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Climate Policy Watch

EPA Developing Policy On CO2 Storage, But Faces Long-Term Questions

EPA is developing first-time guidelines addressing the permitting of pilot projects for underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage -- an alternative to letting the greenhouse gas escape into the atmosphere -- in what agency and other sources say is likely a prelude to further decisions facing regulators on how to oversee geologic storage of the gas to combat global warming.

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Northeast States Face Controversies Over Bills To Implement RGGI

Northeast state legislators are taking up legislation to implement a historic greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program called the regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI), including an upcoming Massachusetts bill that would force the state to join the program over the objections of Gov. Mitt Romney (R).

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Call For Technology Boost, CO2 Market Draws Broad Industry Backing

A new paper on the design of a greenhouse gas (GHG) market shows growing support for calls to focus any future policies on both emission cuts and incentives to develop new technologies.

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Leading Conservatives Join Industry In Opposing Climate Nuisance Suit

Leading conservatives including controversial former Bush administration officials, a rejected Supreme Court nominee and the chairman of the Senate environment panel are urging a federal appeals court to reject a claim by states and environmentalists that the electric power industry's refusal to slash greenhouse gas emissions is a public nuisance that should be mitigated.

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CALL FOR TECHNOLOGY BOOST, CO2 MARKET DRAWS BROAD INDUSTRY BACKING

A new paper on the design of a greenhouse gas (GHG) market shows growing support for calls to focus any future policies on both emission cuts and incentives to develop new technologies.

One source familiar with the paper's development says it attracted unprecedented industry participation, demonstrating a subtle change of industry views on the likelihood of such a regime just weeks before historic Senate talks are set to begin on how to structure a GHG market.

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LEADING CONSERVATIVES JOIN INDUSTRY IN OPPOSING CLIMATE NUISANCE SUIT

Leading conservatives including controversial former Bush administration officials, a rejected Supreme Court nominee and the chairman of the Senate environment panel are urging a federal appeals court to reject a claim by states and environmentalists that the electric power industry's refusal to slash greenhouse gas emissions is a public nuisance that should be mitigated.

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HIGH COURT PETITION IN CO2 SUIT DOWNPLAYS ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

State and environmentalist sources say their strategy in trying to get the Supreme Court to hear their appeal of a high-profile greenhouse gas emission lawsuit rests on attracting conservative justices to the case by downplaying the environmental aspects of their argument in favor of broader administrative law arguments.

The groups are focusing on their assertion that a lower court decision, if permitted to stand, would allow all federal agencies to ignore statutory requirements at will.

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EPA DEVELOPING POLICY ON CO2 STORAGE, BUT FACES LONG-TERM QUESTIONS

EPA is developing first-time guidelines addressing the permitting of pilot projects for underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage -- an alternative to letting the greenhouse gas escape into the atmosphere -- in what agency and other sources say is likely a prelude to further decisions facing regulators on how to oversee geologic storage of the gas to combat global warming.

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INDUSTRY CHALLENGES CAL/EPA CLAIMS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN

Industry organizations this week unveiled an independent review concluding Cal/EPA's economic analysis of its climate change plan is unreliable and threatens to help advance emission-reduction measures that may negatively impact the economy while providing little environmental benefit. Cal/EPA officials, who have said repeatedly that the analysis is a work in progress, nonetheless maintain it is reliable enough to be used by the governor and lawmakers to advance a variety of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-control strategies.

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EPA AIR STANDARDS OFFICE EYES NEW FOCUS AS PART OF MAJOR OVERHAUL

EPA's air standards office will soon complete a major reorganization that will include a new focus on reducing emissions of both air toxics and criteria pollutants, an expansion into voluntary, sector-based programs and renewed attention on controlling climate change, according to agency officials and sources briefed on the effort.

In addition, EPA sources say a separate effort is underway within the agency's climate change division in EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs to consolidate a number of existing functions related to climate change and economic analysis.

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