Federal Climate Policy

Supreme Court Stays Upcoming Juliana Trial

Chief Justice Roberts’ Order a Major Win for the Trump Administration

The presently-constituted U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t seem to care for climate change litigation or regulation. On Friday the Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of freezing pending discovery and the scheduled October 29th trial date in the closely-watched Juliana v. United States litigation.  In a brief order, Chief Justice Roberts stayed all district court proceedings […]

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Jumping the Fence Line, Embracing the Grid

Precedent from another agency for the Clean Power Plan.

If you’ve been reading this blog or otherwise keeping up with environmental law, you’ve probably heard this a hundred times: In rolling back Obama’s signature climate regulation, the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration is relying on the idea that EPA’s jurisdiction stops at the fence line. That is, according to the Trump folks, EPA […]

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Let’s Make A Deal

What Should Environmentalists Give Up – and Demand – For A Carbon Tax?

A nice editorial from the Los Angeles Times about the proposed carbon tax being offered by some Republicans under the front group Americans for Carbon Dividends, most notably former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz. Exxon-Mobil is even throwing $1 million into the effort — chump change for such a corporate behemoth. The Times […]

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“National Security” Coal-Bailout Collapses

Trump demanded the use of national security powers to subsidize the coal industry. Looks like that’s not happening.

In its desperate effort to save the failing American coal industry, the Trump Administration promised to use emergency powers to keep coal-fired power plants in operation even though they’re not economically viable. That would have been the kind of disruptive change that Trump promised to bring to Washington. But the effort seems to have gone […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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  […]

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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. […]

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