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Climate Policy Watch

Trump Critics Say NEPA Climate Guide Lets Agencies ‘Shirk’ Obligations

Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups are criticizing a draft White House guidance on analyzing greenhouse gases in environmental reviews for allowing agencies to bypass their responsibility to conduct robust studies of a project’s lifecycle emissions.

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Judges Suggest They May Override EPA Bid To Avoid Temperature TMDL

Appeals court judges are suggesting that they may reject EPA’s appeal of a landmark district court ruling that endorsed a controversial judicial doctrine known as “constructive submission” and required the agency to develop a plan to reduce the temperature of the Columbia and Snake rivers because states have not acted.

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Trump Concessions Exacerbate Uncertainty Over EPA’s Biofuels Policy

Biofuel and oil industry officials are scrambling to resolve uncertainty over EPA’s biofuels policy stemming from possible new concessions by President Donald Trump, including a hike in future renewable fuel standard (RFS) blending requirements, to help blunt political attacks on RFS waivers that he authorized.

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EPA Opposes NRECA Bid To Push Novel Air Law Claim In Landfill Case

EPA is opposing efforts by a group of electric cooperatives to substitute for a disbanded utility group in pending litigation against Obama-era landfill methane rules, a stance that could block efforts by the co-ops to preserve the utility group’s novel claim that EPA cannot strengthen existing standards under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

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Rhodium finds California auto GHG deal could ‘rival’ Obama rules

If all automakers join the Golden State’s agreement, the Rhodium Group finds that it “would put the expanded deal on par with reductions” from Obama-era auto standards.

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Wyoming Lawmakers Suggest Appeal Of Landmark NEPA GHG Ruling

Wyoming’s congressional delegation is suggesting the Trump administration may need to appeal a landmark district court ruling that temporarily blocked oil and gas leasing in the state until officials completed a robust National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the proposed projects’ greenhouse gas impacts.

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USDA chief floats RFS options in wake of refiner waivers

Some of the options, like rescinding waivers, face “significant legal risk,” says Clearview Energy Partners, an independent research firm.

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EPA Proposes Flexible Landfill Methane Plan, But Delays Compliance Dates

EPA in a new proposed rule outlines flexible compliance options for states and industry to follow in a federal plan for limiting methane emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, but the rule may prove moot given the agency’s recent extensions of compliance dates for states to issue their own plans or face direct federal standards.

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Court rejects FOIA suit to force release of vehicle GHG model

Environmentalists have lost their bid to force release of an EPA computer model they argue would help undermine the agency’s efforts to roll back Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas standards.

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Trump Backers Downplay California Auto GHG Deal Amid Industry Unease

Supporters of the Trump administration’s bid to freeze Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy rules are seeking to downplay the significance of California’s voluntary deal with four major automakers on the issue, despite increasing signs that other auto companies might join the pact or spurn the Trump rollback.

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