Apr 14, 2021

Challenge to Trump Rule Relaxing Clean Car Standards Put on Hold by D.C. Circuit

A D.C. Circuit has put on hold a challenge to a Trump administration decision to scale back standards for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission for vehicles.  The Trump era rule lowered federal fuel efficiency standard reduction requirements from 5% to 1.5% annually through 2026.  A coalition of mostly democratic lead states sued to overturn the Trump rollback, and the Biden administration argued successfully before the D.C. Circuit to halt the proceedings while the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration review the regulations. For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.


Oct 21, 2020

EPA Proposes New Aircraft Emission Standard

For the first time, the EPA has proposed a rule setting an emission standard for nearly all commercial aircraft for greenhouse gas emissions.  The EPA’s proposed standard closely follows the standard adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2017, which was the world’s first global design certification standard governing CO2 emissions for aircraft.  The EPA standard would apply to all covered aircraft for which a new design type certificate is requested on or after January 1, 2020, and would apply to in-production aircraft beginning January 1, 2028.  The proposed rule is expected to have little impact on manufacturers as… Read more


Sep 23, 2020

Bipartisan House Plan Proposes Significant Investment in Clean Energy Infrastructure

Clean Energy

A House Bipartisan proposal, which is expected later this week, aims to invest significantly in clean energy infrastructure technology and tax incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years.  The House Bill would create a clean electricity standard for the power sector designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050.  The standard calls for expanded resources for technology for carbon capture, use and storage, and would establish a revamped regulatory framework to modernize the energy grid.  The Bill would shift enforcement of power sector carbon dioxide emissions from the Clean Air Act to the policy… Read more


Aug 2, 2016

EPA, Greenhouse Gas from Aircraft Emissions Endanger Human Health

On July 25, 2016, pursuant to the authority of Section 231(a) of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) the U.S. EPA declared that emissions of greenhouse gas from aircraft endanger human health and the environment. The endangerment finding, which can be found at RIN 2060-AS31 opens the door for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. According to the EPA’s top air official, Janet McCabe, “the EPA has already set effective greenhouse gas standards for cars and trucks, and any future aircraft engine standards will also provide important climate and public health benefits.” According to the agency, 89% of… Read more


Feb 16, 2015

New Draft Guidance Proposed by CEQ Encourages Climate Change Evaluation in Environmental Impact Statements

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on December 19 proposed updated guidance for assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CEQ has responsibility for providing guidance to federal agencies on compliance with NEPA’s environmental assessment requirements. The new proposed guidance updates CEQ’s 2010 draft guidance on how agencies should assess projects’ GHG impacts. The draft guidance for the first time includes guidance on the so-called “reverse environmental impact” assessment of the impacts of climate change on proposed projects. The draft also details how federal agencies should analyze and mitigate… Read more


Jan 16, 2015

EPA Proposes to Allow Biomass Energy as GHG Control

On November 19, EPA released a policy memo that allows states to rely on energy generated from “waste-derived and certain forest-derived industrial byproduct feedstocks” as tools for compliance with EPA’s proposed existing source performance standards (ESPS) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The memo announced that EPA will propose a rule exempting waste and “sustainably derived” biomass from best available control technology (BACT) requirements in stationary source permits, and will revise its prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) rules to “include an exemption from the [BACT] requirement for GHGs from waste-derived feedstocks and from non-waste biogenic feedstocks derived from sustainable forest or… Read more


Nov 3, 2014

EPA’s Proposed Carbon Dioxide Rule is Flexible but Complex

In June, the EPA proposed a rule designed to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The rule provides flexibility to states as to how to achieve the reduction goals; however, some states who will be charged with administering the program have expressed concern over the proposed rules’ frontloading of carbon emission reductions and the selection of a single year, 2012, for establishing each state’s baseline. In Georgia, for instance, the EPA has already taken into account two proposed nuclear facilities that have yet to be constructed. The State of Georgia asserts that if Georgia Power experiences delays or… Read more


Oct 6, 2014

Regional Grid Operators Consider a Price on Carbon

Regulations proposed by EPA under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act for the control of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing sources would require States to meet assigned GHG reduction targets by deadlines set forth in the proposed regulations. States can either submit individual plans for meeting those reductions or participate in regional plans. The operators of two of the largest electricity grids in the country are evaluating whether to approach the targets regionally within their territories by, among other things, studying whether imposing a price on GHG emissions within the region might be the most efficient way to… Read more


Mar 6, 2014

EPA Issues Statement Stating it is “On Track” to Issue Greenhouse Gas Rule for Existing Power Plants

The EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, stated on February 10 that it is “on track” to issue a proposed carbon dioxide emission standard for existing power plants in June of 2014. According to the EPA, generation of electricity is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 33% of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.  According to McCarthy, the new rule will “…encourage clean energy investment that expands domestic industries and secures good paying jobs here in the United States, while making sure there is space for a diverse fuel supply.” For more information, contact Phillip Hoover or… Read more


Dec 13, 2013

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Challenge to EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral argument on the issue of whether the newly promulgated Greenhouse Emission Standard for vehicles triggers a Clean Air Act requirement to regulate emissions from stationary sources.  A ruling against the EPA could eliminate the need for stationary industrial sources, such as power plants and petroleum refineries, to obtain prevention of significant deterioration and Title V Operating Permits for their greenhouse gas emissions.  The court declined to hear other challenges to the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules, including its finding that greenhouse gas emissions present a public danger and should be regulated under… Read more