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Climate Policy Watch

HIGH COURT WETLANDS RULING COULD SHAPE ARGUMENTS IN CO2 SUIT

The Supreme Court's sharply divided ruling in a major wetlands lawsuit could help shape environmentalist, industry and government arguments in the landmark case the court agreed to hear this week over EPA's ability to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from mobile sources.

The high court announced June 26 that it will review the controversial appellate ruling Massachusetts et al. v. EPA, where a federal appellate court ruled that the Clean Air Act allows EPA to decide whether to regulate automobile and other mobile sources' CO2 emissions.

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High Court Suit Helps Advocates Of CO2 Rules Despite Uncertain Result

The Supreme Court's decision to wade into disputes over global warming does little to mitigate -- and could even intensify -- political pressure for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions controls, even if the high court upholds EPA arguments that it does not have to curb greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, observers say.

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DOE, Industry, Congress Grapple With CO2 Liability For FutureGen

Members of Congress, the Energy Department (DOE) and industry are debating ways of shielding participants in DOE's FutureGen power plant project from potential liabilities for storing the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions underground, as part of an effort to build a landmark near-zero emissions power facility.

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ON DIVIDED COURT, KENNEDY EMERGES AS KEY IN FUTURE ENVIRONMENT SUITS

The Supreme Court's divided ruling last week on the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) underscores sharp divisions among the justices since President Bush's nominees joined the court, a dynamic legal observers say will almost certainly elevate Justice Anthony Kennedy's role as the key swing vote in future environmental cases.

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Industry Study Finds High Costs, Low Benefits In California Climate Bill

An industry-funded study is expected to bolster claims by opponents of proposed legislation that would cap industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California, by showing that the bill would likely result in substantial costs that would drive businesses out of state while providing minuscule environmental benefits.

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High Court Wetlands Ruling Could Shape Arguments In CO2 Suit

The Supreme Court's sharply divided ruling in a major wetlands case could help shape environmentalist, industry and the government's arguments in the landmark case the court agreed to hear this week over EPA's ability to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from mobile sources.

The high court announced June 26 that it will review the controversial appellate ruling Massachusetts et al. v. EPA -- where a federal appellate court ruled that the Clean Air Act gives EPA discretion to decide whether to regulate automobile and other mobile sources' CO2 emissions.

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HIGH COURT SPLITS MAY LIMIT LEGAL CERTAINTY IN FUTURE ENVIRONMENT SUITS

The Supreme Court's divided ruling last week on the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) underscores sharp divisions among the justices since President Bush's nominees joined the court, a dynamic legal observers say will almost certainly elevate Justice Anthony Kennedy's role as the key swing vote in future environmental cases.

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MIDWESTERN STATES JOIN OTHER U.S. REGIONS IN EYING CLIMATE REGISTRY

Midwest state officials are developing the region's first voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) registry because of what they consider deficiencies in existing federal and private climate change programs, joining the Northeast, the three Pacific Coast states and the Western Governors' Association in developing separate regional GHG initiatives.

The plan is already drawing opposition from industry officials who say the plan would be an unnecessary burden, while activists say they would rather see the states develop mandatory limits on GHG emissions.

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INDUSTRY STUDY WARNS GHG BILL CARRIES HIGH COSTS, LOW BENEFIT

An industry-funded study is expected to bolster claims by opponents of legislation that would cap industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by showing that the bill would likely result in substantial costs that will drive businesses out of state while providing minuscule environmental benefits. But environmentalists and clean-energy advocates supportive of the legislation are blasting the study as flawed and driven by an overbearing oil industry protecting its own interests.

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CLIMATE CHANGE BUDGET PACKAGE COUNTERS OIL-TAX BALLOT MEASURE

A legislative budget committee has approved a climate change spending proposal that includes alternative fuels research, which Democrats and other proponents of the plan say could be viewed as a competing approach to a November ballot initiative that would tax oil companies to pay for alternative energy research.

Moreover, the Democrat-controlled conference committee attached the alternative fuels proposal to that part of the spending bill that includes the governor's Hydrogen Highway initiative, in an effort to make the proposal veto proof.

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