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Climate Policy Watch

Ernst Blocks Benevento Nomination For EPA Deputy Chief Over RFS Fears

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is blocking President Donald Trump’s nomination of Doug Benevento to be EPA deputy administrator over concerns that the agency is considering granting dozens of renewable fuel standard (RFS) waivers to biofuel production mandates, making it impossible for the nomination to move forward.

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CARB Approves Landmark ZEV Truck Sales Rule With Other States’ Backing

California has approved a landmark rule requiring medium- and heavy-duty truck makers for the first time to sell a minimum number of zero-emission models starting in 2024, with support from Northeastern state officials but continued opposition from major truck manufacturers.

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D.C. Joins Several States In Pressing Climate Fraud Suits Against Oil Firms

The District of Columbia is launching a climate change fraud suit against major oil companies in D.C. Superior Court, joining a handful of states in filing similar litigation, as well as a series of climate “nuisance” suits brought mostly by local governments.

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Forest Service backs tree clearing in coal mine NEPA dispute

The long-running litigation concerns a National Environmental Policy Act review for constructing a coal mine expansion in a protected wilderness area in Colorado.

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CalEPA Chief Signals Openness To Strengthening Cap & Trade Program

CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld is signaling an openness to tightening the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program amid longstanding calls to do so by some state lawmakers and academics, a potentially major shift that could include cutting the number of credits freely allocated to industry and significantly increasing the price of allowances.

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Legal Experts Weigh High Court’s ‘Textual’ Focus For EPA Rollback Cases

Legal experts are debating how the Supreme Court’s sharp focus on the text of laws in recent landmark rulings might affect pending litigation over Trump administration rollbacks of environmental rules, with some observers saying the “textual” approach might assist states and others who are suing to undo the deregulatory actions.

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EPA eyes new rule to codify controversial science advisor policy

EPA declined to appeal a ruling vacating the controversial policy but indicated it may seek to codify it in a new ethics regulation.

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Antitrust Probe Testimony Could Boost Suit Over State Auto GHG Rules

Capitol Hill testimony from a current Department of Justice (DOJ) official is lending new weight to claims that the Trump administration’s attacks on California and other states’ vehicle climate rules are driven by politics rather than substance, potentially bolstering a legal fight against the administration’s move, according to observers.

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EPA’s utility GHG defense draws lone amicus filer

The National Association of Home Builders is backing EPA’s decision to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, though it takes no position on the replacement Affordable Clean Energy rule.

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California Further Rebuts DOJ’s Claim Quebec GHG Link Unconstitutional

California is expanding its defense against the Trump administration’s remaining claim that the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program link to Quebec is unconstitutional, detailing multiple arguments before a federal district court that the connection does not violate the Foreign Affairs Doctrine.

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