Jackson Kelly PLLC

Energy and Environment Monitor

Air Quality and Permitting

Ohio Appeals Court Rules that State §401 Waiver Divested it of All Enforcement Authority Over Rover Pipeline

     The State of Ohio has failed in its efforts to enforce water laws against a FERC-approved natural gas transmission line because the State waived its right to certify the facility under §401 of the Clean Water Act.  See State of Ohio ex rel. Yost v. Rover Pipeline, LLC, Ohio Ct. App. (Stark County Dec. 9, 2019).  There, both a trial and appeals court have ruled that a state’s waiver of its…

Two Sets of Climate Books? Is New York’s Claim Against Exxon Mobil Heating Up or Just a Lot of Hot Air?

       The New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) has sued Exxon Mobil (“Exxon”) for fraud and misrepresentation to its investors under a New York securities law known as the Martin Act. The NYAG contends that Exxon represented to the public that it was accounting for “projected carbon costs in evaluating its ongoing investments” using one value ($80.00 per ton of CO2 emissions) but that internally (and…

Reginald Comes to the Keystone State?

By Executive Order No. 2019-07 issued on October 3, 2019, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf directed the PADEP to develop rules by July 31, 2020 for limiting CO2 emissions from “fossil-fuel-fired electric power generators.”  The same Order mandated that the regulatory program establish a CO2 “budget consistent with that established in the RGGI (pronounced “Reggie”) participating states; provide for the…

Challenges continue to Trump directive prohibiting EPA grant recipients from participation in EPA advisory committees

In October 2017, the Trump EPA issued a Directive prohibiting anyone who receives EPA grants from sitting on an EPA Science Advisory Board (“SAB”) or similar science advisory committees formed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Directive was immediately challenged by advocacy groups which had long succeeded in placing sympathizers, many from academic communities and non-profits that…

The Green New Deal Meets Physics

A new report by the Manhattan Institute explains that while greater efficiencies can be gained by electric generators using solar or wind energy, technology will soon bump up against hard stops in those efforts.  See The “New Energy Economy”: An Exercise in Magical Thinking (March 26, 2019).  https://www.manhattan-institute.org/energy-environment  For example, the so-called Betz limit will prevent…

U.S. Supreme Court Stays Kids' Climate Suit

On October 19, 2018, the United State Supreme Court temporarily stayed a suit filed against the President and various executive agencies brought by 21 minors, an organization known as Earth Guardians, and “future generations” by and through their self-appointed guardian, Dr. James Hansen, who is a well-known climate scientist and climate change activist.  See In Re United States of America, et…

EPA Offices at Odds Over Response to FERC Greenhouse Gas Inquiry

          In December of 2017, FERC announced that it would review its policies on certification of natural gas pipeline projects.  In particular, it announced that it would review its 1999 Policy Statement on Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Facilities (available at https://www.ferc.gov/legal/maj-ord-reg/policy-statements.asp).  Then, on April 19, 2018, FERC initiated a “notice of…

EPA to Reject Claims of Maryland and Delaware that Upwind Power Plants Have Inadequate NOx Controls

          EPA has proposed to deny petitions from Delaware and Maryland that sought to force controls on power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  The petitions claimed that NOx emissions from coal-fired plants in these states were significantly contributing, or would contribute in the future, to ozone levels in Delaware and Maryland that exceed allowable ambient levels. 

 

          …

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case Challenging EPA's Failure to Study Employment Effects of Clean Power Plan

        On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by Murray Energy Corp. that challenged the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the Clean Air Act does not authorize lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to consider employment impacts of administering or enforcing the Act.

        In 2015, Murray Energy sued EPA in…

Trump’s EPA Proposes to Roll Back Clean Power Plan

The Obama EPA finalized two rules in 2015 that comprised the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”). One established CO2 emission standards for new, modified and reconstructed power plans under Section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act.  The second, and far more controversial, established CO2 emission “guidelines” under CAA §111(d) to be used by states in regulating existing power plants.    As we have noted before, the…

One Project, Many Lawsuits

On August 23rd, the federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a decision by the Corps of Engineers to issue a Clean Water Act §404 permit to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company to construct about 13 miles of “looped” pipeline in two counties in northeastern Pennsylvania (read the JK Energy & Environmental Monitor summary of Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. U.S. Army Corps of…

 

© 2021 Jackson Kelly PLLC. All Rights Reserved.