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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.

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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.

States Cite NHTSA Penalty Rule In Lawsuit Over EPA Auto GHG ‘Finding’

Democratic-led states are seeking to use Trump officials’ regulatory statements against them in a pending legal challenge to a key EPA decision to weaken Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas standards, arguing the administration in a separate rule acknowledges the agency’s decision is final and thus subject to court review. In an Aug. 7 court filing , the states alert the court to language in the preamble of a recent final rule by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rescinding an...


CARB Defends Deal With Automakers Amid Doubts Over GHG Reductions

California Air Resources Board (CARB) officials are defending their recent voluntary agreement on vehicle greenhouse gases with four major auto companies in the face of new claims from researchers that the pact weakens existing Obama-era standards and may significantly curb its GHG emissions reduction benefits. A CARB spokesman says the deal with the automakers will get the state “much closer” to the current standards than the rollback being planned by the Trump administration. Such defenses come in response to claims...

Chamber, coal groups seek to back EPA in ACE suit

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association (NMA) and America’s Power are asking a federal appeals court to allow them to intervene on EPA’s behalf to defend the agency’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) greenhouse gas rule for existing coal plants. The American Lung Association (ALA) and the American Public Health Association filed a July 8 petition for review of the final rule on the first day of a 60-day period to challenge it. That clock expires in just...

Flurry Of Carbon Tax Bills Float Menu Of Stringency, Revenue Options

The flurry of bills introduced this Congress to impose a tax or other kind of price on carbon emissions throughout the economy are floating a menu of options regarding the stringency of the policy and the use of revenues, even as prospects for major climate legislation appear slim in the near term. Roughly half a dozen economy-wide carbon pricing bills have been introduced this year, including a quartet floated just within the past few weeks. Most of the bills would...

Court Rejection Of Pipeline GHG Challenge Underscores Limits Of NEPA

A recent appellate decision upholding the adequacy of federal energy regulators’ greenhouse gas review of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline shows the limits of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmentalists’ efforts to use the law to challenge agency approvals. One industry lawyer notes that NEPA is a largely procedural statute that requires agencies to disclose and consider mitigating the environmental effects of their decisions. If agencies follow NEPA requirements to consider and disclose projects’ effects, “then they...

EPA’s landfill methane rule deadline extension clears OMB

EPA’s final rule to significantly extend state and agency compliance deadlines under the Obama administration’s 2016 methane standards for landfills has finished inter-agency review at the White House, clearing the way for the measure’s release. According to the Office of Management & Budget’s website, it completed review of the deadline extension rule on Aug. 6. Once the final deadline extensions take effect, the agency could ask a district judge to reverse a series of implementation deadlines he imposed on the...

Former EPA Staff Warn State SSM Plan Approval Might Imperil Obama Rule

Former EPA staff are attacking the agency’s proposal to approve North Carolina’s air quality plan that includes a waiver from an Obama-era prohibition on exemptions from Clean Air Act regulatory limits for facility emissions during startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) events, fearing the move risks unraveling the federal policy. In comments filed ahead of an Aug. 6 deadline for public input, the Environmental Protection Network (EPN) of former EPA officials and staff says the proposal will undermine the consistent application...


NRECA wins bid to intervene after UARG exits suit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has granted a request by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to intervene in litigation over interstate air pollution limits after the defunct Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) asked to leave the suit. However, the court is not allowing the co-op group to substitute as a party for UARG in the case -- which challenges EPA’ rejection of a Maryland petition to require upwind states to impose stricter...

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