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Climate Policy Watch

ENVIRONMENTALISTS SAY WRCB MUST BOOST CLIMATE CHANGE PREPARATION

The state water board must integrate climate change impacts into water quality planning, in view of a recent state report detailing pollution impacts expected from global warming, environmentalists argue. While a water board spokesman said the board does plan to integrate climate change planning into future scientific reviews, environmentalists maintain more immediate action is needed.

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CAL/EPA GHG-REDUCTION PROPOSAL DETAILS NEW OVERSIGHT BOARD

Cal/EPA officials have released draft amendments to landmark legislation creating a state greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-reduction program, detailing a proposed cabinet-level board that would be charged with developing a regulatory "market-based" system for reducing GHG emissions in various industry sectors. Democrats carrying the pending bill are reviewing the agency's proposal and are likely to incorporate key elements, sources said.

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FutureGen Says CO2 Liability May Play A Role In Site Selection

Days before it announces a shortlist of potential sites, the FutureGen Industrial Alliance -- which will decide which of seven states will house a $1 billion power plant that captures and sequesters carbon dioxide (CO2) -- says states that offer creative approaches to mitigating potential liability for CO2 releases could have a better chance of winning the project.

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Federal Judge Rejects Delay In California GHG Case

A U.S. district court judge has denied a request by California's attorney general to delay by six months the trial date of a landmark automaker lawsuit challenging the Golden State's landmark greenhouse gas regulation for vehicles. The judge agreed with automakers that such a delay will impact their ability to comply with the regulation. The judge's order does delay the trial by two weeks, from Jan. 16, 2007, to Jan.

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Northeast Plan To Extend Climate Cap Raises Constitutional Questions

Northeast states are considering expanding a regional cap on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to cover companies that import electricity from states not subject to the mandate, in order to curb emissions "leakage" that could result if the climate change program displaces power generation into other areas of the country.

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Activists Say Revised NEPA Review Fails To Address Climate Impacts

Environmentalists are arguing that the federal government has failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in a revised review of the air quality impacts of a proposed railroad project that will transport Western coal to Midwestern power plants, because the new analysis fails to address greenhouse gas emissions from burning the coal.

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COURT BACKS EPA DISCRETION TO MAKE MAJOR CHANGES TO PROPOSED RULES

A federal appeals court has backed EPA arguments that the agency has discretion to finalize rules that are dramatically different from what was proposed without first re-proposing the measure for public comment.

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STATES, ACTIVISTS SEEK INDUSTRY ALLIES IN HIGH COURT CLIMATE CASE

States and environmental groups that successfully convinced the Supreme Court to hear a high-stakes case over whether EPA is required to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) are now trying to convince industry groups that have supported CO2 regulation to weigh in on their behalf, after an electric utility company filed a brief in a separate CO2 case being heard in a lower court.

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ACTIVISTS SAY REVISED NEPA REVIEW FAILS TO ADDRESS CLIMATE IMPACTS

Environmentalists are arguing that the federal government has failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in a revised review of the air quality impacts of a proposed railroad project that will transport Western coal to Midwestern power plants, because the new analysis fails to address greenhouse gas emissions from burning the coal.

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EPA REPORT TOUTS IGCC BENEFITS DESPITE DENYING BACT DETERMINATION

EPA's new report on integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), the clean coal emissions technology that proponents say is critical to capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and limiting other emissions, is strongly touting the technology's benefits even though the agency in 2005 stopped short of recommending IGCC for clean air permits.

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