U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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Fulfilling repeated campaign pledges to roll back the Obama administration’s climate change initiatives, President Trump signed a sweeping executive order yesterday targeting key Obama-era regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and emission standards for the oil and gas industry. The executive order states that it is in the interest of the nation to promote development of energy resources “while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.” The multi-faceted approach taken by the order makes it clear that this Administration views any regulation of climate change or carbon pollution as “unnecessary.”  Continue Reading Trump’s Executive Order Takes a Multi-Faceted Approach to Eliminating Climate Change Regulation

Chemical factory at nightUnder EPA’s revised Regional Consistency regulations (codified in 40 C.F.R. Part 56) , sources located in different parts of the country may be subject to a different “single source” aggregation test or other Clean Air Act policies based on decisions of the federal courts with local jurisdiction. Continue Reading EPA Addresses Aggregation Concerns with Clean Air Act Exemption

Electric power stationPower plants in 22 states will be required to further reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions under a new regulation finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 7. The final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Update establishes new statewide emissions budgets intended to address pollution that affects the ability of downwind states to meet and maintain the 2008 ozone standard of 75 parts per billion. This is the first time that the EPA has updated an existing program to address interstate transport of air pollution under a new air quality standard. The rule takes effect in May 2017. Continue Reading Power sector faces increased emissions cuts in EPA’s Cross State Air Rule Update

In the latest high-profile legal challenge to President Obama’s efforts to combat climate change, a coalition of 14 states and state agencies has filed a legal challenge to the final Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methane rule seeking to curb methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells. The petition for review, filed in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals on August 2, was brought by West Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin, along with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. A coalition of 19 independent oil and gas trade groups also filed a challenge to the methane rule on August 2. The rule had already been challenged in federal court by North Dakota and Texas. In response, this week nine states and six environmental advocacy groups filed motions to intervene in the lawsuits in support of the new emissions standards. Continue Reading More States Sue EPA Over Final Methane Rule

Drilling rig at dawnIn the wake of several state court decisions ruling that municipal bans or moratoria on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are preempted by state laws, anti-fracking activists are now turning to state ballot initiatives in an attempt to ban or restrict the practice. Fracking refers to the process by which water, sand and a small amount of chemicals are injected at high pressure deep underground to create fractures in dense rock, thereby increasing reservoir permeability to allow oil and gas to more easily flow to the wellbore. The process, in combination with horizontal drilling, has dramatically increased oil and gas production in the U.S. over the past decade. Continue Reading State Ballot Initiatives: The Latest Front on the War Against Fracking