Federal Climate Policy

Californians Strongly Oppose Rolling Back Clean Car Standards

Day-long hearing in Fresno shows clear opposition to Trump administration proposal

Along with hundreds of others, I traveled to Fresno, California to testify today against EPA’s proposed rollback of vehicle standards. We’ve covered EPA and NHTSA’s legally flawed proposal in a number of previous Legal Planet posts. Today’s hearing started out with NHTSA’s chief counsel accidentally referring to EPA as the “Energy Protection Agency,” but has […]

Continue Reading

The Case for Co-Benefits

Ignoring co-benefits violates well-established legal principles.

The Trump Administration is moving toward the view, long popular in industry, that when it regulates a pollutant, EPA can consider only the health impacts of that particular pollutant – even when the regulation will also reduce other harmful pollutants. This idea is especially important in climate change regulation, because cutting carbon emissions almost always […]

Continue Reading

Separated at Birth? No, not really.

Trump’s pro-coal EPA plan equates two legal provisions with little in common.

Trump’s plan for coal-fired power plants, like Obama’s plan to cut carbon emissions, is based on section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  But much of the legal argument relies on an analogy to section 165 to support EPA’s very restrictive interpretation of section 111(d). It’s that restrictive interpretation that leads the agency to reject […]

Continue Reading

What’s Ahead for Trump’s Pro-Coal Rule?

Be prepared: this is going to remain a live issue for at least two years.

You’ve already heard a lot about Trump’s pro-coal ACE rule. You’re likely to keep hearing about it, off and on, throughout the next couple of years, and maybe longer. I’ve set out a rough timetable below, and at the end I discuss some implications. Step 1: The Rulemaking  Aug. 2018 Notice of proposed rule issued  […]

Continue Reading

When Republicans Fought for a Clean Environment

Environmentalism Used to Be a Bipartisan Issue

It is not unreasonable and overly rigid environmental regulations and restrictions that stand in the way of the expanded use of the nation’s coal reserves. It is the reluctance, and at times the refusal, to recognize the very serious health hazards and environmental, social and cultural impacts associated with a rapid rise in coal use. […]

Continue Reading

EPA Makes a Pit Stop at the “Chevron” Station

EPA’s latest proposed rollback relies heavily on the Chevron Doctrine.

The ACE rule, The Trump Administration’s proposed rule for carbon emissions in the carbon sector, purports to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants. Its real goal seems to be minimizing the burden on coal-fired plants. Legal Planet has already carried some excellent posts about the proposal’s policy flaws.  I’d like instead to talk about its […]

Continue Reading

One State, Two States, Red States, Blue States: Federalism Hypocrisy in Trump’s EPA

Regulatory approaches for vehicles versus power plants show the Trump White House’s true motivation – and it’s not states’ rights.

As my colleague Cara Horowitz has already blogged, the Trump EPA is preparing to announce a Clean Power Plan replacement today, rolling back Obama-era efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The plan is expected to largely shift the regulatory burden to states, essentially leaving it up to them to decide whether […]

Continue Reading

EPA to Propose Replacing Clean Power Plan with Something Much, Much Weaker

It may not be legal, and grid experts say it’s certainly not good policy

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that EPA will soon release its proposal for replacing the Clean Power Plan, sharing some leaked details. Here’s a quick reaction. As a reminder, the Clean Power Plan is the regulation enacted by EPA, under President Obama, to limit emissions of carbon dioxide from existing fossil-fuel-fired power […]

Continue Reading

The Trump Administration Is On An Environmental Losing Streak

Courts Continue to Strike Down Anti-Environmental Actions

While the Trump Administration’s assault on the environment  is alarming, courts are continuing to hand the administration  an impressive string of losses that mean that, at least in the short term, the assault is much less effective than the administration’s claims of deregulating the economy would lead us all to believe.    In just the […]

Continue Reading