E15 Rule Brief Filed

The Environmental Protection Agency filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit February 24 charging that industry groups lack standing to challenge the agency’s E15 labeling rule, and that they have not shown that the rule would harm them.

GHG Emissions Fell 3.3 Percent

The Environmental Protection Agency released February 24 a draft inventory showing that total Unites States greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 3.3 percent in 2012 due in part to low natural gas prices. The agency will finalize the annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks report in April.

Ozone Standards Finalized by November 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California February 25 that it can finalize ozone standards by November 15, 2015. The agency missed its March 2013 deadline under the Clean Air Act to review the standards, but it needs until 2015 to finalize them because it is reviewing many pieces of complex scientific evidence.

U.S. Climate Commitment Demonstrated

Speaking at the Climate Leadership Conference February 25, Acting Assistant Environmental Protection Agency Administrator for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe said that President Obama’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants, as well as state and local policies, demonstrate that the United States is committed to addressing climate change, even as Congress fails to act on the issue.

RIN QA Program Finalized

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a final Environmental Protection Agency rule that would create a voluntary quality assurance program for renewable fuel standard credits. The agency sent the final rule to the White House for interagency review February 25.

Open Mind on GHG Regs Sought

Speaking about climate change to community and faith leaders at the White House February 25, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said that she hopes that critics of the agency’s forthcoming greenhouse gas emissions regulations for existing power plants will keep an open mind about the rule. She said that the standards would attempt to strike a balance between ambitious GHG reductions and state flexibilities.

NSPS Comment Period Extended 60 Days

The Environmental Protection Agency announced February 26 that it would extend to May 9 the public comment period on a proposed rule that would establish a carbon dioxide performance standard for new fossil fuel-fired power plants. The agency proposed the rule January 8.

GHG Rule Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency published a notice of data availability February 26 soliciting comment on its interpretation of a provision of the 2005 Energy Policy Act that opponents contend could undercut the legal viability of the proposed greenhouse gas limits for new coal fired power plants. The agency will accept comment through March 10, which is also the deadline to comment on the proposed rule that would require future plants to capture 30-60 percent of their CO2 emissions. The state of Nebraska has filed a lawsuit on the issue, seeking to stop the regulation.

RIN Final Rule to OMB

The Environmental Protection Agency sent February 26 to the White House Office of Management and Budget a final rule for a program designed to assure the legitimacy of Renewable Identification Numbers. The agency issued a proposed rule in January with two options for verifying RINs through its Draft Quality Assurance Plan.

Existing Plants Could Reduce Emissions via Natural Gas

The Clean Air Task Force released a study February 27 finding that increasing electricity generation from existing natural gas power plants while displacing coal plants could reduce power sector GHG emissions by 27 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

McCarthy ND Comments

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said during a February 28 trip to North Dakota that the agency will not overstate its authority by regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Administrator McCarthy visited the state at the request of the congressional delegation to discuss the new regulations as well as its proposal to reduce the renewable fuel blending mandates for this year.