Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
Sept. 12 — Lack of Republican action or urgency on climate change provokes “despair,” a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush said Oct. 12 as he defended the agency’s carbon regulations.
Two weeks before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is to hear argument over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, William K. Reilly, the former EPA administrator, predicted the rule will survive judicial scrutiny in some form, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court held that greenhouse gases can be air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
“The Supreme Court is not likely to say zero, nothing, not after the [endangerment] finding the EPA has made in response to what the Supreme Court requested,” Reilly said Sept. 12 at a forum sponsored by the Brookings Institution
The Clean Power Plan (RIN:2060-AR33) sets a limit on carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector in each state.
The rule, challenged by two dozen states as well as utilities and industry groups, is the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s domestic efforts to address climate change. The entire D.C. Circuit will hear more than three hours of oral argument on the rule Sept. 27 ( West Virginia v. EPA, D.C. Cir. en banc, No. 15-1363, 5/16/16 ).
Reilly said other nations, which joined the U.S. in agreeing to the first global deal to address climate change in Paris at the end of 2015, are also watching the course of the litigation. Reilly and former EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus, both of whom served Republican presidents, have supported the agency in the lawsuit. Ruckelshaus was the EPA’s first administrator and served in the Richard Nixon administration. He later served as EPA administrator under President Ronald Reagan.
“If the [Clean Power Plan] were to go away we’d not even be close to achieving the commitments that were made recently with so much hope and excitement in Paris,” Reilly said.
Reilly said he spoke with Chinese negotiators prior to the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and they were watching the Clean Power Plan litigation and wondering how it would affect the U.S. ability to meet its greenhouse gas reduction pledges.
“They’re laser focused,” Reilly said.
Whether or not the Clean Power Plan survives judicial review, Adele Morris, director of Brookings’ Climate and Energy Economics Project, questioned whether regulating greenhouse gas emissions sector-by-sector as the EPA is doing is the optimal approach.
“This is a very protracted process and this is one sector of stationary sources in the economy,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of other emissions that have to be regulated.”
Additionally, regulations—unlike something like a carbon tax or a legislative approach—cannot be used to address the needs of the poorest communities hit by climate change or by coal workers who may lose employment as cleaner energy sources expand, Morris said.
Though he predicted the Clean Power Plan will survive in some form, Reilly acknowledged arguments that the EPA has delved too deeply into the economy to dictate how electricity must be generated. However, “EPA has attempted to anticipate it by giving considerable authority and responsibility to the states,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Childers at AChilders@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)