Obama Administration

And Now For Something Completely Different: Chemical Facility Safety?

For the past few days we have all been focused—justifiably—on the EPA’s proposed carbon rule for power plants.   But that’s not all EPA and the rest of the federal government have been up to recently.  Today a federal interagency working group established under Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (“EO 13650”) issued …


Obamacare’s lessons for the future of EPA’s CO2 rule

The survival of the greenhouse gas rule depends on how much people invest based on it

There has (rightly) been a lot of attention paid to the EPA proposed rule controlling greenhouse gas emissions from powerplants pursuant to Clean Air Act Section 111(d). All of that analysis – how effective the rule will be; how it will be implemented; the prospects for successful legal challenges to the rule – is important. …


Executive Order calls for climate adaptation

Presidential directive holds potential to move federal adaptation efforts forward, but implementation will be the key.

Cross-posted at The Berkeley Blog. Today, President Obama issued an Executive Order intended “to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience.” In some respects, this order simply continues ongoing efforts. Under this administration, the executive branch has already been doing a great deal of …


EPA Sends Climate Rules for New Power Plants to OMB

Though I was somewhat skeptical that the  Obama climate plan unfurled last week included much new, I’ve also argued previously that if the administration uses its extensive power under the Clean Air Act to regulate both new and existing power plants, the President will really have accomplished something on the climate change front.  It looks …


Ocean news and non-news

Sometimes what isn’t news is as revealing as what is. Last week, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a bipartisan effort to improve U.S. national ocean policy, issued a new report titled Charting the Course: Securing the Future of America’s Oceans. The Initiative is led by a distinguished group of policy and science experts — its …


What’s holding up the Clean Water Act jurisdictional guidance?

Cross-posted on CPRBlog. People on both sides of the political spectrum agree that the boundaries of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act are murky, to say the least. But efforts by EPA and the Corps of Engineers to clarify those boundaries have been tied up in the White House for more than a year, …


Gina McCarthy to be nominated as EPA head

As predicted by Cara recently in this space, it’s being widely reported (for example here) this morning that Gina McCarthy, currently EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, is Obama’s pick to succeed Lisa Jackson as EPA Administrator. Cara sees this appointment as a good thing for EPA’s climate policy efforts and …


Great Expectations: A Dozen Views of Obama’s Second Term

As we approach inauguration day next month, I thought it would be interesting to pull together the advice that people are giving him about his second term.  Here are some links if you’re interested in what people are hoping for (or in some cases, dreading). From the N.Y. Times, the views of Carol Browner (advocating …


Fifth Circuit reverses Gulf of Mexico moratorium contempt ruling

You might remember that after the Deepwater Horizon blowout the Department of Interior issued a six-month moratorium on new deepwater exploratory drilling. An industry consortium challenged the moratorium, winning a preliminary injunction against its enforcement from District Judge Martin Feldman. (I criticized that decision here.) Interior withdrew that first moratorium but subsequently issued a second, …


Jane Lubchenco to leave NOAA

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco has announced that she will leave her post at the end of February. Her letter to NOAA employees, reprinted in the Washington Post, cites the difficulty of maintaining a bi-coastal family life. Dr. Lubchenco, a distinguished marine biologist, has put in four years at the helm of NOAA, …