Clean Air Act
Do Climate Change Cases Belong in Federal Court? The Biden Administration Weighs In.
In a very narrowly argued brief, the Administration calls for returning the cases to state court.
The Biden Administration, at the Supreme Court’s invitation, has now filed a brief giving its views about current lawsuits against oil companies. The gist of the brief is that the cases belong in state court., and that the Court should let that happen rather than stepping into the litigation. The brief is right about that, …
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“Major Questions” for Texas (and for the Environment)
Defending clean car regulations and tracking judicial decision-making
Last June, the Supreme Court formally unveiled the “major questions” doctrine in the landmark environmental case West Virginia v. EPA. In rejecting EPA’s plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the Court stated that “agency decisions of vast economic and political significance” (i.e., those …
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Congressional Cancel Culture
Once again, the Congressional Review Act rears its ugly head.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) provides a fast-track process for canceling regulations if they hit an ideological nerve or offend a powerful special interest. Congressional Republicans are busily trying use it to cancel environmental regulations. Earlier this month, the target was a regulation encouraging pension managers to consider the impact of climate risks on their …
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50 Years Ago: Environmental Law in 1973
Five decades back, the country was in the midst of unprecedented environmental ferment.
1973 was at the crest of the environmental surge that swept the United States half a century ago. In the previous three years, Congress had passed NEPA, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. The first EPA Administrator took office in 1971. Continuing the legislative wave, 1973 saw the passage of the Endangered …
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Keep on Trucking
A new rule will clean up exhaust from new diesels, a major health threat.
Last week, EPA finalized its new rule imposing emission limits on new heavy trucks. The new regulation was clearly a massive undertaking. EPA’s formal announcement of the new rule is 1100 pages long. The accompanying summary of comments on the proposed rule and EPA’s responses is another 2000 pages. This is partly due to the …
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Jobs and Environmental Regulation
“Job-killing regulation”? That’s not really what the evidence tells us.
Labor Day is a good time to talk about an important topic: the impact of environmental regulation on jobs. This is a clearly a fraught issue. In support of his deregulation campaign, President Trump promised to “cancel every needless job-killing regulation and put a moratorium on new regulations until our economy gets back on its …
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A Design Flaw in the Clean Air Act
Why have technology-based standards if you have air quality standards?
The Clean Air Act has two kinds of standards. It sounds like having two kinds of standards should improve air quality more than a single standard. But in reality, one type of standard can result in canceling out the benefits of the other type. If you understand the statute, this is actually pretty obvious once …
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Taking A Data-Driven Tour of Air Pollution Law
After Half a Century, What Do We Really Know about the Impacts of the Clean Air Act?
Earlier this year, a team of economists published a retrospective paper on the Clean Air Act. It surveys the economic literature to find out what the data tells us about emission trading systems, the effects of pollutants, and effects of imposing tougher regulatory requirements in areas that failed to meet national air quality standards. Some …
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West Virginia v. EPA: A Quick Explainer
This video lays out the issues, what the Court did, and where EPA can go from here.CONTINUE READING
Regan Hits His Stride
Under Administrator Michael Regan, the Biden EPA is beginning to churn out important new regulatory proposals.
The Trump Administration left a trail of regulatory destruction behind it. Cleaning up the mess and issuing new regulations is Priority #1 for the Biden Administration. Under EPA head Michael Regan, the effort is beginning to pick up steam. EPA has begun the year with several major new regulatory efforts. No one of them is …
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