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Climate Policy Watch

Forest Service NEPA streamlining plan draws criticism

The plan would dramatically expand the types of activities that can receive categorical exclusions from review under the National Environmental Policy Act, among other streamlining measures.

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NAS launches “deep decarbonization” initiative

A July 22-23 workshop will explore the “challenges and opportunities for deploying and scaling up technologies involved in deep decarbonization.”

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FERC Faces Growing Pressure To Review Gas Pipelines’ GHG Impacts

Federal energy regulators are under increasing pressure to conduct broad greenhouse gas and climate reviews when approving natural gas infrastructure, with a recent appellate court ruling rejecting many of the officials’ arguments for sidestepping such analysis even though the court upheld a pair of permit approvals on procedural grounds.

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Judge sends Baltimore climate nuisance suit to state court

The litigation deals a blow to oil industry efforts to halt the spate of climate nuisance suits around the country, and it tees up an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

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California AG Cites State’s GHG Goals In Opposing BLM Plan For Fracking

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) is citing the state’s aggressive efforts to curb greenhouse gases and climate change as key arguments in his office’s opposition to a draft federal environmental impact statement (EIS) for a plan that would allow new oil and gas leases to be issued in California for the first time since 2013.

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EPA Seeks Reviewers For Controversial Methods Of Estimating PM Benefits

EPA is seeking experts to peer review potential new approaches for estimating the benefits of reducing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) below national standards, an effort that could help the agency justify planned rollbacks of Obama-era rules governing power plant emissions of mercury and greenhouse gases that relied on the “co-benefits” provided by the PM2.5 reductions.

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EPA plan to broadly overhaul oil & gas methane limits goes to OMB

The proposal is widely expected to drop direct methane limits on new oil and gas sources, relieving EPA from its current obligation to eventually regulate existing sources in the sector.

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BLM Critics Cite EPA Policy, SCC In Bid To Vacate Methane Rule Rollback

Critics of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) repeal of an Obama-era rule to limit “wasted” methane from oil and gas operations on public lands are urging a district court to vacate it, saying the rule unlawfully relies on a flawed cost of carbon estimate and is wrongly justified based on a related EPA policy.

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House panel sets hearing on vehicle GHG rollback

A pair of House Energy & Commerce subcommittees will hold a June 20 hearing to examine the Trump administration’s vehicle GHG and fuel economy rollback, signaling ramped up oversight of the measure.

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Environmentalists prepare to challenge final ACE rule

EPA could finalize its Affordable Clean Energy rule to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan as soon as next week, and environmentalists are previewing a range of legal criticisms of the measure.

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