Empire State’s Renewable Energy Project Siting Bill: A Different Kind of Regulatory Cleanup

Many efforts in environmental law aim at enacting regulations to help clean up the environment. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo submitted a bill that flips the script last week. The proposed law aims to clean up New York’s regulations about siting for and permitting  renewable energy projects.

Under the proposed law, a new office would be created within the state’s Department of Economic Development tasked with overseeing siting and permitting for renewable energy projects. Environmental reviews for such projects would also be the new office’s …

Continue Reading

Sub-National Efforts to Tackle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Take up the Slack

Given the Trump Administration’s position on climate change, one could easily become discouraged that any meaningful progress can be made in reaching the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) set for the United States under the 2015 Paris Agreement to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to keep anthropogenic warming to below 2°C.

Under the Paris Agreement, the United States is tasked with reducing its GHG emissions by 26-28 percent below its 2005 emissions by 2025. Such pessimism might not be completely warranted, however, despite the Trump …

Continue Reading

The Push for Repeal of Environmental Regulations: One Year into the Trump Administration, Where Do We Stand?

As we move a little more than a year into the Trump Administration, it probably is time to take a look at where we are in regards to the administration’s publicly stated goal of repealing environmental regulations, many of which are related to climate change. In that context, the New York Times, National Geographic Society, Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, and Harvard University’s Environmental Law Program, are great sources, providing useful tracking information and updates regarding proposed …

Continue Reading
United States Environmental Protection Agency sign on the Clinton building

EPA Takes Baby-Step Toward Replacing Clean Power Plan

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency took the first miniscule step toward replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) when it announced that it will seek public input on “the proper and respective roles of the state and federal governments” in setting emissions limits on greenhouse gases.

The CPP is a regulation set forth by the EPA under the Obama administration aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Among other things, the CPP sets a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power …

Continue Reading

A Public Hearing Before the Death Knell Tolls on U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. EPA will conduct a public hearing in Charleston, West Virginia on November 28 and 29, 2017 that concerns the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

The CPP, as passed under the Obama Administration in 2015, was designed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emitted by power plants. Under the CPP, the EPA assigned each state a goal to reduce emissions from existing power plants and gave the states broad discretion to devise their own approach to meet the federal …

Continue Reading