The Week Ahead: Supreme Court May Decide on Whether to Hear Greenhouse Gas Case


The U.S. Supreme Court may decide as soon as Oct. 7 whether it will hear challenges raised by states and industry groups over greenhouse gas emissions rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act.

As detailed in an Oct. 1 Energy and Climate Report article, at issue are the EPA's December 2009 finding that greenhouse gas emissions pose a danger to the public and should be regulated (74 Fed. Reg. 66,496), May 2010 emissions standards for vehicles (75 Fed. Reg. 25,324), and its June 2010 tailoring rule, which limited greenhouse gas permitting to the largest stationary sources (75 Fed. Reg. 31,514). 

According to Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University Law School, the Supreme Court would more likely consider technical issues related to the language of the Clean air Act and the EPA's implementation of the rules rather than the agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on EPA Regulations

On Oct. 10, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources is scheduled to hold a hearing on "EPA vs. American Mining Jobs: The Obama Administration's Regulatory Assault on the Economy."

As covered in a Sept. 20 article, senior congressional Republicans have condemned the EPA carbon dioxide emissions standards for new power plants and vowed to fight the new rule with legislation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sept. 17 introduced the Saving Coal Jobs Act (S. 1514), which would require congressional approval of EPA regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and would streamline coal mine permitting under the Clean Water Act. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked the bill from advancing but said he would work with McConnell on coal-related issues.

Moniz Scheduled to Speak at Events

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is scheduled to speak Oct. 8 at the Bipartisan Policy Center's "New Geopolitics" event in Washington. The event will focus on natural gas in the U.S. and whether its abundant supply and low cost will slow down investment in renewable energy, carbon capture and storage technology and nuclear power.

Moniz also is scheduled to give the closing keynote address Oct. 10 at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit & Galato be held in Washington Oct. 9-10. The "2013 Global Cleantech 100 List and Report," which includes the top private companies in clean technology, also will be released during the summit. 

World Bank-IMF Annual Meeting to Include Session on Climate Change

The economic case for taking action on climate change will be discussed Oct. 8 during the World Bank's annual meeting that will be held jointly with the International Monetary Fund Oct. 8-13 in Washington. Panelists include Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF.

The IMF will also host a session Oct. 11 on "The Energy Boom in North America: A Global Game Changer?"

OECD to Host Climate Change Lecture

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Secretary General Angel Gurria will give a lecture Oct. 9 in London. The lecture will cover policies that are needed to achieve zero net emissions from fossil fuels by 2050. Nicholas Stern, chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics will also speak at the event.

Other Energy, Climate Events

On Oct. 8, the Energy Department's office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a conference on "The 2013 Winter Energy Outlook" at the National Press Club in Washington.

The Brookings Institution will hold an event Oct. 11 in Washington on "The Road to a New Global Climate Change Agreement: Challenges and Opportunities." The featured speaker will be Pascal Canfin, deputy minister for development and lead climate change negotiator for France.

Resources for the Future will hold an event Oct. 8 in Washington on "Carbon Tax Initiative: Update and Recent Research."

David Doniger, policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate and Clean Air Program, will give a presentation Oct. 9 at Georgetown University in Washington on "Protecting Future Generations From Carbon Pollution and Climate Change: Taking the First Big Steps Under the President's Climate Action Plan and the Clean Air Act."

The Solar Energy Industries Association will hold a webinar Oct 8 on "Solar and EPA's Repowering America’s Land Initiative." On Oct. 9, SEIA will hold another webinar on "Doubling Down on Sustainability: All About the Solar Industry Commitment to Environmental and Social Responsibility."

Bloomberg BNA to Host Conference

Bloomberg BNA is sponsoring this year’s SXSW Eco conference in Austin, Texas, and will provide live online coverage Oct. 8 of four Policy Action Series discussions on the challenges of climate change, adaptation, clean energy and water resource management.