Environmentalists are continuing to press for intervention in coal companies' suit against EPA where a district judge ordered the agency to quickly review how Clean Air Act policies have affected employment in the energy sector, seeking an appellate ruling that would allow them to challenge the order even though the Trump administration has backed it.
The Trump administration has begun implementing its promised deregulatory agenda, blocking promulgation and implementation of recent Obama administration rules and preparing to begin implementing a deregulatory “action plan” at EPA and other agencies beginning as soon as Jan. 23.
Moments after Donald Trump took the oath of office to become the 45th president, his White House was reiterating his campaign pledges to “refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water” and “eliminate” Obama-era policies like the Climate Action Plan and the waters of the United States rule.
EPA in a new legal brief is defending its revised cost assessment for its contested utility air toxics rule from the power sector's attacks, defending its freedom under the Clean Air Act to determine whether the costs are reasonable from industry's criticisms that the assessment has major flaws including relying on “co-benefit” emissions cuts.
A diverse range of oil, ethanol and other fuel groups are defending various aspects of EPA's 2014-2016 renewable fuel standard (RFS) program in litigation against the rule, including an oil sector defense of EPA's basis to exercise its authority to waive statutory blending targets and biofuel groups' defense of the agency's method of projecting levels of cellulosic ethanol production.
Citing updated internal and third-party analysis, EPA is substantially downplaying the stringency of its landmark power plant greenhouse gas rule, arguing ongoing power sector trends will make compliance easier and cheaper than anticipated, just as the Trump administration is poised to take office and target the rule.
The Agriculture Department (USDA) is out with new findings that corn ethanol has far lower lifecycle greenhouse gases (GHGs) than previously thought and is projected to see further decreases, potentially boosting EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) by greatly expanding fuels considered “advanced” biofuels with very low GHGs.