power plants

Addressing Climate Change Without Legislation

A new report from UC Berkeley looks at the underused powers of the US Department of the Interior.

Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has announced its proposed rules for restricting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, the climate focus of EPA and the states will first be on polishing the rules for final approval, then on the anticipated law suits, and then on the development of state plans to meet the …


EPA to Release Proposed Rule for Existing Power Plants under Clean Air Act 111(d) that Cuts Carbon Emissions 30% from 2005 Levels by 2030

This rule represents one of the most significant actions ever taken by the United States to mitigate climate change

Major news outlets are reporting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release on Monday a proposed rule for the regulation of existing power plants under Clean Air Act section 111(d) that would reduce carbon emissions from the electrical generating sector 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. This rule follows the recent release …


Guest Blogger Kate Konschnik: EPA’s 111(d) Authority – Follow Homer and Avoid the Sirens

Kate Konschnik is the Director of Harvard Law School’s Environmental Policy Initiative. The views expressed in this blog post are her own. Thirty years ago, Chevron v. NRDC set the standard for judicial deference to an agency’s statutory interpretation. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld EPA’s interpretation of Clean Air Act language. This month, …


Supreme Court Rejects States’ Climate Change Nuisance Lawsuit

The Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited decision in an important climate change case, American Electric Power v. Connecticut.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/10-174.pdf   As expected, the Court rejected a public nuisance lawsuit that a coalition of states and private land trusts had brought against the owners of Midwestern coal-fired power plants, challenging their massive greenhouse gas emissions on …


Damage Control for the States: Predicting the Outcome in AEP v. Connecticut

Yesterday I previewed Tuesday’s oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court’s American Electric Power v. Connecticut case, and two of my Legal Planet colleagues have already posted comments on certain aspects of those arguments. But let me cast discretion to the wind and predict the outcome of the case. Actually, it’s not that difficult a …


Previewing the Supreme Court Oral Arguments in AEP v. Connecticut

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the only environmental case on its docket this Term: American Electric Power v. Connecticut. At issue in this critically important climate change case is whether a coalition of states, New York City and several private land trusts can pursue a federal common law nuisance claim …


Preview of Coming Attractions: American Electric Power v. State of Connecticut

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced the scheduling of oral arguments in the biggest (actually, the only) environmental case of its current Term: American Electric Power v. State of Connecticut. The justices will hear arguments on April 19th, and render their decision in this major climate change case by the end of June. Already, however, …


California legislature considers environmental bills

The California Legislature has several environmental and land use bills in front of it right now.  Under state law, the legislature must act by August 31 in order to send any of these bills to the Governor for signature.  Here’s a quick summary of the pending legislation, with some links for further info.  (Current information …


Blowing Off Steam: Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Clean Water Act

The Entergy case, which is now before the Supreme Court, involves EPA regulation of power plant’s cooling systems.  This is an important environmental issue because the cheapest systems kill acquatic life in the front-end intake process and then raise the temperature of water bodies in the back-end discharge.  More broadly, the case raises questions about whether …