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July 26, 2013
EPA Urges Supreme Court To Deny Petitions Regarding GHG Regulation
On July 22, 2013, EPA petitioned the Supreme Court to deny various petitions by several states and industry groups to overturn EPA's GHG regulations under the CAA. These petitions had asked the Supreme Court to reconsider portions of Massachusetts v. EPA and to overturn EPA's (1) GHG endangerment finding pursuant to Massachusetts v. EPA, which enabled the Agency to carry out rulemakings to curb GHGs; (2) GHG permitting program for large stationary sources of the emissions; and (3) ability to regulate GHGs from stationary sources under the prevention of significant deterioration ... read more >
July 26, 2013
Senate EPW Committee Holds Hearing On Climate Science
On July 18, 2013, the Senate EPW Committee, led by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), held a hearing on the science of climate change. During the hearing, the Committee's Democrats generally asserted support for the science of climate change and the need for efforts to reduce its harmful effects. Some Committee Republicans, including Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), expressed doubt about the science of climate change and any need for action. There were two panels of witnesses. During the first panel, two witnesses testified on the need and feasibility for solutions to climate change, while ... read more >
July 26, 2013
Policymakers Vow Legislation On Climate Change
Over the past week, key lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have made public statements on their intent to introduce legislation to help combat climate change. New Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) stated that he plans to work with his colleagues to find a solution to climate change and that he intends to work to introduce legislation on the issue, which may include a provision creating a carbon tax. Meanwhile, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) stated that he is working on introducing legislation, including a "cap and dividend" proposal to curb ... read more >
July 19, 2013
Federal Appeals Court Throws Out EPA Rule Temporarily Exempting Biogenic Carbon Emissions From New Permitting Requirements
On July 12, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA. In a 2-1 decision, the court vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) rule (the Deferral Rule) exempting bioenergy and other biogenic sources of greenhouse gas emissions from new greenhouse gas permitting requirements under EPA's Tailoring Rule for a period of three years. This deferral was meant to allow EPA time to study and develop a proper method of accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from these sources. The court held that ... read more >
July 19, 2013
Federal Appeals Court Upholds EPA's Power To Regulate Interstate Air Emissions
Also on July 12, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its decision in GenOn REMA, LLC v. EPA, et al. In a unanimous decision, the court held that the ability of states to petition EPA under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to force pollution reductions in other states so they may meet federal air standards preempts another CAA provision providing states three years to develop their individual state implementation plan outlining how they will come into compliance with federal air standards. States will not have to wait three years to request that EPA regulate emissions sources ... read more >
July 19, 2013
McCarthy Nomination Confirmed
On Thursday, July 18, 2013, the Senate voted to confirm Gina McCarthy as head of EPA. Senators voted 59-40 to confirm the new EPA ... read more >
July 19, 2013
Next Steps For Farm Bill Legislation
As we reported, last week the House of Representatives passed its version of a five-year Farm Bill, H.R. 2642, which includes funding for farm programs only and excludes funding for nutrition programs (food stamps). The current five-year Farm Bill is set to expire on September 30, 2013. That leaves about six weeks, or 23 legislative working days, for Congress to conference the House and Senate passed bills and pass a final version for the President's signature. Senate Committee on Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is urging the House to send H.R. 2642 over to the Senate so ... read more >
July 19, 2013
Latest Action On RFS
Activity on the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is in full swing on Capitol Hill. Last week, the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power issued its fifth and final white paper on the RFS seeking input from stakeholders on "implementation issues" with the policy. The white paper is available online. The white paper follows the Subcommittee's hearing last month at which government witnesses testified on the effectiveness and implementation of the RFS. Specifically in this latest white paper, the Subcommittee is requesting, among ... read more >
July 19, 2013
EPA Expected To Approve Barley As Feedstock Under RFS
EPA has announced that it will soon publish in the Federal Register a notice for comment on EPA's conclusion that the use of barley as a feedstock can meet the lifecycle emissions reductions requirements for both conventional and advanced biofuels under the RFS. These findings help ensure the likelihood that EPA will approve barley as a biofuels feedstock to help meet the volumetric requirements under the RFS. Specifically, EPA has found that: "barley, when used to make ethanol at facilities that use natural gas for all process energy, grid electricity, and drying 100% distillers ... read more >
July 19, 2013
Boxer To Hold Senate EPW Hearings On Climate Change
On Thursday, July 18, 2013, Senate EPW Committee Chair Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is scheduled to hold a hearing called "Climate Change: It's Happening Now." Information regarding the hearing is available online. The witness list has been published and includes scientists to discuss the existence of climate change as an issue. Chair Boxer and several of her Democratic colleagues have introduced bills designed to curb the harmful effects of climate change. In addition, she has stated publically that her Committee would focus on the issue of climate change this ... read more >
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