Air Quality

California cap and trade survives industry tax challenge

Auctions can proceed in one of the state’s signature climate change programs

ARB’s winning streak in climate cases continues.  A California superior court has rejected a prominent set of industry challenges to the state’s cap-and-trade program, upholding a significant element of California’s suite of programs to comply with AB 32 and to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020. (Opinion here.)  The cases were filed by the …

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Standing for Coal?

In a previous post I questioned whether anyone would have standing to challenge EPA’s new plant regulations for coal plants, considering that coal plants are current uneconomical anyway due to low natural gas prices.  I was pleased that Inside EPA  wrote a story about my argument, and even more pleased that the story reported on …

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New Standing Barriers Erected for Federal Court Climate Change Litigation

Recent Ninth Circuit Decision Likely to Spell the End of Much Citizen Suit Litigation Over Climate Change in Federal Courts

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court’s famously ruled in Massachusetts v. USEPA that petitioners in that case had standing to sue the Environmental Protection Agency in federal court to challenge EPA’s failure to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Observers then could have been forgiven for thinking that this ruling flung open …

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ELQ’s Annual Review issue now available online

Every year, Ecology Law Quarterly publishes its Annual Review of Environmental and Natural Resource Law. The latest version is now available at ELQ’s web site. Check out these articles from the issue. You’ll find they cover a tremendous amount of ground in a way that is both educational and entertaining. And at the ELQ site …

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Air Pollution in China Shuts Down City of 11 Million

The airpocalypse is back. What should Chinese leaders do about it?

On Sunday, the start of the heating season in northern China brought the “airpocalypse” back with a vengeance (although some might say it never left).  Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province and home to 11 million people, registered fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution levels beyond 500 on the Chinese Air Quality Index, which is considered hazardous …

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Supreme Court Grants Cert on One Aspect of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Suit

Court lets stand endangerment finding, rules regulating emissions from automobile tailpipes

This morning, the Supreme Court announced that it has granted six of the nine petitions challenging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  The Court granted cert on only a single question (petitioners had raised a number of them): Whether EPA …

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California Enacts Nation’s First Comprehensive Fracking Law—And Everyone’s Unhappy

Controversial But Promising, SB 4 Constitutes Tangible Progress on the Fracking Front

Late last month the California Legislature passed, and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, the nation’s first comprehensive system of regulating hydraulic fracturing, the oil and gas drilling technique more commonly known as “fracking.” It turns out that no one–the oil and gas industry, surface landowners or environmentalists–is particularly happy with the new law. And …

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Environmental Review of Free Trade Agreements

Why aren’t we talking about climate change?

Last week, the period for public comment on an interim environmental review of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement closed, marking perhaps the last significant opportunity for public input on the environmental impacts of the proposed agreement.  The review was conducted to identify potential environmental effects of the TPP, as required by an Executive Order …

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Follow the Sun: Mexico On Target to Pass National Climate Change Law

With Friday’s lower chamber passage of a new national climate change law, Mexico is poised to become a pioneer in climate change policy, proving the United States and the rest of the world that environmental protection and economic growth are both critical and achievable goals. On April 13, Mexico’s 500-member Chamber of Deputies passed the …

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EPA Set to Release New Mercury and Air Toxics Regulations

Later this afternoon – at 2pm ET –  EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson is expected to announce EPA’s new regulations on mercury and toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants. EPA is developing the air toxics emissions standards for power plants under the Clean Air Act (Section 112), consistent with the D.C. Circuit’s opinion (PDF) regarding …

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