Several States Press the Accelerator on Reducing GHG Emissions in Transportation Sector from Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Last week, eight states and the District of Columbia announced a joint commitment to develop an agreement and action plan to support accelerated development of medium and heavy-duty zero emissions trucks and buses. In a joint statement of intent entitled “Multi-State Medium-and Heavy- Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Initiative,” California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont declared their intent to develop a multistate memorandum of understanding to support efforts to develop zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in an effort to address climate change concerns.

“Our states recognize that nearly …

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An Exercise in Separation of Powers: Second Circuit Signals Affirmance of Dismissal of NYC Climate Change Lawsuit

“Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government,” said district court judge John Keenan last July in nixing New York City’s climate change nuisance suit that seeks to hold major oil companies liable for global-warming related injuries resulting from greenhouse gas emissions. New York City appealed Judge Keenan’s dismissal to the second circuit, arguing that its action is not an attempt to regulate emissions.

Late last week, hearing New York City’s appeal of Judge Keenan’s dismissal, the second …

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Global Plastic Proliferation – An Emerging Climate Threat

From teeming landfills, choked rivers, and Pacific Ocean garbage gyres, to potential harm to marine and animal life from micro-plastic debris spanning the poles to the deepest part of the oceans, the growing proliferation of plastics is triggering a growing realization that the world has a plastics problem. This is not just an environmental pollution problem. Scientists are beginning to understand that plastics – from cradle to grave – potentially could have an unrealized significant impact on global climate change.

Earlier this month, the Center …

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FERC Ambivalence Leads to Pipeline Approval

In a split decision, a bipartisan four-commissioner panel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved an application by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC for a construction certificate. Transco plans to upgrade several portions of a pipeline that serves the northeast region of the country, including parts of New York City and New Jersey.

Specifically, the project involves construction of approximately 14 miles of pipeline in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Queens County, New York, 23 miles of offshore pipeline near Queens and Staten Island, …

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WildEarth Guardians v. Zinke – How Shoud GHG Emissions be Estimated?

On March 19, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling blocking, at least temporarily, approved oil and gas drilling on approximately 300,000 acres in Wyoming.

The case, WildEarth Guardians v. Zinke, et al., 16-1724 (D.C. Cir.), was brought by two advocacy groups, Wildlife Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility, which alleged that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated federal law by not sufficiently considering climate change when authorizing oil and gas leasing on federal land in Wyoming, …

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Smoke and fumes

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 significant suits filed by …

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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 governor to take an …

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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 …

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Massachusetts Steps Up its Game on Climate Regulation

Last Friday, August 11, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection published expansive new regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The regulations will affect a broad range of stakeholders within the state, including new requirements for power generators, electric utilities, natural gas distributors, government, and the transportation sector.

The new regulations are the latest step in an arduous process the state has undertaken to combat climate change. In 2008, the Massachusetts legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act requiring that, by …

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