Environmental Highlights of 2012

  1. Reelection of President Obama, defeating Mitt Romney who had promised a major deregulatory push and massive expansion of fossil fuels.
  2. Election of new pro-environmental Senators such as Chris Murphy (Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.), and Liz Warren (Mass.)
  3. D.C. Circuit upholds EPA endangerment finding and rules for new stationary sources of greenhouse gases.
  4. California holds first auction of carbon allowances under AB 32.
  5. Obama creates Chimney Park National Monument.
  6. EPA issues new air quality standard for particulates.
  7. EPA issues new air pollution rules for industrial boilers.
  8. Courts uphold a federal rule that limits development on 50 million acres of roadless area.
  9. A federal court approves a partial settlement of civil claims against BP amounting to over $7 billion.
  10. BP pleads guilty to criminal charges and agrees to pay $4.5 billion in fines.
  11. NOAA lists ringed and bearded seals as  in part because of climate change impacts.
  12. John Kerry, a leading advocate of international action on climate change, nominated as Secretary of State.
  13. Public awareness of the risks of climate change raised by Hurricane Sandy.
  14. Obama proposes doubling the size of marine sanctuary off the California coast.
  15. Obama administration finalizes new fuel economy rules that will almost double the current standard for cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon within 12 years.