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Sulfur Masking Global Warming?

By Patrick Greissing, Alston & Bird LLP A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states that despite the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from 1998 to 2008, global surfaces temperatures have leveled off. The researchers, led by Robert Kaufman, a professor...

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...

The Debt Ceiling Furor Will Change the Climate of Climate Change Responses

By J. Wylie Donald, Partner, McCarter & English We hope you don't come to this blog for stock tips but it doesn't take John Bogle to know that the debt ceiling impasse and the budget furor do not bode well for renewable energy stocks. Citing the debt crises and oversupply, here is how...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York City Enacts Three More Recommendations From the Green Codes Task Force

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On December 27, 2011, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law three bills that enacted recommendations of the New York City Green Codes Task Force. The bills are aimed at carrying out long-term municipal plans...

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...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Report Quantifies the Environmental Value of Building Reuse

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Recently, the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation issued a report that confirms the environmental benefit of building reuse. The report concludes, among other things, that it can take between...

Could the Amazon Become a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emitter Rather Than a Sink?

The Amazon has long been conceived of as a CO2 sink because of its mass of vegetation. Researchers are now concerned that drought and deforestation may make it a net emitter. Because of regular measurements of about 100,000 trees, researchers estimate that the Amazon was absorbing about 1.5 billion...

Unique Marine Ecosystems Indicate How Ocean Acidification Will Affect Sea Life

A number of adverse environmental impacts are projected to occur from global warming. Although several atmospherically located substances will drive temperature increases, significant levels of CO2 may acidify the oceans. Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH (see Wikipedia...

Cap-and-Trade or Carbon Tax?

If you saw the SOTU address earlier this month, you heard President Obama renew his plea for a 'market based' solution to our climate change crisis. That comment triggered a heated policy discussion among my environmentalist friends. What does a tax guy say when folks ask about the cap-and-trade...

Jenner & Block: More Insights On Obama’s Climate Change Plan

Since President Obama's speech at Georgetown, there has been tremendous response and reaction to his proposed plan to address climate change. As to be expected, some support President Obama's proposals while others do not. The threefold approach includes: 1) reducing U.S. carbon pollution; 2...

Energy and EPA Defend Administration’s Climate Change Approach in Congress

On September 18, 2013, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on "The Obama Administration's Climate Change Policies and Activities" in response to the President's Climate Action Plan released on June 25, 2013. The Subcommittee...

EPA Proposes New and Differing Carbon Emission Limits for Future Natural Gas-Fired and Coal-Fired Power Plants

On September 20, 2013, U.S. EPA rescinded its first attempt and proposed new rules to establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), i.e. , national emission limits, for carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emitted from new electric power plants. EPA's proposed approach is to set different limits, and different...

New CO2 Performance Standard Proposal for New Electric Generators Issued by EPA

On September 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a new proposal to limit carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emissions from new coal-fueled and natural gas-fueled electric generating units. The proposal replaces a proposal EPA made last year. For new coal-fueled...

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage in China: Emerging Policies and Laws

The Center for Climate Change Law has released a white paper tracking China’s policies and laws on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). China has the world’s largest coal reserves and has been zealous in using its coal to drive rapid economic development in recent decades, leading...

The EU ETS’s Most Recent Challenges

Teresa Parejo, Associate Professor of Law (Carlos III University), Visiting Scholar at the Center for Climate Change Law The EU ETS (European Union Emissions Trading System), the most important EU tool to fight against climate change, is now facing two challenges of great significance: 1. In...

New Columbia Resource Tracks the President’s Climate Action Plan

On June 25, 2013, President Obama delivered a major speech on the topic of climate change. In it he outlined a broad policy agenda aimed at addressing the challenges posed by the changing climate. The agenda, detailed in The President’s Climate Action Plan , relies almost entirely upon executive...

New CCCL Paper: Federal “Green” Product Procurement Policy In The U.S.

By Shawna Ganley, CCCL Contributor and Former Visiting Scholar With the recent COP19 in Warsaw showing questionable progress towards a universal climate agreement in 2015 ( as reported previously by CCCL ), government procurement represents an uncontroversial way to achieve greenhouse gas reductions...

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...

Clean Power Plan Will Spur Innovation and Strengthen the Economy

Yesterday was an important day. At the direction of President Obama and after an unprecedented outreach effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the Clean Power Plan proposal, which for the first time cuts carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon...

Washington Governor Inslee Orders Cap-and-Trade Program

On April 29, 2014, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order outlining a series of “next steps” to reduce carbon pollution within the state, including the creation of a market based carbon pollution cap program and to work towards eventually eliminating the use of electricity...

DLA Piper Climate Change Alert: EPA Announces Carbon Regulations For Existing Power Plants

By Deborah E. Jennings , Andrew B. Schatz and Catherine B. Campbell The Environmental Protection Agency has announced long-awaited regulations to reduce carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from existing power plants pursuant to the Clean Air Act. EPA's Clean Power Plan would for the first time establish...

Obama To Slash Emissions From Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its long awaited proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards to slash carbon emissions from existing power plants, the largest industrial source of GHG emissions in the US. The rule, if upheld by the Supreme Court, will require existing...

Is RGGI in New Jersey's and Pennsylvania’s Future?

By John McAleese . With the release of EPA’s proposed regulation of CO2 from existing sources on June 2, there has been a lot of speculation that states will look to cap-and-trade schemes as a means of complying with EPA’s mandate that the states reduce CO2 emissions by 30% of 2005 levels...

Clean Power Plan Proposal Includes Incentives For States To Focus On Controversial Nuclear Energy

There has been a lot of discussion and press around the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan , which is intended to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA proposed this plan on June 2nd under its Clean Air Act §111(d) authority, which “requires...