In a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule back to a lower court for review. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which hinged on an interpretation of administrative law requirements and did not overturn EPA’s ability to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants.
While the Court did not overturn EPA’s analysis and conclusion that public health benefits of the MATS rule vastly outweigh the costs to the coal and oil industry, it did find that EPA should have first considered whether it was appropriate to regulate power plants under the Clean Air Act’s hazardous air pollution safeguards.
Today, the DC Circuit dismissed the first legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The lawsuit, filed by the coal industry and several coal dependent states, claimed that EPA lacked the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. Ultimately, the DC Circuit found the legal challenge premature, given that EPA has yet to release the final version of the Clean Power Plan – which is expected to arrive in August.
SACE staffers Toni Nelson and John D. Wilson contributed to this blog post. It’s always good news for public health when a utility announces a coal-fired power plant retirement, as Duke Energy did for its Asheville plant last week on May 19. Unfortunately, Duke did not fully heed the demands of local activists – including the [...]
Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS), set to go into effect next month. The MATS rule, finalized in December 2011, requires coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants through the installation of pollution [...]
This guest blog was written by Emma Greenbaum, who is the Sierra Club’s Organizing Representative for North Carolina Beyond Coal in Asheville, NC. For the past several years, the Asheville Beyond Coal campaign has been speaking out publicly and building support for transition off of coal at Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant. We have brought attention to the threat [...]
Updated at 4:40pm ET, on February 16 to reflect correct solar capacity planned for military bases in Georgia Power’s service territory. Gulf Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company and one of the smallest investor-owned electric utilities in Florida, just took not one, not two, but THREE steps forward on clean energy in as many weeks. First, [...]
This guest blog was originally published by Michael Mariotte, president of the Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) in GreenWorld on January 16, 2015. Find the direct post here. The post references the recent, exciting news about a solar ballot initiative in Florida recently announced by the coalition Floridians for Solar Choice, of which the Southern [...]
With only one month left in the year, the Environmental Protection Agency released its long awaited and updated proposed ground-level ozone standards on November 25, 2014. EPA updated its ozone standard in order to ensure protection of public health based on extensive scientific evidence about ozone’s health effects – especially the impact it has on [...]
On Dec. 30, during a special session of the Tennessee Valley Authority board, a decision was finalized to invest significant resources into retrofitting two units at its older, Shawnee coal plant in Paducah, KY. As explained in an earlier SACE blog, TVA had to make a decision concerning Shawnee Units 1 and 4 by December [...]
As 2014 draws to a close, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been busy working on making an important decision at its Shawnee coal plant in Paducah, KY. December 9th marked the end of the public comment period for TVA’s draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to determine whether or not it should retire or retrofit two coal [...]