News & Analysis as of

Second District Addresses Interesting CEQA and CESA Species Mitigation Issues in Lengthy Partially Published Opinion Upholding...

In a lengthy, mostly published opinion filed on March 20, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate, and upheld – as against state law challenges brought by a...more

Senate Bill 375 and Susatainable Communities Strategies [Video]

As global climate change has gained recognition, state and local governments have been confronted with what may happen if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue unabated. The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection...more

Obama Administration Targets Oil & Gas Industry in Methane Reduction Strategy

On March 28, the Obama Administration unveiled a new Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, as part of the President’s overall Climate Action Plan. Methane is the second largest source of greenhouse gases, after carbon...more

First Texas GHG Permit Upheld by EPA's Environmental Appeals Board

On March 14, 2014, the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) within EPA issued an order denying review of the first petition for review of a Texas greenhouse gas (GHG) prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit....more

Court of Appeal Confirms AB 32 Target Is Proper CEQA Significance Threshold

The strongly worded opinion in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Case Number B245131)(CBD v. CDFW) by the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District has confirmed...more

Massachusetts Permit for New Natural Gas Plant Incorporates Global Climate Conditions Including Sunset Date

The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (Siting Board) approved a certificate for a 630-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Salem last month. The certificate is unique in that it incorporates the terms of a...more

EPA Finalizes Rule Tightening Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final rule on March 3, 2014, that establishes stricter standards for motor vehicle exhaust emissions and the sulfur content of gasoline. The new “Tier 3” standards...more

Texas Environmental Update

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

D.C. Circuit Dismisses Most Industry Challenges to EPA’s Utility NSPS as Premature, Upholds EPA on Opacity Monitoring and...

In a unanimous decision issued on March 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected, on procedural and substantive grounds, a number of industry challenges to EPA’s new source...more

On The Horizon - Renewable Energy in Asia: Malaysia

1. What are the driving factors for increasing renewable energy production in Malaysia? At the current rate of production, Malaysia’s oil and gas reserves are expected to last until 2025 and 2042 respectively, if...more

On The Horizon - Renewable Energy in Asia: Korea

1. What are the driving factors for increasing renewable energy production in Korea? On 15 August 2008, President Lee Myung-Bak declared “Low-Carbon, Green Growth” as the new 60-year national vision for Korea,...more

Sold-Out RGGI Auction Triggers Cost Containment Reserve (Which Sells Out, Too)

Last week’s auction of CO2 allowances by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was the 23rd in the program’s history, but the first auction under the new RGGI rules and reduced cap. The new rules undoubtedly explain...more

February Closes with Significant Activity Relating to EPA's Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Last week saw two developments regarding EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases. On February 24, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. the Environmental Protection...more

On The Horizon - Renewable Energy in Asia: Indonesia

1. What are the driving factors for increasing renewable energy production in Indonesia? Energy is a critical factor needed for the development of economic activity and national defense. - Ensuring domestic...more

Regulatory and Standard Updates for 2014

A number of regulations and standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA, and other organizations have recently been revised and/or updated. TRC has prepared a Regulatory Update summarizing the changes with...more

Deadline Extended to Submit Comments on EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it is extending until May 9, 2014, the deadline for submitting comments on its proposed rule to set greenhouse gas emission limits for new coal- and gas-fired...more

Investment of RGGI Funds Sees Big Returns for States and Consumers

Through the end of 2012, the nine states remaining in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative invested just over $707 million of the proceeds from the RGGI Auctions. But the impact this money will have in the future is even...more

US Supreme Court considers EPA greenhouse gas emissions regulations

May the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and industry under the Clean Air Act? The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument on this issue yesterday,...more

Renewable Energy Update -- February 21, 2014

Renewable Energy Focus - San Francisco announces 0-50-100 plan to fight climate change: SustainableBusiness.com - Feb 14 - San Francisco says it is closing in on the goals of its 2004 Climate Action Plan, and the city...more

Obama’s Climate Change Strategy In Supreme Court’s Hands

Two years ago, the Supreme Court upheld the major domestic policy initiative of President Obama’s first term, ruling that the Affordable Care Act passed constitutional muster. This coming June, the Court will determine the...more

ML Strategies’ Energy and Environment Update – Week of February 24, 2014

Energy issues will take center stage this week as the Supreme Court addresses the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas regulations and Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduce their energy...more

Report On Carbon Capture And Storage From The House

Would an 80% premium steer you away from an energy source that was low-carbon, naturally abundant in the United States, not subject to the vicissitudes of weather, incapable of nuclear meltdown and accompanied by a...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing in Clean Air Act Greenhouse Gas Case

As we discussed in an earlier post, in October 2013 the Ninth Circuit held in Washington Environmental Council v. Bellon, 732 F.3d 1131, that it lacked jurisdiction to hear certain environmental organizations’ challenge to...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - February 13, 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - Sens. Feinstein, Boxer propose emergency drought legislation: SFGate - Feb 13: Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer proposed emergency drought legislation Tuesday ahead of President...more

US Supreme Court Briefing of Greenhouse Gas Cases Completed — Oral Argument Scheduled for February 24, 2014

Briefing has just concluded in a matter before the US Supreme Court involving challenges to the suite of greenhouse gas (GHG) cases decided by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in June 2012. In...more

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