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.

Legal Experts Weigh High Court’s ‘Textual’ Focus For EPA Rollback Cases

Legal experts are debating how the Supreme Court’s sharp focus on the text of laws in recent landmark rulings might affect pending litigation over Trump administration rollbacks of environmental rules, with some observers saying the “textual” approach might assist states and others who are suing to undo the deregulatory actions. Among the cases that could ultimately head to the high court and be affected by the textual approach are suits filed by California, other states and environmentalists against EPA for...

EPA eyes new rule to codify controversial science advisor policy

EPA has decided not to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking down its policy barring scientists receiving agency grants from serving on its advisory panels but is suggesting it may instead seek to codify the policy in a new supplemental ethics regulation. In a June 24 statement, EPA said it would not appeal Judge Denise Cote’s decision last April vacating and remanding a significant portion of the Trump EPA’s 2017 policy “Strengthening and Improving Membership on EPA Federal Advisory Committees.”...

Antitrust Probe Testimony Could Boost Suit Over State Auto GHG Rules

Capitol Hill testimony from a current Department of Justice (DOJ) official is lending new weight to claims that the Trump administration’s attacks on California and other states’ vehicle climate rules are driven by politics rather than substance, potentially bolstering a legal fight against the administration’s move, according to observers. The June 24 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee could more broadly tarnish the credibility of the government’s position by confirming earlier appraisals that DOJ’s antitrust inquiry into four automakers that...

Former EPA Staff, Local Air Agency Critique EPA Guidance Restrictions

Former EPA officials and some local air regulators are criticizing the legal basis and implications of EPA’s proposed rule placing new restrictions on guidance documents, arguing the plan continues a pattern by Trump officials of using vague statutory authority to issue deregulatory actions. The critiques, submitted in public comments to the agency ahead of a June 22 deadline, are the latest instance in which critics are opposing the administration’s attempt to rely on general “housekeeping” authority to scrutinize or rewrite...

EPA’s utility GHG defense draws lone amicus filer

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is the only group to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of EPA’s narrow approach to regulating power sector greenhouse gases, compared to more than a dozen amicus briefs arguing the Trump administration’s policy is unlawfully weak. In addition, NAHB is not actually supporting EPA’s new policy, the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. It takes no position on ACE while stressing it backs the agency’s repeal of its predecessor, the Obama-era Clean...

California Further Rebuts DOJ’s Claim Quebec GHG Link Unconstitutional

California is expanding its defense against the Trump administration’s remaining claim that the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program link to Quebec is unconstitutional, detailing multiple arguments before a federal district court that the connection does not violate the Foreign Affairs Doctrine. “Faced with a lack of authority and evidence for its arguments, Plaintiff devotes a significant portion of its brief to muddying the standard for foreign affairs conflict preemption, attempting to lower its burden below what the Supreme Court and...

Atlantic Council report touts ‘sustainable’ jet fuel to curb air pollution

A new report from the Atlantic Council nonpartisan foreign policy think tank calls for boosting use of “sustainable” drop-in liquid jet fuel to create significant near-term improvements in air quality, saying it should incentivize lawmakers and regulators to promote the fuel that is already seen as a vital tool for cutting aircraft greenhouse gas emissions. The fuel, known as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), is compatible with existing aircraft and able to blend with fossil jet fuel. It is sourced from...

Briefing concludes in long-running trailer GHG rule litigation

Parties in long-running litigation over Obama-era greenhouse gas and fuel economy requirements for tractor trailers, which received an unexpected defense from Trump officials at EPA and the Transportation Department, are filing their final briefs ahead of oral argument before an appellate court panel this fall. The June 23 filings -- from the government, trailer manufacturers as well as states and environmental groups that intervened in the suit to support the standards -- largely reiterate prior arguments in the case, Truck...

Fearing Weak EPA Defense, States And Utilities Intervene To Protect MATS

Electric utilities and 16 mainly Democratic-led states are seeking to intervene in a coal company’s suit challenging the Obama EPA’s mercury and air toxics standards (MATS), aiming to defend the agency’s landmark air toxics policy and fearing the Trump administration will not “zealously” defend the rule because of its deregulatory agenda. “Given the wider scope of Petitioner’s challenges and the shift in EPA regulatory priorities following the 2017 change in Presidential Administration, it is unclear what position the EPA will...

Democrats Tout Infrastructure Bill With Major Environment Provisions

House Democrats are formally introducing a sweeping $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that includes numerous environmental and clean energy provisions, including a mandate to factor greenhouse gas emissions into transportation planning, extend clean energy tax credits and study whether EPA data could be used to impose future carbon fees. The June 22 introduction of the measure, dubbed the Moving Forward Act, comes amid continued partisan gridlock between Capitol Hill lawmakers and the Trump administration on the scope of any infrastructure legislation...

Pages

Not a subscriber? Sign up for 30 days free access to exclusive environmental policy reporting.