Earlier this year, EPA made a major policy change in how the agency evaluates stationary sources of hazardous air pollutants in a memorandum quietly issued without any warning or opportunity for public comment. This policy change was promptly challenged by California and two different coalitions of environmental and community groups (one suit was filed by […]
Post-Argument Panel at Georgetown Law Will Feature Advocates
Oral argument in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S, Fish & Wildlife Service is this morning, the first day (and first argument) of the new Supreme Court term. The Court will be short-handed, with only eight Justices hearing the case. I’ll be attending the argument and speaking on a post-argument panel at Georgetown Law School, along with other advocates […]
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 […]
These two states offer Dems badly needed pick-up opportunities.
Here are two key Western races. The contrast between candidates on environment and energy is striking. Arizona: Sinoma v. McSally (primary Aug. 28). Incumbent Jeff Flake (R) isn’t running for reelection. Flake’s lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) was a mere 9%. The likely match-up is Martha McSally, a Republican with a […]
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 […]
Revised Environmental Obligations in Preliminary Agreement With Mexico Appear to Track Environmental Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has just announced that it reached preliminary agreement with Mexico for a renegotiated NAFTA. The 24-year old trade agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. was a major topic during the 2016 presidential campaign and has been a centerpiece of USTR activity in the Trump administration. The […]
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 […]
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. […]
Trump Administration Loses Yet Another Environmental Case
Understandably, most of the attention at the beginning of the week was devoted to the rollout of the Trump Administration’s token effort to regulate greenhouse gases, the ACE rule. But something else happened, too. On Tuesday, a D.C. Circuit ruling ignored objections from the Trump Administration and invalidated key parts of a rule dealing with […]
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 […]