Policy & Enforcement Briefing: SCOTUS Air Case, Renewables Mandate, UK Backs BP
President Obama has ordered the federal government to use 10 percent renewables by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020, nearly tripling its current renewables consumption, the AP reports. The order enacts a promise made in June and raises the target from 7.5 percent. The order also requires agencies to install energy and water meters where appropriate, and to publish their energy performance data.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear its case on the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule early next week, The Hill reports. The rule has been in limbo since an appeals court ruled it invalid last August, following a challenge by 16 states and a number of power companies.
The nine northeast US states belonging to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative submitted comments recommending that the EPA use RGGI as a guide for upcoming national carbon reduction guidelines for existing power plants, Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and four other regional energy efficiency organizations working in 42 states recommended that the EPA count increased energy efficiency towards the standards.
The UK government has made a legal filing to back BP’s battle against its US federal contract ban. The UK described the ban as “excessive,” in its first public defense of the oil company, the Guardian reports. The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action has joined other business groups in supporting BP’s effort to fight the EPA’s debarment ruling.
Under a new agreement, the US pledged technical aid to help China implement its newest round of vehicle emissions standards, which would require particulate matter filters for cars. The two nations also agreed to continue work to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, and said they would study how to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, Reuters reports.
The Colorado Oil & Gas Association has sued the cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette over voter referendums restricting oil and gas extraction. Lafayette barred all such extraction, while Fort Collins citizens voted to ban fracking for five years. The association is seeking court orders to permanently block the bans, Bloomberg reports.
The White House has finalized its review of an Interior Department rule that would give wind farms a “30-year pass” for killings of bald and golden eagles, The Hill says. Last month Duke Energy Renewables agreed to pay $1 million in fines after pleading guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, related to the deaths of 14 golden eagles and dozens of other birds.
The UN-backed Green Climate Fund, designed to support climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience in developing countries, has officially opened its South Korean headquarters. The organization is designed as the UN’s most important climate-related funding body in developing nations, Reuters says, but it is not expected to be fully operational until late 2014. It is supposed to channel close to $100 billion a year by 2020, but developed countries have not been paying as scheduled, and the fund currently has just $40 million.
Durham Manufacturing Company will pay $2.9 million over three years and perform work valued at $1.1 million, in a settlement with the EPA and state of Connecticut over the Durham Meadows Superfund Site in Durham, Conn. The site includes a DMC manufacturing facility and the former location of Merriam Manufacturing Company.
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