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Climate Policy Watch

Biden Officials Signal ‘Humility’ In Re-Entering Global Climate Discussions

Officials with the incoming Biden administration appear to be acknowledging concerns that the United States must regain credibility on international climate matters and thus are pledging to re-engage on the issue with “humility,” including by working more closely with the European Union.

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In Setback For Refiners, EPA Fights High Court Review Of RFS Waiver Ruling

In a setback for refiners, EPA is opposing the industry’s request for the Supreme Court to review an appellate ruling that effectively precludes the agency’s issuance of renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waivers to small refining companies, saying that a lower court should first resolve a legal fight over the RFS waiver policy.

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Court Rejects Novel NEPA Review Claiming Climate Benefits From Drilling

A federal appellate court has rejected the Trump administration’s approval of the first Arctic offshore oil drilling project for failing to adequately assess its greenhouse gas impacts, setting a precedent that could stymie other projects that also relied on a novel approach used by several agencies claiming fossil fuel extraction provides climate benefits.

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Environmentalists again push to scrap biomass budget rider

Congress for several years has included a policy rider in spending bills directing EPA and other agencies to treat forest biomass as carbon neutral, but environmentalists are pushing to scrap the policy.

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Trump EPA Aims To Shield Air Cost-Benefit Rule From Biden, Hill Attacks

The Trump EPA is making several legal and political arguments in an effort to shield its newly finalized rule rewriting Clean Air Act cost-benefit review procedures from reversal by the incoming Biden administration or Capitol Hill, including that the rule is procedural and thus exempt from the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

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Former EPA Waste Chiefs Suggest Boosting Superfund Financial Stability

Two former EPA waste office chiefs in Democratic administrations say the incoming Biden administration should boost the Superfund program’s decades-long flat budget and write new financial assurance rules to address the program’s financial limits, while predicting the Biden EPA will emphasize climate adaptation in cleanups.

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Newsom picks CPUC member Randolph as new CARB chief

Liane Randolph, who has a state utility regulator since 2015, will be the new chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board that implements the state’s suite of aggressive air and climate programs.

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Biden includes climate in task list for Defense secretary pick

In announcing retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as his nominee to be Secretary of Defense, President-elect Joe Biden says the Pentagon should help address national security threats posed by climate change.

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CBD Presses Biden To Go Beyond Obama’s Oil & Gas Methane Rules

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) is urging the incoming Biden administration to go beyond Obama EPA rules limiting the potent greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas drilling, with the group pressing for a near-zero emissions standard that would “effectively” end hydraulic fracturing on private lands.

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States, Environmentalists Detail Legal Attacks On EPA Methane Rollback

Democratic-led states and environmental groups are outlining their legal claims against EPA’s rule scrapping direct methane standards for the oil and gas sector, charging the agency relies on an unprecedented narrow view of its authority while ignoring prior conclusions on the need for controls and important reliance interests.

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