Policy

By The Numbers: Clean Power Plan foes include most carbon-intensive states

The 26 states going to court to kill the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan include the nation's most carbon-intensive economies, while the 18 states who have requested to defend the regulation include the least-carbon-intensive, an EnergyGuardian analysis of government figures shows.

States on both sides are intervening in a lawsuit filed in U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that aims to throw out the Environmental Protection Agency's rule requiring reductions in carbon emissions from existing power plants over the next 15 years, and to issue a stay on implementation until is renders its decision. On Wednesday, 18 states asked the court to allow them to join the case on EPA's side.

The analysis examined 2013 state-by-state emissions figures released by the Energy Information Administration last month. West Virginia, the lead state in the lawsuit, had the nation's second-most carbon intensive economy, EIA's figures show, while New York, the state leading the effort to defend the rule, had the least carbon-intensive economy.

Senate votes to scrub EPA water rule over White House objections

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite White House objections, the Senate voted for a resolution Wednesday to scrap new federal rules to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands from development and pollution.

Senators voted 53-44 in favor of a "resolution of disapproval," a measure that would void the regulations if also passed by the House and signed by the president. The White House has already said it would veto the resolution.

AP file photo of sections of pipe for Keystone
Associated Press Photo
Oil

State Department won't suspend Keystone XL review

The State Department has rejected TransCanada's request to suspend its review of the Keystone XL pipeline, choosing to “keep that process in place” and complete its full analysis on the oil sands project.

At a State Department briefing, spokesman John Kirby said that the department formally notified the Canadian pipeline firm Wednesday. 

“We're not required to pause it based on an applicant's request. There's no legal basis to do that,” Kirby said. “To include interagency review and coordination and to allow significant coordination here, the secretary believes that it's most appropriate to keep that process in place.”

Gore joins those asking for probe of Exxon over climate allegations

Source: 
The New York Times

Likening the company behavior to that of tobacco firms in the 1980s, Al Gore has called for an investigation into allegations that Exxon knew about the dangers of climate change decades ago but deliberately downplayed the risks, The New York Times reports.

Carbon emissions dropping as coal plants close: Sierra Club

Source: 
The Hill

Carbon emissions from U.S. power plants should fall this year to levels not seen since 1995, according to the Sierra Club, which attributes the decline to the shutdown of coal-fired plants, The Hill reports.

EPA handling of Pebble Mine ‘highly questionable’: GOP lawmakers

Source: 
The Hill

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have issued a report and a letter saying that the Environmental Protection Agency’s moves to block the Pebble Mine project in Alaska were “unprecedented” and “lacking a legal basis,” The Hill reports.

New York State Office of the Attorney General

18 states formally seek to join legal defense of Clean Power Plan

A coalition of state and local governments told a federal appeals court Wednesday that they have "a compelling interest" in the success of the Obama administration's rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants, and sought permission join the legal battle against states who want the rule thrown out. 

The motion to intervene, if approved by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, would put the group of 18 states, six cities and one county—led by New York State—on a collision course with the group of 26 states—led by West Virginia—that is trying to kill the Clean Power Plan.

On a call with reporters, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that EPA's rule is “firmly grounded in science and the law” and is necessary to press other states to get moving on efforts to limit climate-warming emissions.

UN head: Climate summit success now rests with world leaders

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Key issues remaining ahead of a major climate summit in Paris this month "have proven too challenging for negotiators to resolve on their own," and responsibility for its success now rests with world leaders, the U.N. secretary-general said Wednesday.

Organizers hope that the summit that begins Nov. 30 will result in the biggest, strongest global agreement ever to fight global warming.

Oil

Forces holding Libya oil fields threaten to cut off exports

CAIRO (AP) — The forces that control most of Libya's oil fields on Wednesday threatened to cut off exports if foreign companies do not start wiring payments to the internationally recognized government in the country's east.

Until now foreign companies have paid the Central Bank in the capital Tripoli, which is controlled by Islamist-allied militias who back a rival government.

Upcoming climate talks just latest chapter in a long history

WASHINGTON (AP) — You can't say we haven't been warned.

The upcoming climate summit in Paris is just the latest chapter in the surprisingly long history of grappling with global warming, a history that began with the discovery of the greenhouse effect in the 19th century — before the telephone, the radio or Al Gore. And the first government warning that the world was warming came exactly a half century ago.

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