Feb. 10, 2016 by Alice Kaswan

The Clean Power Plan: Continuing Momentum after the Supreme Court's Stay

The Supreme Court’s February 9 stay of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan may have removed the states’ immediate compliance obligations, and it will undoubtedly remove some pressure for action in states resistant to change.  Nonetheless, the extensive data and fundamental state and regional planning processes generated by the Clean Power Plan (the Plan) may continue to bear fruit even as the Plan remains in legal limbo.

The Clean Power Plan has already triggered progress.  To determine feasible reductions on existing power plants, EPA spearheaded extensive analyses of regional capacities to shift to less-polluting natural gas and to develop renewables.  In addition, EPA gathered detailed information on the demographics around existing power plants to help states assess the environmental justice implications of their energy choices.  EPA’s research and the resulting data can provide essential information for state and federal policies regardless of the Plan’s status.

The Clean Power Plan also set state and regional comprehensive low-carbon energy planning in motion, and it is conceivable that at least some of that momentum will continue.  The Plan highlighted the regional nature of the grid and pushed states to consider how their low-carbon energy choices could be expanded by …

Feb. 10, 2016 by Victor Flatt

In a surprising moves to legal experts, the Supreme Court yesterday in a 5-4 ruling stayed the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) supporting greenhouse gas reductions at fossil fuel fired power plants.  The move was surprising because the Supreme Court rarely involves itself in the determinations of whether or not a temporary stay of legal implications is warranted, largely leaving that to lower courts.  The D.C. Circuit, two weeks ago, refused to grant a stay, meaning that the balance of harms against the likelihood of prevailing in the case did not weigh in favor of stopping the implementation of the rule.

What does all of this mean?  Well, one could explain this very unusual action by the fact that the Clean Power Plan is itself very unusual.  No case before, including litigation over the Affordable Care Act, has had so many state …

Feb. 4, 2016 by Matthew Freeman

NEWS RELEASE: Analysis of EPA TMDL Data Documents Looming Failure by Chesapeake Bay States to Meet 2017 Pollution-Reduction Goals

In Report & Letters to EPA and Governors, CPR Authors Call on Bay States to Step Up, and on EPA to Begin Enforcement Actions

A new analysis from the Center for Progressive Reform concludes that the efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) to restore the Chesapeake Bay to health is veering off course because of state failures to reduce pollution and EPA’s reluctance to compel state compliance. “Countdown to 2017: Five Years in, Chesapeake Bay TMDL at Risk Without EPA Enforcement” examines progress by the six Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia as they work to reach an EPA-mandated overall “Total Maximum Daily Load” (TMDL) for the Bay, a sort of “pollution diet,” as well as many TMDLs for local waters. The …

More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Feb. 29, 2016

Steinzor Reacts to SCOTUS Chesapeake Bay Case

Feb. 25, 2016

Unleashing the Lower Courts

Feb. 24, 2016

More Delay for OSHA's New Silica Rule

Feb. 23, 2016

Testimony: Maryland Needs Effective Manure Management Policies to Restore Watersheds

Feb. 22, 2016

Justice Scalia and the American Eco-Kulturkampf

Feb. 19, 2016

What Are 'Ag-Gag' Law Proponents Trying to Hide?

Feb. 18, 2016

Another Strong DOJ Settlement on Stormwater Pollution - Outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed