LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
The Constitutional Foundation for the Clean Power Plan

As members of Congress wisely examine the legal basis for the Clean Power Plan, they should feel confident that the Environmental Protection Agency is acting with a solid constitutional foundation. At a Tuesday hearing of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce...

Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Shows Increase Since Prior Year and Since 1990

By Gabrielle Sigel As it has since 1994, on April 15 of this year, U.S. EPA published its annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. The Inventory tracks greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions from man-made sources, by year, starting in 1990. The Inventory began as part of...

Possible Shift of Perspectives on Breadth of NEPA Review; CEQ's Draft Greenhouse Gas Guidance

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),[1] and the corresponding NEPA regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)[2] and the respective reviewing agencies, federal agencies are required to consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions— i.e...

Oslo Principles on Climate Change: Governments are Breaching Legal Duties

By Jennifer Kalnins Temple A group of preeminent international jurists have put together a series of legal principles, called the Oslo Principles on Global Obligations to Reduce Climate Change . These principles demonstrate that the governments of the world are breaching their legal duties to their...

A FIP Primer for the Clean Power Plan

Much has been made of late about EPA’s authority to develop federal implementation plans (FIPs) to achieve the state-based GHG emissions reduction targets the agency is preparing to establish under Clean Power Plan. Led by Senator Mitch McConnell, objectors have loudly urged states not to submit...

Lawsuit Seeks To Force Belgian Government To Take Action Against Climate Change

Jennifer M. Klein, Esq. Associate Director & Fellow A group of Belgian citizens initiated a lawsuit in April seeking to compel their government to take aggressive action against climate change. The group, Klimaatzaak, filed a summons in the court of first instance in Brussels, alleging that...

Democratic Senators Introduce Carbon Tax Bill

On Wednesday, June 10, two Democratic Senators (Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii) introduced a bill that would impose a carbon tax of $45 per ton of carbon emissions. For other greenhouse gases, the bill imposes a carbon dioxide equivalent fee. The sponsors claim that the...

Dutch Court Orders National GHG Reductions

By Michael B. Gerrard This morning the Hague District Court issued its decision in a lawsuit brought by the Urgenda Foundation against the State of the Netherlands. The court ordered the Dutch state to limit annual greenhouse gas emissions from the country to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. The...

State Net Climate Change News: California, Hawaii Lead Way on Climate Change Targets

Prodded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and led by California and Hawaii, states are tackling climate change and promoting renewable energy. But the fossil fuel industry and skeptical Republicans are pushing back. Hawaii last month became the first state to establish a goal of relying...

FERC’s Reaction to CEQ’s Greenhouse Gas Guidance: For Now, Business as Usual

On June 23, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an Order Denying Rehearing, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this order: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], of its earlier April 6, 2015 order, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this order: lexis.com | Lexis Advance...

EPA Proposes Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Finding for Aircraft Emissions

In a rule signed on June 10, 2015, EPA proposed to find that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from engines used in certain types of aircraft contribute to air pollution that endangers health and welfare under section 231(a) of the Clean Air Act. Further, anticipating that the International Civil Aviation...

Pope Says No to Cap and Trade

By Tricia Caliguire "Pope Francis Stands Up to Climate Deniers," or so says the editorial board of the Newark Star Ledger . Yes, but the headline could have read, "Pope says No to Cap and Trade." In his ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR...

"Capacious" Term Dooms MATS Rule - Does It Say Anything About the Clean Power Plan?

By J. Wylie Donald The Energy Information Agency predicted the retirement of up to 60 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generation by 2020. A significant contributor to that evolution was the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard or MATS Rule. Until now that is, because a 5-4 majority on the Supreme...

OMB Begins Review of EPA Proposals to Curb Methane Emissions, Define Major Source

By Meredith Odato Graham In late June the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a highly-anticipated proposed rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for interagency review that would address methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector. Earlier this year, EPA...

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates EPA’s Regulation of Mercury from Power Plants

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], and invalidated U.S. EPA's...

How the Supreme Court Just Delayed the Clean Power Plan

By Tricia Caliguire The Supreme Court’s decision in Michigan v. EPA , [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], holding that the Environmental Protection Agency should have considered costs when making the decision to regulate mercury emissions...

Supreme Court - EPA Must Consider Costs before Regulating Mercury Emissions from Power Plants

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Michigan v. EPA, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to properly consider compliance costs before promulgating the Mercury and Air Toxics...

IEA Proposes “Bridging Strategy” to Achieve Global Peak in Energy-Related GHG Emissions By 2020

The International Energy Agency (IEA- an autonomous organization which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond) has issued a special report entitled “Energy and Climate Change” which proposes a “bridging strategy” that could...

Michigan v. EPA – Setting the Stage for The Clean Power Plan and WOTUS

On June 28, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court filed its 5-4 ruling on the challenge to US EPA Mercury Air Toxics (MATS) rule. Michigan, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 14-46 . http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-46_10n2.pdf . In short the decision reverses and remands the...

Obama’s Clean Power Plan: “There is such a thing as being too late”

In a passionate announcement last month (it’s worth watching ), President Barak Obama unveiled the United States’ plan for doing its part to combat climate change: the Clean Power Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan sets out to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from...

WA Court Affirms Best Available Climate Science As Basis For Emissions Reduction Goals

One year ago, eight young climate activists (ranging from 9 to 14 years old) petitioned Washington State’s Department of Ecology (“the Department”) to adopt and implement stricter greenhouse gas emissions regulations based on the most current and best available climate science. When...

PA Climate Impacts Assessment Update

In 2008, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act (Act 70), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this Act: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], which directed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to conduct a study of the potential impacts...

Federal Agencies Acknowledge the Importance of Preparing Infrastructure for Climate Change But Rarely Act on Climate Projections

Jessica Wentz Associate Director and Postdoctoral Fellow Although it has become more common for agencies in preparing environmental impact statements (EISs) to acknowledge the impacts of climate change on a project and its affected environment, it is still quite rare for agencies to accurately...

Meeting China’s Climate Goals: An Expert Discussion

The Sabin Center and the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) recently co-hosted a panel discussion on Meeting China’s Climate Goals . The event was convened to discuss how China can shift its economy away from coal-fired power generation, improve energy efficiency, and increase the share of low...

Peabody Energy Agrees to Update SEC Filings to Acknowledge Financial Risks of Climate Change Policies

By Jessica Wentz Associate Director and Fellow On November 8, Peabody Energy Corporation, the world’s largest publicly-traded coal company, reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office (“NYAG”) in which it agreed to revise its financial disclosures to...