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Climate Policy Watch

Trump directs EPA to reconsider RFS small refiner waiver policy

EPA appears to be poised to issue fewer renewable fuel standard waivers for small refiners, pushing up refiners’ compliance costs but pleasing President Donald Trump’s rural political supporters.

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California, Autos Mull Steps To Manage Aftermath Of GHG Rule Rollback

California’s top air regulator says she is meeting with automakers about how the state would manage potential regulatory confusion if the Trump administration finalizes its plan to scrap existing vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, resulting in a protracted legal battle.

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Draft CEQ NEPA Climate Guide Proposes Limited GHG Reviews, No SCC

White House officials are proposing a long-awaited guidance for how agencies should consider greenhouse gases when they conduct National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, a significantly pared back version of an Obama-era guide that limits the scope of review and does not direct agencies to monetize emissions using the social cost of carbon (SCC) or any similar tool.

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Trump opponents target energy efficiency rule in ‘2-for-1’ suit

Environmentalists and others suing over President Donald Trump’s regulatory reform order are tying their efforts to a delayed rule on appliances’ energy efficiency.

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Experts See ‘Uphill Climb’ For EPA Bid To Limit Air Law GHG Authority

Clean Air Act experts say EPA faces a tough legal lift to convince a key appellate court that its just-issued Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to address power sector greenhouse gases is lawful, in part because the agency opted for a relatively risky claim that its standard-setting approach is the only permissible interpretation of the law.

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EPA Argues Its Repeal Of Obama CPP Rule ‘Severable’ From ACE Policy

EPA says its formal repeal of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) is severable from its newly finalized Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule in an effort to persuade courts to allow the repeal to go forward even if they find the narrow replacement unlawful -- though sources say it is far from clear that judges will accept this position.

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Pennsylvania’s governor seeks to join RGGI

Wolf is urging the Republican-led state legislature to allow the Keystone State to join the regional cap-and-trade program, though it is far from clear whether lawmakers will agree to such a move.

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Hunton Breaks Silence To Defend UARG, Wehrum Amid House Inquiry

Hunton Andrews Kurth, the law firm that created -- and is now disbanding -- the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG), the longtime power sector advocacy group, is beginning to speak out in defense of its work after largely remaining silent amid scathing news reports and a House inquiry into the group’s close ties with EPA air chief Bill Wehrum, who represented UARG when he served at the firm.

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EPA, California Engage In Sharp War Of Words Over Vehicle GHG Rollback

Top EPA and California officials are engaged in an aggressive war of words over who is responsible for the breakdown of talks over vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules and the Trump administration’s plan to sharply roll them back, a dispute that one Democratic lawmaker says is doing little to restart the talks.

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EPA Adopts Risky Legal Stance In ACE To Limit Air Act GHG Authority

EPA’s just-issued Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which seeks to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), adopts a risky legal interpretation arguing that the agency is prohibited from issuing the types of broad greenhouse gas standards that were included in the CPP in a bid to block a future administration from re-imposing similarly expansive requirements.

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