Air

Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

Topic Subtitle
Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

Former Officials, Lawmakers Back Suit To Protect State Auto GHG Rules

A bipartisan group of former EPA chiefs and Transportation secretaries, as well as scores of Democratic lawmakers, electric utilities and other groups, are weighing in against the Trump administration’s rule preempting state vehicle greenhouse gas programs, arguing that the move is both illegal and harmful to the public. Additionally, a group representing state air regulators is expressing support for “states’ rights” and citing harms from scrapping the state programs -- even though the group is formally remaining neutral in litigation...

Energy Unions Urge Democrats To Add ‘Transition Fee’ To Climate Bill

Seven heavy-industry trade unions are urging House Democrats drafting ambitious climate change legislation to consider imposing an “energy transition fee,” such as a wires charge on electricity users or a fee on energy production, to provide the revenue stream they say is needed to help displaced workers and to promote carbon-sequestration research. The unions shared a series of recommendations earlier this month with Democrats on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which early this year floated comprehensive climate legislation including...


Oil industry loses fourth climate nuisance appeal in a row

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit is the latest appellate court to dismiss an oil industry appeal over whether a climate nuisance suit belongs in federal court and not the state court where it was filed, the fourth loss in a row for the sector that is already urging the Supreme Court to intervene and overturn an earlier adverse ruling. A three-judge panel of the court issued a unanimous July 7 opinion in Boulder, et al. v....

In Rehearing Request, EPA Seeks To Limit Air Transport Policy Precedent

EPA is asking a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling that it says “misapprehended” an earlier decision setting a precedent that limited the agency’s discretion in rejecting states’ petitions to force interstate emissions cuts, warning that the court is erroneously expanding the precedent and creating an “equitable disparity” between states. In a petition for panel rehearing filed July 6 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in State of Maryland v. EPA , the...

EPA-Approved Texas SO2 Trading Plan May Face Further Legal Challenges

EPA has approved Texas’ sulfur dioxide (SO2) trading program as an alternative to source-specific emissions controls to implement the agency’s regional haze reduction program, but environmentalists are already harshly criticizing the long-disputed measure because it “dismally” fails to cut pollution, adding they are open to further legal action. A final rule signed June 29 by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler affirms, with certain modifications, an earlier rule that provisionally approved the trading program as an alternative to source-specific controls. The haze...

House advances FY21 EPA bill with several policy riders

House appropriators are advancing fiscal year 2021 spending legislation for EPA that would boost overall agency funding by 3 percent, provide a major increase for various infrastructure programs and stymie several Trump administration rollbacks of air, climate and water policies. During a July 7 markup, the House Appropriations Committee’s panel on Interior, environment and related agencies advanced the FY21 bill on a voice vote, without making any amendments to the legislation lawmakers unveiled July 6 . The bill now moves...

States urge court to require existing source methane cuts

Over a dozen states and environmentalists are urging a federal district court to require EPA to quickly submit a proposed schedule for implementing a rule requiring existing oil and gas facilities to reduce methane emissions, and to set “expeditious deadlines” for the agency to accomplish the task. “The Trump administration wants to stick its head in the sand for another three and a half years to set national methane standards," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) in a July...

FERC weighs ‘tolling order’ appeal to Supreme Court

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is weighing whether to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a key appellate court’s ruling banning the commission from using “tolling orders” to effectively block opponents of natural gas infrastructure projects from going to court even as the projects can move forward. Attorneys for FERC in a July 6 motion ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a 90-day delay in issuing its “mandate” putting its June 30...

10th Circuit Ruling May Force Broader EPA Review Of State Air Permits

A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit likely will force EPA to take a broader look at states’ decisions when they craft Clean Air Act permits, partially scaling back the Trump administration’s policy of not “second-guessing” state regulators’ decisions and giving environmentalists more opportunities to challenge such permits. In a unanimous July 2 ruling in Sierra Club v. EPA, et al., a three-judge panel of the court rejects EPA’s rationale for refusing environmentalists’...

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