August 3, 2015, President Obama announced the finalization of the long-awaited Clean Power Plan, a policy primarily intended to further the commitment to combatting global warming. The Plan focuses on the electric power...more

Why Paris will not be another Copenhagen

The road from Rio - Concerted international action to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at safe levels began with the agreement of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in...more

Chairmen of U.S. Congressional Environmental Committees Criticize EPA’s Failure to Consult Regarding the Potential Impacts of...

On June 15, 2015, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a...more

Year in Preview: 2015 Heralds Big Changes Under the Clean Air Act

Not only has a new interstate pollution and allowance trading regime kicked in (effective Jan. 1), but the agency has announced that it will publish final carbon standards this summer for new and existing power plants and...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group Of Senators Weigh In On Biogenic Carbon Regulations

On August 7, 2014, a group of nine Democratic Senators led by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) sent a letter to the EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, on the treatment of biogenic carbon emissions from stationary sources. The other...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments (August 2014)

IARC Classifies Dichloromethane, Other Substances As Human Carcinogens: In June, an expert panel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that dichloromethane, a chemical substance used to make...more

ML Strategies’ Energy & Environment Update: August 2014

This week, ML Strategies’ Manager of Government Relations, Sarah Litke, highlights the Environmental Protection Agency’s 111(d) Proposed Rule...more

Feds Announce New Loan Guarantees for Clean Energy Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new loan guarantee program in July to facilitate the financing of energy projects in the U.S. that employ innovative and renewable or efficient energy technologies that avoid,...more

EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

The United States Supreme Court ruled in June that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must reduce its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. The EPA tried to increase two of its permit...more

Environmental Alert: "EPA's Inspector General Says EPA Must Improve Efforts regarding Methane Emissions from Pipelines"

On July 25, 2014, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines.” In this report, OIG cited President Obama’s Climate...more

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