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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.

EPA Cites RFS Waivers’ ‘National’ Scope In Bid To Block 10th Circuit Suit

EPA is seeking to dismiss a refiner’s lawsuit faulting its rejection of a renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waiver, arguing the regional appellate suit belongs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit because of the policy’s “national applicability,” reversing EPA’s previous tactics in challenges to its small refiner waivers. In a Sept. 19 motion with the 10th Circuit, EPA seeks to dismiss Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co. v. EPA , arguing that the “final action” challenged...

California Bill Restricting ZEV Rebates Latest Front In War Over GHG Rules

A California lawmaker is floating legislation to restrict rebates for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) only to customers of auto companies that have agreed to the state’s voluntary “framework” for greenhouse gas emission standards that are much stricter than the Trump administration’s planned rollback of federal limits. “California should not incentivize the purchase of vehicles manufactured by companies that are not helping to achieve the state’s public health and climate goals by refusing to join the state’s framework,” states...

Democrats float resolution backing California auto GHG rules

Dozens of Democratic lawmakers in both the House and Senate are sponsoring companion resolutions supporting California’s authority to regulate auto greenhouse gas emissions, rebuking the Trump administration’s final rule preempting the state’s GHG and zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standards. The Senate version of the resolution, S.Res. 316 , was introduced Sept. 18 by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and 33 other Democrats. The House version, H.Con.Res. 65 , was floated a day later by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), and it has 85...

EPA’s Idsal Signals Flexibility For States Planning Greater ACE Stringency

SEATTLE -- Acting EPA air chief Anne Idsal is suggesting that the agency could work with states looking to go beyond the requirements of its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule for power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions, seeming to walk back the rule’s threat to block stringent compliance plans that critics say is a major legal flaw. Speaking during a Sept. 23 panel on the ACE rule at the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) fall meeting here, Idsal also critiqued...

CASAC Member Seeks Expert Advice On Contentious Costs Of PM NAAQS

A member of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) is asking a newly appointed expert “pool” of science advisors to guide the panel on the implementation costs of possible changes to the agency’s particulate matter (PM) air standards, a legally contentious request because the high court bars consideration of costs in setting the limits. EPA announced it was forming the 12-member pool of experts in July to help CASAC conduct its oversight of the agency’s ongoing reviews of the...

Former EPA Staff See ‘Dangerous Precedent’ In SO2 Designation Revision

Former EPA air officials are warning that the agency’s proposed “correction” allowing five Texas counties to escape being labeled “nonattainment” with sulfur dioxide (SO2) air standards undermines public health protections and sets an unlawful “dangerous precedent” for other areas to win weaker designations subject to less-stringent SO2 controls. In comments submitted to the agency ahead of a Sept. 23 deadline for input on the Texas proposal, the Environmental Protection Network (EPN) of former EPA officials and staff warns that the...

Chamber launches climate policy task force

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a new climate policy task force that it says will help inform the group about industry-led efforts and policy proposals to address climate change, a move that underscores industry’s rhetorical shift toward backing low-carbon efforts. “This task force will enable us to become smarter about the impact of both existing policies and future proposals on the business community and proactively shape opportunities for the Chamber and our members to address climate change,” the...

Wheeler Pledge To Block California Highway Funds Draws State Concern

State officials are expressing surprise at EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s unprecedented threat to withhold California’s highway funds and concern that the agency may try to apply similar approaches to numerous other states with air quality problems. “We have never heard of anyone getting a letter like that before, certainty not from an administrator,” Miles Keogh, director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, told Inside EPA Sept. 24. On Capitol Hill, senators expressed some bipartisan skepticism at EPA’s...

Senate Appropriators Seek FY20 EPA Funding Boost, Limit Riders

Correction Appended Senate appropriators are advancing an EPA fiscal year 2020 spending bill that would boost funding for the agency by $161 million over current spending levels, a first step toward reaching a conference with House lawmakers on the measure, though the Senate bill provides EPA with $500 million less than the House version. At a Sept. 24 markup, the Senate Appropriations interior subcommittee approved a bill that provides EPA with $9 billion in FY20 while also keeping controversial...

Quoted: Environmentalists blast lack of major GHG pledges at UN event

Environmentalists are blasting the lack of major new carbon-reduction plans from the world’s largest emitters, including the United States, during a major climate change summit hosted by the United Nations that was intended to showcase countries’ increased ambition to tackle the global threat. During the Sept. 23 U.N. summit in New York, 16-year-old Swedish climate advocate Greta Thunberg gave a high-profile speech shaming the world’s wealthiest and highest-emitting countries for not taking enough steps to curb carbon emissions that are...

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