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President-elect Joe Biden’s pick of former EPA air chief Janet McCabe to serve as deputy administrator is garnering broad praise from former agency staff and other observers, with the one-time Obama official seen as an experienced hand who could aid the new administration’s focus on climate and broader efforts to strengthen the agency.

President-elect Joe Biden is said to be considering potential nominees to head EPA’s air office that offer a mix of state-level and federal experience, sources say, with the incoming administration aiming to balance a need for “insider” knowledge with fresh perspectives on issues such as climate change and environmental justice (EJ).

The Supreme Court is poised to hear Jan. 19 oral arguments on a key jurisdictional question governing whether a raft of climate change nuisance cases against big oil companies can be heard in state or federal courts, though experts say conservative justices could opt to go beyond the question at issue and seek to tank the suits on the merits.

EPA is proposing to take further steps to bolster use of 15 percent ethanol fuel (E15) by altering or removing gas pump labeling requirements, while also inviting public comment on how it should proceed with several states’ and refiners’ applications for exemptions from renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending mandates.

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and six other environmental groups are suing EPA and other federal agencies in a bid to stop Florida’s assumption of dredge-and-fill permitting from the Army Corps of Engineers, alleging the federal government violated numerous environmental and administrative laws in approving the assumption.

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