Kenneth J. Markowitz July 18 2022 Climate change policy update Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP | Environment & Climate Change - USA Kenneth J. Markowitz Environment & Climate Change Biden administration proposes transport greenhouse gas emission reduction frameworkDOJ restores favoured enforcement resolution toolGSA proposes to restrict governmental purchase of single-use plasticsCeres issues report on climate transition in US food sectorLos Angeles considers banning new gas stationsCourt prevents Pennsylvania from joining greenhouse gas initiativeManchin will not support climate elements of Democrat billThis article outlines pertinent legal and policy climate change developments in the United States during the past week.(1)Biden administration proposes transport greenhouse gas emission reduction frameworkOn 7 July 2022, the Biden administration proposed a rule that would require states and cities to track greenhouse gas emissions and develop climate goals for transport on the National Highway System. The proposed rule would:help the transportation sector evolve from the leading source of emissions to become the biggest part of the solution, standardizing practices that many states have already established economy-wide, by making data comparable across states lines and metropolitan areas, and by facilitating better planning and outcomes for local communities.(2)The proposed rule also aligns with the administration's net-zero targets.DOJ restores favoured enforcement resolution toolThrough an interim final rule and an attorney general memo, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has restored supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) as a means of settling federal environmental law violations. Coming five years after the Trump administration prohibited their use (for further details, see "SEParating from Tradition: Justice Department Prohibits Use of Supplemental Environmental Projects to Resolve Civil Enforcement Actions and Eyes Additional Policy Change"), these payments represent one facet of a multipronged approach to improve environmental enforcement efforts seeking to benefit marginalised communities. The Biden-Harris administration's decision to restore SEPs comes amidst the backdrop of what is being framed as a "comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy". For further details, see "StEPing up to the plate: DOJ restores favoured enforcement resolution tool".GSA proposes to restrict governmental purchase of single-use plastics On 6 July 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) issued a proposed rule that could result in the use of single-use plastics being phased out of its contracts. The GSA states:Also known as the Government's landlord, GSA has the ability to make a difference by addressing single-use plastics in our construction, concession, and facility maintenance contracts as well . . . . With single-use plastics being a significant contributor to the global plastic pollution concern, it is a logical step for the agency to examine this.Ceres issues report on climate transition in US food sectorIn an effort to prevent greenwashing, Ceres has published a report outlining guidance for the food industry as it establishes climate targets. The criteria include:disclosing emissions and emission reduction goals;incorporating growth and innovation strategy in its emission reduction plans;monitoring its supply chain emissions; andestablishing operation, transport and waste emission protocols.For further information, see "Crunch Time: US Food Sector Needs to Implement Climate Action Plans to Feed Demand from Hungry Investors".Los Angeles considers banning new gas stationsFollowing Petaluma's decision to ban new gas stations, the Los Angeles City Council is slated to consider a similar ban in Summer 2022. Five neighbourhood councils in Los Angeles, Westside, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Echo Park and North Westwood have expressed support for the proposal.Court delays Pennsylvania's entrance into greenhouse gas initiativeOn 8 July 2022, a state judge blocked Pennsylvania's entrance into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a "cooperative, market-based effort . . . to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector". The policy was set to take effect later on in July 2022.Manchin will not support climate elements of Democrat billOn 14 July 2022, Senator Manchin told Democratic leadership that he would not support a reconciliation package which includes new climate change spending. Instead, Senator Manchin indicated support for a paired down version of "Build Back Better" that solely addresses drug prescription costs.For further information on this topic please contact Kenneth Markowitz at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP by telephone (+1 202 887 4000) or email ([email protected]). The Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP website can be accessed at www.akingump.com.Leila Fleming, public policy specialist, assisted with the preparation of this article.Endnotes(1) For further updates, including upcoming congressional hearings, federal agency climate news and events, see "Climate Policy Update".(2) "Biden-Harris Administration Takes Step Forward to Combat Climate Change, Announces Proposed Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Framework", press release, 7 July 2022.