EPA Solicits Emissions Standards Input

EPA will solicit public input for its proposed carbon dioxide emissions standards for existing power plants through a series of scheduled listening sessions. On September 30, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a schedule of 11 public listening sessions across the U.S. to solicit input for its proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards for...

California and Quebec Sign Cap-and-Trade Linkage Agreement

Starting January 1, 2014, California and Quebec have signed an agreement to integrate their cap-and-trade programs. On October 1, 2013, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Government of Quebec signed an agreement defining the steps and procedures to link California and Quebec cap-and-trade programs.  The agreement, a result of more than five years...

United Nations Climate Change Report: Implications for U.S. Energy Policy

On September 30, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fifth Assessment Report on climate change, the latest installment in a series of reports examining global warming. The report for Policymakers was released September 27.  Overview The IPCC report concluded with 95 percent confidence that human activity is contributing to climate...

California Announces $72.5M Funding to Expedite Zero Emission Vehicle Program

The California Air Resources Board has announced additional funding to expedite transformation of its heavy vehicle fleet to zero-emission technologies. On September 26, 2013, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced $72.5 million in funding for deployment of clean vehicle technologies through state programs.  The incentive programs are designed to accelerate the purchase of advanced...

House Energy Hearing Continues Debate over EPA Rules for Stationary Sources

On September 18, the House Energy and Commerce Committee heard testimony from EPA and DOE officials on the Obama Administration’s climate change policies and continued the debate over the requirement to require Carbon Capture and Sequestration technologies in future sources. On September 20, the EPA released its draft rule to set national emissions limits on...

Evolution of the Renewable Fuels Standard

The biofuels industry has benefited from the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) since 2005. The standard has since expanded and been a source of debate largely centered on the reliance of U.S. fuel consumption estimates, the feasibility of production levels for various feedstocks, and reaching minimum greenhouse gas reduction levels when weighting direct and indirect greenhouse...

California and China Sign Agreement to Advance Climate Change Action

California and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate efforts on low carbon development. On September 13, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman, Xie Zhenhua signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate climate change efforts, promote efficient energy technologies, and advance low...

Greenhouse Gas Regulations and the Clean Air Act

On September 30, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a major challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of greenhouse gas regulations under Section 202 of the Clean Air Act, a hearing that could affect President Obama’s timetable for existing power plants and state implementation plans. The EPA will likely face ongoing litigation on most...

Public Response to Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Demonstrates Increased Significance of Environmental Regulatory Policy

The overwhelming number of public comments to the recent Department of Interior (DOI) hydraulic fracturing rule is an indication of the increased role regulatory policy – and the rulemaking process – is playing in environmental policy during the second term. Overview A large number of industry representatives opposed the rule during the public comment period,...

California Releases Fourth GHG Allowance Auction Results

The fourth California GHG allowance auction demonstrates continued program success with stable participation and clearing prices.   On August 21, 2013, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released the results of its fourth quarterly greenhouse gas (GHG) allowance auction held on August 16, 2013.  ARB offered 13,865,422 allowances under Current Auction (2013 vintage allowances) and...

EPA Launches 2013 Energy Star National Building Competition

3,200 buildings are competing for Energy Star recognition in EPA’s 2013 National Building Competition. On August 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the fourth annual Energy Star National Building Competition to promote energy efficiency in commercial buildings.  The 2013 competition has more than 3,200 participants – compared to just 14 participants in 2010 –...