Last Saturday evening, my research assistant (a wonderful JD student raised and educated in China) sent me a message: “This is a link to a documentary directed by Chai Jing (柴静). It has raised public concern about air pollution.” In perhaps the understatement of the year, she added: “Many Chinese people have been watching it.” […]
Black lung has been the underlying or contributing cause of death for more than 75,000 coal miners since 1968, according to NIOSH, the federal agency responsible for conducting research on work-related diseases and injuries. Since 1970, the Department of Labor has paid over $44 billion in benefits to miners totally disabled by respiratory diseases (or […]
The rapid fall in oil prices seems to have taken everyone by surprise. I’ve noted before that it puts the viability of the Keystone XL project in doubt. But its other effects are worth considering. Overall, the fall in prices should have a beneficial effect on the U.S. economy. Since gasoline is cheaper, people can […]
The subject of statutory cross-references may seem incredibly arcane, but EPA’s proposed carbon rule for existing plants may stand or fall depending on the relationship between section 111(d) and section 112 of the Clean Air Act. The House and Senate versions of section 111(d) both accidentally got into the final bill. EPA has regulated the […]
Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert. in several cases to hear the following question: “Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.” The fundamental issue is whether it was unreasonable for EPA to interpret section 112 to preclude consideration […]
When we think about pollution sources, we tend to picture factories. As it turns out, that’s wrong. At least, that’s the finding in a very carefully conducted study by UT’s David Adelman. He found that industry is not a leading source of air pollution, with two major exceptions. One exception consists of coal-fired power plants (and […]
David Schraub is the Darling Foundation Fellow in Public Law at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. Represented by Patrick A. Parenteau and Douglas A. Ruley of the Vermont Law School’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, four Vermont residents have petitioned the FTC to investigate alleged misleading marketing practices by Green Mountain […]
Considerations for State Regulators Tackling EPA's §111(d) Proposed Rule
Yesterday, EPA announced its decision to extend the comment period on the Clean Power Plan—the agency’s proposed rule to regulate power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(d)—until December 1, 2014. The comment period was originally scheduled to last 120 days, until October 16th. You can find a list of compiled […]
Moderate Democratic Senators are at risk from GOP challengers.
Arkansas and Louisiana are neighboring states in which Republicans have good chances of picking up Senate seats. But the GOP candidates in the two states have somewhat different stances on the environment. Though, needless to say, neither of them will be getting awards from the Sierra Club anytime soon, one of them has some environmental positives, […]
Will UARG Persuade the Supreme Court to Overturn New Air Quality Standards?
“UARG” sounds like the name of a monster in a children’s book or maybe some kind of strangled exclamation. But it actually stands for Utility Air Regulatory Group, which represents utility companies in litigation. UARG did well in two important Supreme Court cases last year, winning part of the case it brought against EPA climate change […]