Congratulations, World! Atmospheric CO2 Levels Have Not Been This High in the Past Three Million Years

The world set a new record in May 2019, at least on a human perspective. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 reached 415.26 ppm on May 14, as recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, a level not seen in the past three million years.   To put that into perspective, the last time atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were this high, there were no humans on Earth. This was the Pliocene Epoch, where global temperatures were on average 2-3°C (3.6-5.8°F) higher
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Advanced Nuclear Power Legislation Introduced and Touted as Antidote to Climate Change

In late March, a group of fifteen bipartisan senators reintroduced the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA) bill to the Senate. This legislation was originally introduced in September of 2018, but was not voted on before the Congressional session ended at the end of the year. It is being lauded as an important means for battling climate change and to support the promotion of non-fossil fuel based energy in the United States. Early agreement across party aisles is encouraging. As advanced,
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The Replacements: DC Circuit Partially Vacates EPA’s HFC Rule

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated part of a 2016 EPA rule that made hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) unacceptable for various uses in aerosols, automobile air conditioners, commercial refrigerators, and foams. In the waning years of the Obama presidency, EPA made an effort to combat climate change by enacting two rules restricting the use of HFCs, which are greenhouse gases. EPA claimed it had authority to do so under Title VI of the Clean Air Act.
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Yet Another One Bites the Dust – Latest Climate Change Lawsuit Dismissed in Pennsylvania

In what definitely is becoming a pattern, yet another climate change lawsuit has been dismissed. On February 19, 2019, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed the case Clean Air Council, et al. v. United States of America, Civ. No. 17-4977. With this dismissal, six significant climate change lawsuits, and several more questionable suits, now have been rejected by different US courts around the country: [in addition to Clean Air Council, what can be considered
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Business Climate Changes for Oil and Gas Industry in the West

Despite booming operations due to shale gas discoveries in recent years, the business climate for the oil and gas industry in the western United States is suffering because of recent political changes and public concerns over, well, climate change. We start in New Mexico, where Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham inked an executive order in January calling for the state to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, becoming the latest newly minted Democratic
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What’s at Stake? Two Different Approaches to Climate Change – Part II The NHTSA Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Rule Draft Environmental Impact Statement

As introduced in Part I of this two part posting, two recently released documents – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Global Warming of 1.5°C Summary for Policymakers (IPCC Summary), issued on October 8, 2018, and the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule for Model Year 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in July 2018 – provide a stark contrast in how to respond to the threat
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California Wildfires Provide Another Forum for Climate Change Debate

In 2018, California has seen a spate of devastating wildfires that has already consumed more than 1,000,000 acres, caused scores of deaths, rampant property destruction, and millions of dollars in economic loss.  Following a 2017 fire season that was nearly equally as tragic, a public debate has emerged regarding the origin of the increased frequency and intensity of these disasters. In August, following fires in Redding, California, and in the last week during blazes outside of Sacramento and Los Angeles,
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What’s at Stake? Two Different Approaches to Climate Change – Part I: The IPCC Summary for Policymakers

Two recently released documents – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Global Warming of 1.5°Summary for Policymakers (IPCC Summary), issued last week, and the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule for Model Year 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks Draft Environmental Impact Statement (NHTSA EIS), issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in July 2018 – provide a stark contrast in how to respond to the threat posed by climate change. The first document, and subject of this post – the IPCC Summary – issues a drastic call to action to the world
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First Climate Change Trial Now on the Horizon

On October 15, 2018, Judge Ann Aiken of the U.S.D.C. for the District of Oregon denied the federal government’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and motion for summary judgment in the Juliana lawsuit filed by 21 minors. As previously explained in this blog, the minors allege that the government has violated their constitutional rights with regard to decisions that have led to climate change. Further, the minors seek to compel the federal government to prepare a consumption-based inventory of
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Federal Government Again Seeks Stay of Climate Change Suit Filed by Minors

The federal government has again sought a stay in the climate change lawsuit filed by 21 minors, known as the Juliana case. The lawsuit was filed in 2015 against President Obama and numerous federal agencies, claiming that the executive branch contributed to climate change in violation of the children’s rights under the Fifth and Ninth Amendments to the Constitution and an asserted federal public-trust doctrine. The children are seeking a declaration from the U.S.D.C. for the District Court of Oregon
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