Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

A federal appeals court in California ruled that lawsuits against the major oil companies by San Mateo County and the city of Oakland for compensation for climate change impacts such as sea-level rise are not blocked by federal law from going forward in state court.  And a judge in Montana invalidated 440 oil and gas leases on federal land because the Interior Department did not adhere to an agreement between the agency and farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and energy groups to protect habitat for the sage grouse, which allowed the bird to remain off the endangered species list.

Why This Matters:  Oil and gas companies have suffered several high profile unfavorable rulings in recent days.

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Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

This week, The Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy produced a special double episode of its excellent Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, in which their Founding Director, Jason Bordoff, interviewed two champions of the environmental movement — one Republican, one Democrat. With the Center’s permission, we have excerpted each of them below. Earth Day At 50: […]

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Interview of the Week: Richard Lazarus on Earth Day and Environmental Law and the Courts

Interview of the Week: Richard Lazarus on Earth Day and Environmental Law and the Courts

Richard is the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a leading expert on U.S. environmental laws. ODP:  In less than a week, it will be the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, which led to landmark laws like the Endangered Species Act, NEPA, and the Clean Water Act.  Leaving aside […]

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PTI – In 2020, Let’s Talk More About Air Pollution

PTI – In 2020, Let’s Talk More About Air Pollution

By Miro Korenha and Monica Medina Pardon the interruption from the constant conversation about the stock market, impeachment and conflict in the Middle East.  We’d like to talk about something completely different.  2020 is the 50th anniversary of the passage of one of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws — the Clean Air Act.  This week […]

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GM, Chrysler and Toyota Take Trump’s Side on Federal Standards on Clean Cars

GM, Chrysler and Toyota Take Trump’s Side on Federal Standards on Clean Cars

Three major automakers announced late Monday that they join the ongoing litigation on clean cars in support of the federal government’s authority to decide whether there should be a single, federally mandated standard fuel economy standard, although the companies stopped short of endorsing the administration’s proposal to roll back fuel efficiency standards for cars.  

Why This Matters:  The car companies need certainty so that they can plan ahead, cut the cost of regulatory compliance and avoid having to meet numerous different standards for different states. The California clean-car standard is essential for the U.S. to cut carbon emissions.  These companies know that California is within its rights under the Clean Air Act to set a tougher standard and they should be working to electrify the fleet not double down on continuing with fossil fuels.

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Court Says EPA Must Do More To Curb Interstate Air Pollution

Court Says EPA Must Do More To Curb Interstate Air Pollution

A three-judge panel that included a Trump appointee held on Tuesday that the EPA needs a better plan for addressing smog that travels across state lines from the midwest to the densely populated Northeast, where states are failing to meet federal air quality standards.

Why This Matters:  The EPA is failing to protect the public in the northeast from air pollution that is generated by coal power plants and manufacturing facilities in the midwest that travels with the winds and air currents into northeastern states who then are unable to meet their air quality standards.  This problem is EXACTLY why the federal government must be involved — and why the Clean Power Plan the Obama Administration put in place was so important.

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