Federal Climate Policy

The Legal Basis for the 111(d) Rule

EPA has structured the rules to protect against legal challenges.

Megan has done a great job of explaining the background of the rules and summarizing the proposal in her blog posts.  I just wanted to add a quick note about how EPA has structured its rules in light of possible legal challenges.  The fundamental issue facing EPA is how to define the “best system” for reducing …

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EPA Releases Section 111(d) Rule for Existing Power Plants

Rule would reduce climate change-related carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030

Today, EPA formally released its long-awaited rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants under Clean Air Act § 111(d).  Read the full text of the rule here. As leaked to the media yesterday, the rule would have the overall effect of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electric generating units (EGUs, or power plants) 30 percent …

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EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rules Are Remarkably Business-friendly

Business wins on baseline year, flexible compliance methods will keep costs down

President Obama’s EPA will tomorrow issue proposed greenhouse gas limits for existing power plants.  By all accounts the rules will be a remarkable step forward in the fight against global warming, with the U.S. finally demonstrating significant leadership on an issue on which it has lagged behind for more than a decade.  And yet from …

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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 …

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Obama’s Section 111d Plan Has Support From George H.W. Bush’s EPA General Counsel, Utility Executives

E. Donald Elliott calls EPA’s approach

When President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency releases its Clean Air Act Section 111(d) regulations to control greenhouse gases emitted by the electricity sector on Monday, we can expect howls of protest from the usual suspects:  Congressional Republicans, industry groups representing big coal interests, even some coal-state Democrats.  But the Obama approach is already receiving praise …

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Guest Blogger Joel Eisen: D.C. Circuit Vacates FERC Smart Grid “Demand Response” Rule

Joel B. Eisen is Professor of Law and Austin Owen Research Fellow at University of Richmond School of Law. His scholarly work is available here. Last Friday (May 23), in Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC, a D.C. Circuit panel split 2-1 and vacated Order 745, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rule designed to …

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Obama’s Clean Air Act 111d Rules Are Legally Required, Not an End Run Around Congress

Massachusetts v. EPA triggered the President’s Action

On Monday, President Obama is expected to release proposed regulations to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.  Leaks to date suggest that the rules, which will cover 40 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, will be ambitious and far-reaching, requiring cuts of approximately 20 percent from the electricity sector. We can already anticipate …

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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, …

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Dan Farber Highlights Scalia Error in Homer Dissent, Dissent Gets Corrected

Legal Planet post noted error yesterday

Yesterday Dan pointed out that Justice Scalia had made a “cringeworthy” error in his dissenting opinion in EPA v. Homer.  Scalia argued — in support of his claim that EPA’s interpretation of the provision of the Clean Air Act that governs cross-state air pollution was inconsistent with the plain language of the statute — that EPA …

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Breaking News: Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding Cross-State Air Rule Is Good Sign for Greenhouse Gas Rules

Huge victory for EPA in regulating air pollution that crosses state lines

The Supreme Court’s 6-2 decision issued this morning in EPA v. EME Homer, upholding the agency’s rule to control air pollution that crosses state boundaries, gives plenty of reason for optimism that the Court will also uphold EPA’s greenhouse gas rules at issue in a different case, Utility Air Regulator Group v. EPA.   Both cases …

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