SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland and Environmental Regulation

Today, at a live event in the Rose Garden, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, currently the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Reminding everyone that “people don’t stop working during their last term,” President Obama urged Senators to act in a bipartisan fashion and move forward with nomination hearings in order to fill the vacant seat left on the Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February.
Although there is sure to be a political battle around the nomination, we look to Judge Garland’s record on environmental issues to shed some light on how the Supreme Court may handle future environmental cases, like the current challenge to the Clean Power Plan pending in the lower court.

This Surfboard Carries an Important Message About Offshore Drilling for Obama

Last June, a brand new wooden surfboard was signed by Sasha Borlange of the South Beach Dive and Surf Shop in Miami, Florida. In the months that followed, the board journeyed through seven states and visited countless communities on its way to Washington D.C. The surfboard’s mission: to demonstrate the recreation industry’s opposition to oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

President Obama emphasizes climate legacy in SOTU, but will he earn it?

Last night, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address, which strongly emphasized the role he hopes that having acted on climate change and spurring the clean energy economy will play in his legacy.

Labor and the Clean Power Plan: More Jobs, More Justice

The final Clean Power Plan is structured to create thousands more new jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, with incentives to create good jobs in vulnerable communities. It recommends robust standards to ensure that the new jobs lead to quality careers. The Clean Power Plan and related initiatives also contain vital protections for coal workers and communities. The EPA and DOE have both acted to help ensure that unions, affected workers, and their communities will be treated as stakeholders whose views are heard and reflected in the state processes to create implementation plans. What’s more, the plan addresses concerns from affected unions about ensuring our power system is reliable, the timeline for compliance, and emissions reduction credits for manufacturing processes such as combined heat and power.

Final Clean Power Plan Safeguards Public Health and Spurs Clean Energy Growth

On Monday, President Obama announced the release of the finalized Clean Power Plan, our nation’s first regulations to limit carbon pollution from existing fossil-fueled power plants. The Clean Power Plan, as crafted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets achievable carbon pollution reduction goals for each state, based on the unique energy mix currently serving the power needs of each state.

This historic action will mean a huge boon to public health. Along with reducing climate-change causing carbon pollution, the Clean Power Plan will also reduce other harmful pollution from coal plants resulting in prevention of 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children and 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays due to illness.

White House Has Plans to Help Low-Income Communities Gain Access to Solar

In early July, the White House unveiled a new plan to help cut energy costs for low- and middle-income families. The new program would make it easier for people who lack startup capital, or who rent rather than own their homes, to invest in solar.

According to the Obama Administration, last year the United States brought as much solar energy online every three weeks as it did in all of 2008. The solar industry added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy. The continually lowering price for solar energy is part of the inspiration behind the Administration’s effort to provide access to those communities who have historically been economically unable to access clean energy resources.

White House Announces Steps to Curb Methane Emissions

Yesterday, the White House announced its first-ever efforts aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industries.  President Obama announced his latest step in his Administration’s effort to combat climate change that will come in the form of a proposed rule under the Clean Air Act in mid-2015.  Methane is the second most [...]

U.S. Falters Again on Global Climate Leadership Despite Small Steps at Home

Last month at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, President Obama acknowledged America’s responsibility to act on climate change. On the eve of the U.N. Summit, hundreds of thousands of people marched on the streets of New York’s financial district and called for aggressive action from the private sector to curb global carbon emissions, which increased by [...]

President Obama Takes On the Anti-Science Crowd

I had the great pleasure of joining our Board President, John Noel, and his wife, Melinda Welton, at his table at the League of Conservation Voters’ Annual Capitol Dinner on Wednesday, June 25th in Washington, D.C.  The keynote speaker was President Obama, appropriate since this was the one-year anniversary of his major climate speech at [...]

Carbon Regulation for Existing Coal Plants On the Horizon

In less than a week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will unveil its first ever carbon pollution standards for existing coal-fired power plants.  These proposed standards are expected to be released on June 2 and, once published in the Federal Register, will be open for public comment.  The ultimate goal is to have final, effective [...]