How the Trump Administration and Congress Should Use Science to Govern

This blog is a guest post by Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The original post ran here on November 30, 2016.

The election of Donald Trump raises many questions about the future role of science and evidence in policy making. Many of us are deeply troubled that some transition team members, senior administration officials and people nominated to head up federal agencies have a history of attacking scientists and misrepresenting science.

Another Option in the Toolbox for National Climate Action is Being Targeted by Industry

If climate change deniers see it as a threat to their efforts to stymie climate action, then you know it’s a powerful tool. Clean Air Act Section 115 is the latest EPA statute targeted by those working to keep America from becoming a true leader in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and stave off some of the worst impacts of climate change.

In early February 2016, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa) introduced legislation that would repeal Section 115, but provides no basis, at least in the text of the bill, for why the Section is improper. In his accompanying statement, Rep. Perry makes the worn-out argument of EPA overreach as well as the seemingly baseless claim that any action under Section 115 would “threaten the reliability and viability of our nation’s energy sector.”

Section 115, previously enacted by Congress as part of the larger statute, gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to compel states to reduce air emissions that “contribute to health or welfare problems in other countries” as long as those countries are also enacting regulations to limit said air emissions.

Another hurdle for “dormant” Plant Washington

Katherine Helms Cummings leads the fight to stop Plant Washington from her home in Washington County, Georgia. She is Executive Director of the Fall-Line Alliance for a Clean Environment (FACE) and writes the Rural and Progressive blog where this article first appeared. The Carbon Pollution Standards for new power plants announced by the Environmental Protection [...]

Supreme Court Mercury Decision Not a Real Game Changer

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.

Knoxville Receives $7.12 Million from TVA for Lower-Income Energy Efficiency Program

Thanks to collaborative community efforts and new funding from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), hundreds of lower-income residents in Knoxville will soon have much more affordable utility bills. TVA recently announced the first round award winners in the Extreme Energy Makeovers project, part of TVA’s Smart Communities program. Knoxville received $7.12 million – after applying [...]

The Supreme Court, the Mercury Rule and Chicken Little

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 [...]

Public Comment Period Closes for EPA’s Clean Power Plan, But There’s More Work to be Done

You can access previous SACE blogs on the Clean Power Plan by clicking the following links: May 28th, June 23rd, July 30th, and August 25th.  You can also access a recent SACE webinar that explains the specifics of the Clean Power Plan and opportunities for the Southeast here. December 1st marked the end of the [...]

Insights on climate and energy from the newest Nobel Prize winner

Can it really have been three years since I opined at length through a series of blogs on the free market perspective on climate change? Yet here we are, struggling to work through the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposal. Today we celebrate the accomplishments of French economist Jean Tirole, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize [...]

Cart Before the Horse: States Sue EPA Over Draft Clean Power Plan

This blog was co-authored by SACE legal intern, Roy Sparks. In June 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed rules under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act as part of its coordinated effort to fight climate change.  Now, Attorneys General from twelve coal dependent states have filed suit against the EPA regarding the Clean Power Plan [...]

Supreme Court Decision Leaves Permit Requirement for Large Polluters in Place

This guest post originally appeared on the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate 411 blog and was written by EDF Senior attorneys Pamela Campos and Peter Zalzal.  You can access the original post here.  [On June 23] the Supreme Court issued a 7-to-2 decision confirming that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may continue to require large industrial sources [...]