No, the Court didn’t eliminate EPA’s ability to fight climate change.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in the West Virginia case left many people with the impression that it eliminated the government’s power to regulate carbon emissions. There are quite a number of areas of climate law that the Supreme Court has left untouched. Here’s the EPA authority the Court hasn’t touched: EPA’s jurisdiction over greenhouse gases. …CONTINUE READING
This video lays out the issues, what the Court did, and where EPA can go from here.CONTINUE READING
The ruling in West Virginia v. EPA was about as good as we could expect given the makeup of the Court.
Today, the Supreme Court decided its most important environmental case since 2007. We didn’t dodge the bullet. It’s more than a flesh wound but it didn’t hit any vital organs . Chief Justice Roberts’s majority opinion leaves EPA other options to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. It also gives a fairly narrow reading …CONTINUE READING
Here’s what you need to know about today’s oral argument in W. Va. v. EPA
The Supreme Court is hearing oral argument this morning in West Virginia v. EPA. The case is a challenge by the coal industry and coal states to EPA’s power to limit carbon emissions by power plants. Here’s what to look for today. Q: What is the case about? A: In practical terms, the question is what EPA …CONTINUE READING
It’s not that the policy choices are that hard. It’s the 6-3 Supreme Court.
Coal- and gas-fired power plants are a major source of U.S. carbon emissions. The Obama Administration devised a perfectly sensible, moderate policy to cut those emissions. The Trump Administration replaced it with a ridiculous token policy. The D.C. Circuit appeals court tossed that out. Now what? It wouldn’t be hard to redo the Obama policy …CONTINUE READING
With a few sentences, Congress could do a lot to fix the law.
The last time Congress tried to pass climate change legislation, the bill was about 800 pages long. That bill, the Waxman-Markey Act, tried to adopt a comprehensive set of emissions reduction measures, which is a complicated business. But a much simpler law could allow the U.S. to move forward quickly with less ambitious but still …CONTINUE READING
The judges seemed skeptical of Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule last week
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule last week. The ACE rule is a feeble substitute for Obama’s Clean Power Rule, which was Obama’s signature climate action regulating power plants. The argument went badly for the Trump folks. Even Judge Justin Walker, a 38-year-old whose main …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
There’s a gaping hole in Pruitt’s argument for repealing the Obama’s climate change rule.
An earlier blog post pointed to a logical gap in the current EPA’s justification for repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Obama Administration effort to cut emissions from electrical power plants. He makes an argument that EPA can only base rules on actions that polluters can take within a facility, and jumps from there …CONTINUE READING
Why don’t EPA’s proposed rules to reduce methane emissions apply to existing oil and gas facilities?
In August, EPA released proposed rules to reduce fugitive methane and VOC emissions from oil and gas operations. While this is a significant action in the fight against climate change, and much needed in light of the shale-driven national drilling renaissance, there is a gaping hole in the methane rules that has environmentalists worried — …CONTINUE READING