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Climate Policy Watch

DOJ Drops Antitrust Inquiry Of Automakers Backing California GHG Rules

The Justice Department (DOJ) has reportedly dropped its antitrust inquiry into four auto companies that agreed to a voluntary “framework” agreement with California to meet more stringent vehicle greenhouse gas standards than the Trump administration is poised to finalize, though it is unclear if other companies will now back the state’s plan.

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Judge backs DOJ’s schedule for California cap & trade suit

A district court’s speedy briefing schedule for the challenge to California’s cap-and-trade program is identical to a Justice Department request from earlier this month.

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DNC forms permanent climate committee

The panel will urge the Democratic Party to “take bolder and more ambitious action to address the climate crisis,” after the Democratic National Committee rejected sponsoring a climate-focused presidential primary debate.

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Fired EPA Region 9 Chief Cites Clashes With Headquarters Over Control

Mike Stoker, the EPA Region 9 administrator who was abruptly fired this week, says he often clashed with leadership in the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters over both policy and non-policy issues and was frustrated that top officials made many key decisions for the large Pacific Southwest region without his input.

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Signaling Delays, House Seeks More Environmental Fixes In CCUS Bill

House Democrats are seeking fixes to proposed legislation to expand carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) -- including more protection for drinking water and ensuring carbon dioxide is actually kept from the atmosphere -- signaling the need for further negotiations on the bill that could delay moving it this year.

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BLM may exempt land-use planning from NEPA

If such plans were exempt from NEPA, however, the Bureau of Land Management would no longer need to report on the environmental effects of a plan proposing to open public lands to energy development.

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EPA mulls rehearing request, high court appeal of RFS waiver ruling

The agency is considering either appeals court rehearing or a Supreme Court appeal against a ruling that could require a significant overhaul of its policy on refiners’ RFS exemptions.

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Wheeler ‘surprised’ by opposition to EPA science rule

The EPA head suggests in a recent interview that critics of the rule are opposed to transparency and are “vested in the current regulatory structure of our federal government.”

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Carper, Whitehouse seek answers on EPA treatment of ECOS

The senators say it “would constitute another clear abuse of power” if EPA is delaying or withholding grant funding from ECOS in retaliation for its concerns with EPA’s actions toward state agencies.

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Groups Fear Vehicle Rollback Could Harm Road Projects’ ‘Conformity’

Road construction groups and California local air regulators are pressing late-hour concerns that the Trump administration’s rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas standards will make it difficult for transportation plans to prove they “conform” to strategies to meet air quality limits, a move that could ultimately jeopardize project funding.

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