Monthly Archives: June 2018

Still No Judicial Remedy For Climate Change — Don’t Expect Advocates To Stop Trying

On Monday, Judge William Alsup dismissed the public nuisance case brought by the City of Oakland and the State of California against five major oil companies.  The suit sought payment of damages into a fund to be used for necessary adaptation expenditures to deal with sea level rise.  

Why did he dismiss the case?  Simple.  The courts are not the right forum in which to address the problems of climate change. … More

FERC Remains An Independent Agency

In January, FERC rejected Secretary Perry’s proposal to compensate generators who maintain a 90-day supply of fuel on-site – a proposal widely seen as an attempt to prop up struggling coal and nuclear generators.  Not willing to take no for an answer, the Administration has recently floated the idea of using authority under the Federal Power Act and the Defense Production Act to require power purchases from coal and nuclear plans in order to address the national security emergency apparently resulting from the threatened shutdown of these facilities.… More

New Senate Bill in Massachusetts Provides Opportunities for Renewable Resources

Yesterday, June 7, 2018, the Massachusetts the Ways and Means Committee released S2545, “An Act to promote a clean energy future.” The far-reaching bill has the potential to provide new opportunities for renewable resources and in so doing, may also affect the competitive markets in the region. Among other things, the bill would:

  • establish new interim greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction limits;
  • require the development of an energy storage system target program;…
  • More

EPA Must Produce Any Agency Records Supporting Administrator Pruitt’s Statement that Human Activity Is Not the Largest Contributor to Climate Change

Last Friday, EPA was ordered to produce documents, in response to a FOIA request, on which Administrator Pruitt relied in stating on CNBC that: “I would not agree that [carbon dioxide] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” and “there’s a tremendous disagreement about of [sic] the impact” of “human activity on the climate.”

I’ve done a fair number of FOIA requests in my time. … More

The Science Advisory Board Appears to Think that Its Job Is Still to Give EPA Independent Advice

I’ve posted a lot over the years about the role of EPA’s Science Advisory Board in judicial review of agency decisions.  The short version is that, on scientific questions, EPA’s going to be on thin ice if its regulatory decisions are inconsistent with SAB advice.  Recently, I’ve speculated on the level of deference that EPA will get on scientific issues if it starts to ignore scientific consensus. … More