On February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision staying implementation of the Clean Power Plan until the D.C. Circuit rules on challenges to the Plan. The Court left open the possibility that it would review the D.C. Circuit’s ultimate decision.

The decision delays President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The Clean Power Plan is its key climate change rule. It requires states and utilities to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by generating less electricity from coal, and more from lower carbon-emitting sources like natural gas, or zero-carbon sources like solar and wind. The Plan has an ambitious goal: to reduce CO2 emissions 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. Continue Reading Supreme Court Stays Clean Power Plan

The D.C. Circuit denied industry petitioners’ motions to stay the effectiveness of the Clean Power Plan on Jan. 21. In a two-page order, the court found the petitioners had not satisfied the requirements for a stay pending review and issued an expedited case schedule.

The order asked parties to submit a format for briefing as well as a schedule by Jan. 27, 2016 that ensures that all briefing will be complete by April 22, 2016. Parties will debate whether the cost of implementing the rule is too great and whether EPA has exceeded the bounds of its authority, among numerous other issues. Oral arguments are scheduled to begin June 2, 2016 and continue to June 3 if necessary. This schedule could allow for a court decision before initial state plans are due in September 2016. Continue Reading Clean Power Plan Will Stay in Effect Pending the Outcome of Litigation

On August 3, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of the Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) component of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), setting the first-ever carbon dioxide emission reduction goals for States. Environmental Protection Agency, Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources, 40 CFR Part 60, Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602, RIN 2060-AR33 (April 3, 2015). When fully implemented by 2030, the CPP is expected to reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector by 32% over 2005 levels. The final version includes significant changes from the original proposal, 79 Fed. Reg. 34829 (June 18, 2014). Continue Reading Clean Power Plan: EPA Issues Final Carbon Reduction Rule for Existing Stationary Sources

On June 2, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released the most sweeping component of President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan.  USEPA’s 650-page proposed Clean Power Plan states that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels at existing power plants is the single largest category of stationary source Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in the United States, accounting for about one-third of all GHGs emitted. Continue Reading USEPA’s Clean Power Plan: Proposed Rule For Existing Power Plants

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia appeared on Friday, February 15, at an electricity restructuring roundtable that convened in Boston to explore the state of energy efficiency initiatives in New England.  In his presentation, Commissioner Sylvia reported on the progress to date that has been made pursuant to several ongoing initiatives in Massachusetts to acquire cost-effective energy efficiency resources.  These include:  the “Leading by Example” program, which sets aggressive targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, and water conservation; the Green Communities Act; the Global Warming Solutions Act; and Governor Patrick’s renewable energy goals. Continue Reading Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia Speaks Regarding Commonwealth’s Energy Efficiency Initiatives

The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) this week launched the Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED).  REED currently includes 2011 energy efficiency data from the following jurisdictions: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, and New York.  However, 2012 energy efficiency data will be added to REED from these states as well as from Delaware and the District of Columbia this fall.  (See http://www.neep-reed.org.) Continue Reading Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships Launches Regional Energy Efficiency Database

By Mary Ann Mullin and Daniel J. Deeb

Introduction

On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the finalized revisions of the ‘‘Green Guides,’’ guidance to businesses that market their products or services as environmentally friendly. Continue Reading The FTC’s Revised Green Guides: Red Lights, Yellow Lights, and Green Lights for Marketers