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Climate Policy Watch

Reversing Position, EPA Expected To Appeal Ruling Limiting RFS Waivers

EPA is expected to reverse position and now contest an appellate ruling that significantly limits its ability to issue renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waivers to small refiners, days after the agency signaled that in lieu of appealing the ruling it would instead apply it nationwide and dramatically reduce the waivers it issues.

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D.C. Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith announces retirement

Appointed to the court by President George W. Bush, the judge who has had a role in numerous environmental cases, will step down in September.

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In Win For Cities, 4th Circuit Keeps Baltimore Climate Case In State Court

In a first-of-a-kind ruling, a federal appellate court is agreeing to keep Baltimore’s climate nuisance case against major oil companies in state court under Maryland common law, rejecting industry’s efforts to have the litigation removed to federal court, where the firms would then argue the claims were preempted by the Clean Air Act.

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Amid CEQ Rewrite, Environmentalists Say Vacated EIS Shows ‘NEPA Matters’

An appellate court has vacated a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) conducted as part of a plan to open a Colorado roadless area to coal mining, bolstering environmentalists who say it shows that law still matters especially as the White House moves to dramatically scale back how agencies implement it.

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EPA Seeks To Reverse Landmark TMDL Ruling, Fearing ‘Wave’ Of Suits

EPA is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to reverse a three-judge panel’s landmark ruling that expands a controversial “constructive submission” forcing the agency to develop waterbody cleanup plans when states have failed to act, warning the decision will lead to a “massive wave” of citizen suits if left unchecked.

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CEQ rejects request to extend NEPA plan comment deadline

“CEQ has engaged in extensive public outreach on its proposal to update the NEPA regulations and the comment period will close on March 10,” the chairwoman of the White House agency writes to lawmakers.

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Wheeler denies need to send ‘all’ EPA vehicle rule input to OMB

“It’s inappropriate to send every comment to OMB because sometimes comments from different staff contradict each other,” the EPA administrator said, amid concerns the agency is suppressing critical comments.

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Senate HFC Phaseout Sponsors Press For Consideration In Energy Bill

The two lead sponsors of a Senate bill giving EPA new authorities to phase out the potent greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) are seeking a floor vote on the bill as part of pending energy legislation, and some sources indicate there may be a bid to block consideration of the broader energy bill if the HFC plan is blocked.

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Exxon outlines ‘model’ rules to curb GHG methane

Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is floating “model” standards to curb the potent greenhouse gas methane and suggesting that policymakers across the world should adopt the approach, a step that could be viewed as an implicit rebuke to Trump EPA plans to drop direct methane controls for oil and gas drilling.

The company’s March 3 “model regulatory framework” includes standards for upstream oil and gas equipment that applies to both new and existing sources and seeks “meaningful emission reduction outcomes.”

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Nine GOP senators urge Wheeler to appeal adverse RFS waivers ruling

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has until March 9 to decide whether to ask a federal appeals court to rehear a ruling scrapping several small refiner waivers under the renewable fuel standard.

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