Posts Tagged ‘EPA’

ELPC’s Learner Discusses Breath of Fresh Air for Clean Power Plan in Huffington Post

Friday, February 19th, 2016

As a public interest attorney and law professor, I’ve admired Justice Antonin Scalia’s strong intellect and passion even if I don’t share his legal philosophy and sometimes think that his “vivid” writing style is neither civil nor constructive for the courts. As a compassionate person, I join with others in mourning his passing. As a dedicated environmentalist, I recognize the breath of fresh air that this turn of events infuses into the federal courts’ review of the Clean Power Plan, which is a vital legal building block for United States’ leadership to help solve global climate change problems. In short, the Clean Power Plan now has a better chance of being upheld on appeal during the incessant litigation brought by coal companies and some states to stop it from ever taking effect.

The U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is based on the Clean Air Act’s requirement that the agency must regulate to reduce pollution, including carbon dioxide, which endangers public health. In Massachusetts v. EPA (2007) and American Electric Power (AEP) v. Connecticut (2009), the Supreme Court upheld the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution under the Clean Air Act. For the power plant sector, the Clean Power Plan sets overall pollution reduction targets to be achieved by each state and provides flexible approaches to accomplish the results.

The Clean Power Plan isn’t the only way for the United States to show leadership and meet its greenhouse gas pollution reduction commitments made at the Paris COP21 Climate Conference. Rapid improvements in solar energy and wind power equipment and in energy efficiency technologies, including LED lighting and better ballasts, are transforming and cleaning up the electricity sector. Congress recently extended the federal production tax credit for wind power and the federal investment tax credit for solar energy. That supports investments and accelerated growth of these clean technologies. These are important actions that can help hold down global temperatures and mitigate climate change.

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The Sandusky Register: EPA’s administrator tours solar power plant near Toledo

Friday, January 15th, 2016

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy had solar power and green energy jobs on her mind when she came to the Toledo area Thursday, but she was ready to talk about Lake Erie and harmful algal blooms, too.

McCarthy toured the First Solar plant in Perrysburg Thursday to dramatize how the green energy sector is producing many jobs in Ohio, then told reporters that keeping Lake Erie’s water safe from the threat of harmful algal blooms is an important priority at EPA.

McCarthy took over in July 2013 as the EPA’s administrator. She’s a Boston native who speaks with a Boston accent, as when she told reporters that she is working to cut through the “pahtisanship” in Washington.

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CBS: Obama vetoes anti-climate change measures

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

HONOLULU — President Barack Obama has vetoed two measures that would have blocked steps that his administration is taking to address climate change.

One would have nullified carbon pollution standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA requires the power sector to slash its carbon output by 32 percent by the year 2030.

The second would have voided a set of national standards designed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas pollution from existing power plants.

In a letter notifying Congress of his decision, the president said climate change is a “profound threat” that must be addressed.

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CNN: House votes to reject Obama climate change regulations

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Washington (CNN) Hours after President Barack Obama pushed for an international agreement to combat climate change, the GOP-led House of Representatives voted to block that effort and demonstrate the President didn’t have support in his own country.

The House passed a pair of resolutions, largely along party lines, that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing rules the administration released earlier this year to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Both measures, already approved by the Senate in October, now go to the White House, which has already vowed to veto them. Democrats maintain Republicans don’t have the vote to override any veto so they denounced the debate as a waste of time.

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Associated Press: Youths across US are suing states, federal government to force action against climate change

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) — They can’t vote yet, but dozens of young people want a say in the planet’s future, so minors nationwide have been suing states and the federal government in recent years to push action on climate change.

They say their generation will bear the brunt of global warming and that government at every level has an obligation to protect natural resources, including the atmosphere, as a “public trust” for future generations.

The Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust has been leading efforts to file lawsuits or administrative petitions in every state and against the federal government. Some of the youth-led cases have been dismissed, while others are pending in states including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Oregon.

“None of them have gotten to the finish line,” said Michael Gerrard, a professor and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. “It’s an uphill climb. The U.S. courts have so far not wanted to set climate policy.”

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