Here are two key Western races. The contrast between candidates on environment and energy is striking. Arizona: Sinoma v. McSally (primary Aug. 28). Incumbent Jeff Flake (R) isn’t running for reelection. Flake’s lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) was a mere 9%. The likely match-up is Martha McSally, a Republican with a […]
Trump’s pro-coal EPA plan equates two legal provisions with little in common.
Trump’s plan for coal-fired power plants, like Obama’s plan to cut carbon emissions, is based on section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. But much of the legal argument relies on an analogy to section 165 to support EPA’s very restrictive interpretation of section 111(d). It’s that restrictive interpretation that leads the agency to reject […]
Revised Environmental Obligations in Preliminary Agreement With Mexico Appear to Track Environmental Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has just announced that it reached preliminary agreement with Mexico for a renegotiated NAFTA. The 24-year old trade agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. was a major topic during the 2016 presidential campaign and has been a centerpiece of USTR activity in the Trump administration. The […]
Be prepared: this is going to remain a live issue for at least two years.
You’ve already heard a lot about Trump’s pro-coal ACE rule. You’re likely to keep hearing about it, off and on, throughout the next couple of years, and maybe longer. I’ve set out a rough timetable below, and at the end I discuss some implications. Step 1: The Rulemaking Aug. 2018 Notice of proposed rule issued […]
Environmentalism Used to Be a Bipartisan Issue
It is not unreasonable and overly rigid environmental regulations and restrictions that stand in the way of the expanded use of the nation’s coal reserves. It is the reluctance, and at times the refusal, to recognize the very serious health hazards and environmental, social and cultural impacts associated with a rapid rise in coal use. […]
Trump Administration Loses Yet Another Environmental Case
Understandably, most of the attention at the beginning of the week was devoted to the rollout of the Trump Administration’s token effort to regulate greenhouse gases, the ACE rule. But something else happened, too. On Tuesday, a D.C. Circuit ruling ignored objections from the Trump Administration and invalidated key parts of a rule dealing with […]
EPA’s latest proposed rollback relies heavily on the Chevron Doctrine.
The ACE rule, The Trump Administration’s proposed rule for carbon emissions in the carbon sector, purports to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants. Its real goal seems to be minimizing the burden on coal-fired plants. Legal Planet has already carried some excellent posts about the proposal’s policy flaws. I’d like instead to talk about its […]
State legislature nears decision time over SB 49, which could protect California against federal environmental rollbacks
This Sacramento Bee article is remarkable in describing how aggressively the Trump Administration is now going after California’s efforts to protect the state’s natural resources, including its water resources (see also this LA Times article). Interior Secretary Zinke is demanding that his agency look for ways to override California water law and force more water […]
Important pre-construction environmental review for power plant modifications at risk
Last month, I discussed a proposal before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment to amend the Clean Air Act to weaken pre-construction review for modifications to equipment at large stationary sources. Since then, the Subcommittee voted H.R. 3128 out on a party line vote, and it’s currently waiting for the full House Energy […]
EPA’s New Proposed Rule Will Cost Billions of Dollars, Largely in Health Impacts and Avoidable Mortality
As my colleagues Cara Horowitz and Meredith Hankins, and others, including the New York Times, have reported, the Trump EPA today proposed a replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan, which was a plan to transform our electrical grid away from coal (with associated health and climate benefits). The essence of the new proposal is to replace […]