Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Environmental Impact Analysis and the Keystone XL Pipeline Project

On June 6, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its latest comments and rating on the State Department's Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Keystone XL project, a major new oil pipeline being developed by Transcanada, a Canadian firm, that would, if...

Legal Group Urges Court to Dismiss “Climate Change” Suit

By William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation July 29, 2011 - DENVER, CO. A Colorado nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation today urged a Colorado state court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by minors and an environmental group demanding that...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New Report Published on Carbon Offshoring: The Legal and Regulatory Framework for U.S. Coal Exports

By Daniel Firger, Associate Director, Center for Climate Change, Columbia Law School Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel, releasing far higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and conventional air pollutants-including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury-per unit of energy than either oil...

National Weather Service 30-Year Averages Confirm the Climate is Getting Hotter in the U.S.

By J. Wylie Donald , Partner, McCarter & English Half a degree doesn't sound like much. And it isn't, if you are talking about a baccalaureate. But in a world of climate change, a half a degree increase in Baltimore's average temperature combined with average temperature increases in...

Global Warming: There are Reasonable, Cost-Effective Steps that Can Slow the Temperature Rise, but They May Be Rendered Moot by Massive Increases in CO2

First, some good news. Prior posts have noted repeatedly the key role that methane plays in global warming (the longterm trend in temperature, not seasonal or annual variations). Prior posts have also noted the role that particulates-aerosols play in global warming, and their adverse effect on human...

Global Warming: Reasonable, Cost-effective Steps that can slow the Temperature Rise

First, some good news. Prior posts have noted repeatedly the key role that methane plays in global warming (the longterm trend in temperature, not seasonal or annual variations). Prior posts have also noted the role that particulates-aerosols play in global warming, and their adverse effect on human...

Virginia Supreme Court Reaffirms Ruling In Global-Warming Coverage Dispute

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) An underlying complaint alleges that damages were the "natural and probable consequence" of an insured's intentional actions, the Virginia Supreme Court said April 20, upholding its finding that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend...

Cadwalader Friends & Clients Memo: EPA Proposes CO2 Emissions Standards for New Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Generators

By Gregory Lawrence , Athena Eastwood , Joseph Williams and Tory Lauterbach On March 27, 2012 the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") submitted for publication in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking that would set standards of performance for CO2 gas emissions for new...

DOE Identifies Possible Carbon Sequestration Storage Sites

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block On May 1, 2012, the Department of Energy released the North American Storage Atlas that maps the potential carbon dioxide storage capacity in North America. According to the Atlas , there is at least 500 years of geologic storage capacity for carbon dioxide...

Acidification of Oceans May Affect the Brains of Fish

Yesterday's post noted some of the adverse consequences that are likely to arise from acidification of oceans. Another recent study shows that such acidification can influence the behavior of fish because of impacts on their brains; the response of nerve cells can be reversed as acidifying seawater...

Area from Massachusetts to North Carolina Faces Accelerating Sea Level Increase

Climate change has, on average, raised the surface of the world's oceans in recent decades by melting glaciers and causing seawater to expand as it warms. But the rise has not been uniform, just like the increase in ocean temperature. As noted in prior posts, both temperature increases and rising...

EPA Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements Maintain Focus on Largest Emitters

Steps to streamline process will ease burden on state and local permitting authorities WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will not revise greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting thresholds under the Clean Air Act. Today's final rule is part of EPA's...

DLA Piper: Climate Change Update – Australian Carbon Pricing Mechanism Takes Shape

By Mark Beaufoy and Laura Schuijers July 1 marked the first day of the first compliance year under Australia's carbon pricing mechanism (CPM). Entities liable under the CPM will need to record and report their covered greenhouse gas emissions. The threshold emissions level for an entity to be...

Obama Administration Finalizes Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standards

Consumer Savings Comparable to Lowering Price of Gasoline by $1 Per Gallon by 2025 WASHINGTON, DC - The Obama Administration has finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. When combined with previous...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Governor Cuomo Calls for Lowering RGGI Cap, Other Climate Initiatives

By Shelley Welton, Deputy Director & Fellow, Center for Climate Change, Columbia Law School On Wednesday, January 10, 2013, Governor Cuomo gave his state-of-the-state message . Much of the message was devoted to examining how the state can recover and learn from Superstorm Sandy. Encouragingly...

Another maxim bites the dust: Isolated coral reefs can recover from bleaching

Stony corals that are reef-building corals (also known as Hermtypic corals [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermatypic_coral ]) require algae from the genus Symbiodinium [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiodinium ] to be in a healthy condition. The loss of these intracellular Symbiodinium from the...

Can addressing air pollution decrease global warming? You betcha

Prior posts have noted the adverse health impacts from small particles, often referred to generally as PM10 and/or PM2.5. Prior posts have also noted the adverse impact of soot on global warming, which because it is black and absorbs heat warms up the atmosphere and whatever it is coating (e.g., glaciers...

Jenner & Block: New Guidance On Social Cost Of Carbon

By E. Lynn Grayson , Partner, Jenner & Block The Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon - a multiple federal agency initiative - has issued new guidance on the social cost of carbon to estimate the climate benefits of any rulemakings or other federal actions. Regulators are now assuming...

Cadwalader Clients & Friends Memo: Recent Developments in Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Supreme Court Grants EPA’s Petition for Certiorari in Transport Rule Case, and President Obama Issues Executive Directive to EPA Regarding Carbon Emissions On Monday, June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”...

OMB Seeks Public Comment On Social Cost of Carbon

By E. Lynn Grayson The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requests comments on the Technical Support Document entitled Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866 . The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is used to estimate the value to society...

CO2

EPA Excludes Carbon Dioxide Waste Streams from RCRA - A (Very Small) Step Forward for CCS

By J. Wylie Donald The Congress may be dysfunctional but the administrative agencies are still moving the ball. A case in point is last month's Christmas present from EPA to the carbon capture and storage community. On December 17 EPA issued its final rule , Hazardous Waste Management System...

Lawsuits for Climate Disasters?

Lawsuits against private firms for climate disaster compensation may not be winnable yet, but important groundwork is being laid. In groundbreaking peer-reviewed research , researcher Richard Heede of the Climate Accountability Institute offers the most complete picture to date of which institutions...

Rising CO2 Poses Significant Threat To Human Nutrition

At the elevated levels of atmospheric CO 2 anticipated by around 2050, crops that provide a large share of the global population with most of their dietary zinc and iron will have significantly reduced concentrations of those nutrients , according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health...

EPA Proposes First Carbon Emissions Limits for Power Plants

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan, which would impose the first federal limits on carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from power plants in the United States.[1] The proposed rules, which the EPA published pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air...