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Climate Policy Watch

With Thin Majority, Senate Democrats Face Balancing Act On Climate

Senate Democrats upcoming majority in the upper chamber appears to have given them a clear path to push a more ambitious climate agenda using several potential legislative options, even though their narrow control suggests a delicate balancing act that could depend on industry’s willingness to accept some climate policies.

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Industry Coalition Backing EVs Seeks Strict EPA Rules, Other Policies

A new coalition of industry groups supporting electric vehicles (EVs) is floating a policy blueprint calling for EPA rules to achieve “sharp reductions” in vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with other legislative and regulatory policies including infrastructure spending to spur the industry.

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D.C. Circuit schedules oral argument in E15 fuel case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has scheduled oral argument for Feb. 19 in a consolidated suit over EPA’s 2019 decision allowing year-round sales of 15-percent ethanol blends (E15).

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Schumer Pledges Action On Climate, Infrastructure Amid Trump Sanctions

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says he plans to stay focused on moving climate and infrastructure legislation as part of an economic recovery plan and confirming Biden administration nominees even as the Senate will have to consider the expected House impeachment of President Donald Trump following last week’s attack on the Capitol.

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Biofuels Makers Expect EPA RFS Waivers, Urge Biden To Bolster Industry

Biofuels makers are expecting the Trump administration to issue a wave of last-minute renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waivers to small refiners that they oppose, and are working with some Democratic lawmakers to lobby the incoming Biden administration to take several actions to help promote the biofuels sector.

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EPA Finding Might Bar Biden From Issuing GHG NSPS Except For Utilities

EPA is finalizing a rule that concludes all stationary sources of greenhouse gases except coal-fired power plants do not reach the threshold for GHG regulation under Clean Air Act (CAA) new source performance standards (NSPS), an action that critics say attempts to prevent the incoming Biden administration from regulating non-utility GHG sources.

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Biden Officials Said To Seriously Weigh ‘Decoupling’ EPA, DOT Auto Rules

Biden officials are seriously weighing whether to create some separation between EPA’s auto greenhouse gas standards and the Transportation Department’s fuel economy rules in an effort to be more aggressive on electrification, according to several sources, though observers disagree about exactly what such a “decoupling” effort would entail.

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EPA denies fuel ‘streamlining’ rule helps suit over ethanol blends

The agency says if pro-ethanol groups have concerns about EPA’s fuels streamlining rule, they should raise them in litigation over that rule, not in a suit over approval of higher ethanol blends.

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High Court Agrees To Hear Suits Over RFS Waivers, CERCLA Contribution

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a suit contesting a landmark appeals court ruling that significantly limits EPA’s ability to issue renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waivers for refineries, and it will also hear separate litigation filed by Guam against the United States testing the scope of the Superfund law’s contribution clause.

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Clock starts for filing suits over final EPA aircraft GHG rule

The rule aligns U.S. domestic regulations with aircraft greenhouse gas limits agreed to in 2017 by the International Civil Aviation Organization, of which the United States is a member.

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