Monthly Archives: April 2018

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Attorney General’s Exxon Investigation Can Proceed

On April 13, 2018, Massachusetts’ highest court ended a significant chapter in Exxon’s long-running dispute with Attorney General Maura Healey. In 2015, Healey issued a Civil Investigative Demand regarding Exxon’s knowledge of the effects of fossil fuels on climate change.  Exxon then undertook what a federal judge in New York last month called “a sprawling litigation involving four different judges, at least three lawsuits, innumerable motions and a huge waste of the [New York and Massachusetts] AGs’ time and money.”  (You can read a full analysis of that decision by my colleague Seth Jaffe here.)  Exxon’s actions in Massachusetts’ courts have been mercifully compact,… More

Green Guide Annual Review: Environmental False Advertising in 2017/2018

Earth Day is coming up on April 22, and you may be looking to capture some environmentally-minded consumers with nifty green-themed advertising campaigns. But before you do, remember that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) monitors environmentally-themed marketing for potentially deceptive claims, and evaluates their compliance with Section 5 of the FTC Act by reference to the “Green Guides.”

The Green Guides,… More

How Much Deference Will EPA Get On Its CAFE Standards Decision?

There’s been a lot of discussion regarding EPA’s decision to withdraw EPA’s Mid-term Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Model Year 2022-2025 Light-duty Vehicles. After pondering for a while, my question is how much deference courts will give to EPA’s decision.

I’ve previously speculated about whether the typical deference to agency decisions might eventually lose its luster, not because conservative judges hate Chevron,… More

BLM Loses Another One: Resource Management Plans for Coal Leasing Areas Are Sent Back to the Drawing Board

Late last month, Judge Brian Morris granted summary judgment to plaintiffs on three claims alleging that the environmental impact analysis supported BLM’s Resource Management Plans for managing coal leases in the Powder River Basis were flawed.  It’s a very thoughtful decision.  Judge Morris rejected three of plaintiffs’ claims and did not provide the injunctive relief that they sought.  Nonetheless, it’s an important setback for BLM and further evidence that courts are going to require more of BLM in assessing climate impacts associated with energy resource development.… More