Monthly Archives: April 2021

PM2.5 and Environmental Justice — and Electric Vehicles– and Tires

I’ve frequently discussed in recent years the mounting evidence for the need to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM2.5.  There is also substantial evidence that PM exposure is an environmental justice issue.  In this context, electrification of our transportation system is seen as having a substantial co-benefit in the reduction of vehicle-related PM emissions, particularly in EJ communities. 

Two recent stories both confirmed the validity of these issues and made manifest the complexity of the problems we are trying to solve. … More

The Other Shoe Drops — EPA Formally Announces Its Reconsideration of the Withdrawal of the California Preemption Waiver

I noted in yesterday’s post about the NHTSA proposal to withdraw the SAFE I Rule that EPA was expected to follow the NHTSA action by restoring the Clean Air Act Section 209 waiver for California’s Advanced Clean Car program. The ink was barely dry on the post when EPA released a Notice that was considering doing just that.

I have always thought that EPA’s waiver withdrawal stood on very shaky ground – shakier even than the NHTSA preemption argument made in the SAFE I rule. … More

The SAFE Rule Is On the Way Out — I Don’t Feel Any Less Safe

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed to withdraw Part I of the Trump Administration’s SAFE Rule, in which EPA had concluded that California’s regulation of motor vehicle GHG emissions was preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.  It’s not a surprise, given that Executive Order 13990 specifically directed NHTSA to revisit the SAFE I Rule. 

It is interesting, if not ironic,… More

The Biden Administration’s Undoing Project Continues — A Flawed Interior Interpretation is Jettisoned

On Friday, the Principal Deputy Solicitor at the Department of Interior issued a memorandum on how DOI should balance the criteria in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in issuing leases for offshore wind.  The new memorandum replaces one issued by the Trump Administration following the November election.

The Trump Administration memorandum, which could have simply been titled the “We Hate Offshore Wind Memorandum,” basically treated each of the criteria in the statute as vetoes,… More

Carbon Pricing — Is It the Zombie Climate Policy?

At a press briefing in India yesterday, John Kerry, President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate was asked by an Indian journalist about carbon pricing.  Here’s part of his response:

President Biden believes that at some point in time we need to find out a way to have a price on carbon that’s effective.  He hasn’t decided or made an announcement about it,… More

Federal Offshore Wind Plan Boosts State Efforts in Massachusetts

As President Biden announces his blueprint for expanding the use of offshore wind (OSW) power, Massachusetts hopes to become an industry hub. Those plans will certainly be facilitated by the new federal OSW policies.

On March 29, the Biden administration published a major plan to mobilize offshore wind development, particularly along the East Coast. The plan aims to construct 30,000 megawatts of OSW generation by 2030,… More