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EPA, DOT Reviewing Fuel Economy Standards

In a Federal Register notice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation announced they were considering rewriting emissions standards for cars and light trucks made between 2022 and 2025. The review covers vehicle model years 2022 to 2025. The EPA is also seeking comments on whether fuel standards for the 2021 model year “are appropriate.” The public…

Federal Science Report Finds Human Activity Does Influence Climate Change

A draft report on the science of climate change estimates that it is “extremely likely” that more than half of the rise in temperatures over the past four decades has been caused by human activity. This activity, it estimates, is responsible an increase in global temperatures of 1.1 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1951 to 2010. “Many lines of evidence demonstrate…

Court Rules Industry Must Comply with Methane Regulation

On Monday, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia order directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out an Obama-era rule that sets methane pollution limits for the oil and gas industry. Nine of the 11 court judges issued the order upholding a July ruling that found that the Trump administration overstepped its authority under the Clean…

Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Suggested for Repeal

The Trump administration is proposing to repeal a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule aimed at ensuring hydraulic fracturing does not pollute water supplies, claiming that it triggers unjustified compliance costs and duplicates state rules. “Upon further review of the 2015 final rule … the BLM believes that the 2015 final rule unnecessarily burdens industry with compliance…

California’s Cap-and-Trade Program Survives Legal Challenge

Last week, California’s Cap-and-Trade Program to reduce carbon emissions was handed a victory when a state appeals court ruled that program’s auction of emissions permits does not constitute an illegal tax because the program is voluntary and the emissions permits have value. In a 2–1 vote, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District…

EPA Budget Cut Priorities Outlined in Internal Document

An internal budget draft shows how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to meet Trump’s FY2018 Budget submission to Congress, which reduces EPA spending 31 percent. The memo repeatedly portrays climate as outside the EPA’s core statutory requirements. It focuses instead on funding “core legal requirements,” scrapping 56 programs dealing with scientific research, climate…

Trump Executive Order Takes Focus off Climate Change

President Donald Trump signed a long anticipated executive order greatly diminishing the role climate change plays in U.S. government decision making by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Clean Power Plan, which sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel fired power plants. The order directs each executive department and…

Carbon Tax Not on Agenda for Trump

President Donald Trump is not considering a national carbon tax proposal that a group of Republicans discussed in February. A White House official told GreenWire in an e-mail that although the group of Republican leaders visited the White House to discuss their proposal that “the Trump Administration is not considering a carbon tax.” The plan…

Trump’s Detroit Visit Focuses on Fuel Standards

President Donald Trump announced in Detroit Wednesday that standards requiring automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 will be reviewed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards as a single program alongside the Department of Transportation’s fuel economy rules, popularly…

Executive Orders Expected on Climate Rules as Trump Contemplates Paris Agreement Fate

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dismantle Obama-era climate rules, including the Clean Power Plan, which sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel fired power plants. Originally expected this week, GreenWire reports that according to a White House official the order…

Trump Speech to Congress Focuses Little on Energy, Climate

In his first address to Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump touted accomplishments since taking office in January—including withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ordering construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and nominating conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Crime, immigration, trade and health care dominated the speech, with little focus…

Pruitt Confirmed to Head EPA

Friday, in a 52-46 vote, the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt was sworn in that evening. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt filed 14 lawsuits challenging EPA regulations, including limits on carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. Many of the cases are pending in…

Congressional Review Act Used to Repeal Energy Disclosure Rule as Trump Cabinet Members Await Vote

The Congressional Review Act was used to repeal a rule that forced energy companies on the U.S. stock exchanges to disclose the royalties and other payments that oil, natural gas, coal and mineral companies make to governments in an effort to fight corruption in resource-rich countries. President Donald Trump signed legislation to scrap the rule,…

Obama Administration Environmental Rules in Crosshairs; Republican Group Proposes Carbon Tax

Using a rarely invoked Congressional Review Act, Congress has paved the way for President Donald Trump to roll back three Obama-era environmental regulations. On Thursday, the Senate, in a 54-45 vote, gave final legislative approval to a measure repealing a new rule aimed at preventing the dumping of coal mining debris into nearby streams. When…

Clean Air Act, Other Environmental Regulations Potentially Targeted by New Executive Order

On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an order that will require federal agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new rule and that will set an annual cap on the cost of new regulations with the exceptions of military and national security regulations. For fiscal year 2017, the cap will require that the cost…