What parts of the country benefit most from the series of new EPA rules addressing pollution from coal-fired power plants? The answer is not what you think. EPA does a thorough cost-benefit analysis of its regulations but the costs and benefits are aggregated at the national level. In a new paper, David Spence and David Adelman from the University […]
Federal Climate Policy
EPA has shifted its position toward more readily defensible ground.
One of the most serious legal challenges to EPA’s Clean Power Plan — and probably the only one that could completely derail it — involves an exceptionally abstruse legal issue. When Congress tried to amend an obscure part of the Clean Air Act, someone screwed and two different versions were included in the final law. That […]
AGs Sue For Tactical and Political Reasons Even Though Their Legal Case is a Loser
Attorneys General from 15 states, led by West Virginia, filed a petition in federal court yesterday to block the Clean Power Plan (CPP) from going into effect. The filing seems to be more tactical and political than a serious legal claim: the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to publish the rule in the Federal Register […]
EPA's Final Plan Changes State Targets, With New Winners and Losers
When the President released the final version of the Clean Power Plan last week, it contained a number of big alterations to the draft plan. One of the most significant changes was the way each state’s greenhouse gas emissions target was calculated. The bottom line is that — generally — states more heavily reliant on […]
Dump your coal stocks while you still can!
The market’s message is simple: coal’s day is ending. Three major coal companies (Alpha Natural Resources, Walter Energy, and Patriot Coal) have gone into bankruptcy. The two largest publicly traded companies (Peabody and Arch) are now trading for a dollar a share, down from $16 and $33 within the past year. They, too, may well […]
Tomorrow's Emission Determine Today's Social Cost of Carbon
Here’s the weird thing: the social cost of carbon today, depends significantly on the year-by-year emissions of carbon in the future, which we obviously don’t know. (Because it depends on our own future actions!) It takes some explanation to show why that’s true and how it matters. If you know a bit about climate policy, you know […]
A half-dozen crucial developments will shape environmental policy for years to come.
The next six months will be unusually important in environmental law. There are six key areas to keep an eye on: 1. The Paris climate talks. The world’s governments meet every year in December as part of continuing negotiations on climate issues. This year’s meeting will be the most critical since Copenhagen, six years ago. The […]
Responding to claims that EPA must withdraw its proposed rules to control power-plant GHGs under CAA § 111
Challenges to EPA’s emergent program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act section 111 continue to mount. Recently, the Attorneys General of 19 states sent a joint letter to EPA arguing that because EPA failed to finalize its proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for GHG emissions within one year—as the Clean […]
Argument that Clean Power Plant an "Unconstitutional Power Grab" Ridiculed
Famed constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe is serving red meat to opponents of climate change regulation. Not only is he representing Peabody Coal in a pending court challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, but this week he testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that EPA, in adopting the plan, is […]
How Cold Warriors Wind Up Heating the Planet
The other night, my wife and I saw Merchants of Doubt, Robert Kenner’s new film about the climate denial industry. I thought it was excellent. I was surprised by the high production values and the way in which it did not feel like a documentary, at least until the last 15-20 minutes or so. (Then […]