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Climate Policy Watch

DOJ Seeks Abeyance For Federal Vehicle GHG Suit, Amid Opposition

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is formally asking a federal court to suspend a consolidated suit challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas standards, a move that had been expected after the Biden administration in a Jan. 20 executive order formally signaled plans to revise the standards.

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CEQ Withdraws Trump NEPA GHG Guide, Revives Broader Obama Policy

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is revoking draft Trump-era guidance for how federal agencies should incorporate greenhouse gas impacts in their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, reviving a broader Obama administration NEPA GHG policy while also planning a review of that document.

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Biden Faces Call For Broad SCC Reform To Bolster Value Of GHG Policies

Days before a Biden administration working group releases an “interim” value for the social cost of carbon (SCC) used to estimate the benefits of greenhouse gas reduction measures, a top legal scholar is urging a broad reform of the SCC and the associated “discount rate” of future impacts in order to bolster the value of new EPA GHG rules.

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Industry Groups Seek ‘Ample’ Public Comment On Biden’s SCC Update

Nearly a dozen major industry groups are pressing the Biden administration to provide “ample” public comment opportunities as it strengthens the social cost of carbon (SCC) metric over the next year, even as White House officials in the coming days are poised to release “interim” revisions that will boost Trump-era estimates.

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EPA Jump-Starts Major HFC Regulation Using New Statutory Authority

The Biden EPA is taking the first step toward regulating climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under new Clean Air Act authority it received from a bipartisan law enacted late last year, floating a data notice to inform a pending rule setting production limits for the chemicals used in refrigeration and other sectors.

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Youth Plaintiffs Plan High Court Appeal After 9th Circuit Rejects Climate Case

Twenty-one youth plaintiffs are planning to ask the Supreme Court to allow their constitutional climate change case against the U.S. government to proceed after an appeals court rejected their request to rehear a panel’s decision dismissing the suit for lack of standing and the Biden administration declined an invitation to weigh in on the case.

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Auto Sector GHG Stance Signals Ongoing Industry Split, Observers Say

Automakers’ early advocacy regarding the Biden EPA’s push to re-strengthen federal greenhouse gas and fuel economy rules for the sector is prompting some observers to suggest that auto companies remain split on the stringency of near-term regulations.

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D.C. Circuit Suspends Lawsuit Over Preempting State Auto GHG Rules

An appellate court is suspending the consolidated legal challenge to the Trump administration’s preemption of state vehicle greenhouse gas programs, in response to a Biden administration request to pause the case while it considers whether to restore states’ authority under the Clean Air Act.

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Water Alliance’s COVID-19 Policy Goals Might Get Support From EPA’s Fox

The US Water Alliance is outlining more than 20 federal policy actions to help the water sector and the U.S. economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, some that have been endorsed by key senators and others tied to principles that acting EPA water chief Radhika Fox endorsed when she led the alliance and might support at the agency.

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Biofuels Producers Seek Role In Providing Near-Term, Low-GHG Fuels

Biofuels advocates are seeking to carve out a role for their industry as a provider of near-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, pressing the Biden EPA to allow higher ethanol blends in motor fuel as the administration balances its support of biofuels with a push to greatly expand the use of electric vehicles (EVs).

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