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Allowing a required PSD permit to arguably lapse allows a CAA citizen suit to proceed to judgment even though an administrative appeal is pending on whether the permit is in fact no longer valid

Franklin County Power of Illinois LLC [FCPI], wanted to build a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in southern Illinois [though Plaintiff claimed the permit only authorized a 500 MW plant]. Because the plant would have emitted a significant amount of air pollution, the CAA requires that the Company obtain...

EPA proposes no changes to hazardous air pollution standards for nine industrial sources

Section 112(d) of the CAA requires EPA to establish national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAPs) for major and area sources. An area source is a stationary source that emits less than 10 tons per year of a single hazardous air pollutant or less than 25 tons annually of any combination...

Methane levels increased an unexpected 10 ppb in atmosphere last year

As has been noted in prior posts, methane has a global warming potential of "25" over a 100-year period. This means that a methane emission will have 25 times the impact on temperature of a carbon dioxide emission of the same mass over the following 100-year period. Methane has a large effect...

California may get the award for energy efficiency, but it is the second largest emitter of CO2; Texas is first

DOE's Energy Information Administration has released its statistics for energy-related CO2 emissions for the time period 1990 to 2005. The information is broken down by State. The data focuses just on CO2, not on all GHGs. However, as EIA notes: "Although energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2)...

Ethanol industry questions EPA lifecycle GHG emissions analysis

Using the classic Executive Branch backdoor/end-run around an agency [a common practice in all of the last Administrations stretching back to the 1970s], the ethanol industry has met with OMB to raise questions about EPA's proposed lifecycle emissions analysis of ethanol production and other biofuels...

Coal-to-liquid and oil-sand-extraction may become economically viable in the future, but they are unlikely to help the environment, says RAND Corp.

Both high import payments for petroleum motor fuels and concerns regarding emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are motivating interest in possible fuel substitutes. Petroleum products derived from conventional crude oil constitute more than 50 percent of end-use energy deliveries in the United States and...

Gasoline-electric hybrids are the most fuel efficient vehicles currently

EPA and DOE released their annual report on fuel efficiency for 2009 model vehicles. The Toyota Prius at 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway was the most fuel efficient vehicle, as it was in the last model year. Number two was the Honda Civil hybrid (40 mpg city and 45 mpg highway). Third was the VW Jetta...

Midwest creates GHG monitoring and trading scheme, though some details are still being developed

As noted in prior posts, California, some western States, and several Canadian provinces have created a GHG trading program; similarly, a number of northeastern States have created a GHG trading program, and begun the bidding process for allowances. Now, a regional climate accord has been put together...

Substantial quantities of extractable methane hydrates identified in Alaska

Methane hydrates (aka frozen gas, frozen methane, gas clathrates, gas hydrates, clathrate hydrates) are water ice that contain a large amount of methane (aka natural gas) within their crystalline structure [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_hydrate ]. Paleogeologists point to the melting of...

California's Air Resources Board proposes major limits on emissions from currently operating diesel trucks and buses

In prior posts it has been noted that the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been attempting to implement a program to reduce diesel emissions in the area of and around the Ports. Prior posts have also reviewed the many studies that have sought to address the toxicology of diesel emissions and...

International Energy Agency claims that 10,000 large-scale carbon sequestration projects needed by 2050 to avoid major global warming

According to the International Energy Agency, there are only four carbon capture and storage ("CCS") projects in operation today, and none involves capturing emissions from coal-fired power plants. There are two off-shore projects in Norway, one in Algeria, and one in Canada. They each inject...

FREE DOWNLOAD: Marten Law Group on Great Expectations: President-Elect Obama’s Environmental and Energy Policies

In his acceptance speech in Grant Park Tuesday night, President-elect Obama spoke of a “planet in peril.” As a candidate, he promised to combat global warming and to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil. Obama tied energy issues to our national security and economic recovery...

Using rock formations, really, to reduce greenhouse gases

In a prior post I noted that the IEA was pitching the construction of 10,000 carbon capture and storage projects in order to keep GHG emissions to a level that may limit the increase in global temperature to 3 degrees C or less over the next century. Costs could be in the range of 1013 dollars spread...

Air Resources Board considers alternative to GHG emission limits for vehicles

Although the conventional wisdom is that the Obama Administration, unlike the Bush Administration, will approve California's request to be able to regulate GHG emissions from vehicles under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the California Air Resources Board has considered what it could do to effect the same...

Voluntary FAA program to reduce emissions at airports is very modestly successful

In 2004, the Federal Aviation Administration established the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) program. VALE allows airports to use federal money normally set aside for noise and air quality projects to be used for emissions reduction programs. Currently only 9 of 160 eligible airports participate...

San Joaquin Valley AQMD posits its own GHG reduction program

In prior posts it has been noted that the San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Management District (SJVAQMD) has been moving forward with its own GHG reduction program, and that one of its board members (who also sits on the board of the parent agency, the Air Resources Board) has expressed concern that the...

Air Resources Board to release guide for voluntary GHG emission reductions by small business

The staff of the California Air Resources Board has scheduled a workshop for Dec. 1 (9:30am to 11:30am PST) to preview the "small business toolkit" to assist with facilitating voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions by small businesses. Information about the workshop, including a...

Solar Car Drives Home Message To Climate Conference Delegates

Maybe a globe-trotting solar car will drive home the message that we have the tools to fight global warming. The two-seater, the first of its kind to travel around the world without using a single drop of gasoline, arrived today at the U.N. climate talks at Poznan, , where delegates from 190 countries...

Kyoto Protocol 2012 targets are not likely to be met

The Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, requires that 37 countries decrease emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by an average 5 percent from 1990 levels. However, the only reason that emissions under the Kyoto Protocol are showing a decrease, according to the U.N., is the economic collapse of the...

Cow tax, a GHG emission urban myth?

As noted in prior posts, EPA has sought general input on the if and how of using the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs). Suddenly, EPA has been inundated with comments about a so-called EPA proposal to tax cows and sheep because these ruminants emit methane, which as noted in prior...

EPA claims it will meet June '09 deadline for rule on the reporting of GHG emissions

The 2008 omnibus appropriations bill (Public Law 110-161) required EPA to issue a draft rule on the reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by September 26, 2008; EPA missed the deadline. The same law requires EPA to issue a final rule by June 26, 2009. Even though it has not released the draft rule...

Temple University physicists develop method to improve automotive fuel burning efficiency

There are a lot of quack fuel additives and mileage enhancers sold in today's market. See, for example, http://www.cartalk.com/content/columns/Archive/2000/May/02.html . Thus, it was with some interest that I read about a device that appears to have some validity to the concept, and some credibility...

RGGI's second auction prices CO2 allowances at $3.38 per ton, up from $3.07

Prior posts have described the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the pricing of carbon dioxide allowances sold at its first auction. The RGGI has now held its second auction of CO2 allowances; each allowance permitted its holder to emit one ton of CO2. The price at the second auction was $3.38 per...

President directs EPA to review California waiver request to allow regulation of GHG emissions from cars

As noted in a prior post, California has reapplied to EPA for a waiver from the Clean Air Act (CAA) which will enable California and 17 other States to regulate GHG emissions from automobiles under the CAA. President Obama has now ordered EPA to revisit the waiver request. [Hint: It will be granted...

Tailpipe Emissions Are Too Narrow A Focus For Assessing GHG Impacts From Various Transportation Modalities

In a recent study, researchers argue that many analyses of the impact of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions overlook those GHG's emitted in constructing and maintaining the transportation infrastructure. For example, based on passenger kilometers traveled, the researchers found that off-peak urban bus...