The Fifth Circuit recently allowed the federal government to resume use of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), after a district court enjoined reliance on the metric earlier this year. The SCC aids cost-benefit analysis of regulatory actions and can provide insights into the impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The continued
John Mizerak is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office. He focuses on environmental matters as well as civil and administrative litigation, and has advised on issues under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and other environmental and energy regimes.
Last year, Covington predicted an increased focus on environmental enforcement under the Biden Administration. Recent statements by key environmental leadership have confirmed this, further sharpened Administration priorities, and track renewed focus by DOJ more broadly on combating corporate malfeasance. In the coming year, regulated entities should prepare for increased criminal enforcement, including consideration of conduct within their supply chains. They should also expect increased scrutiny of their environmental compliance programs, including the potential for corporate monitorship if DOJ deems a company’s compliance program to be inadequate.
Continue Reading Environmental Enforcement in 2022: Renewed Focus on Criminal Conduct, Compliance
The D.C. Circuit issued a decision in Vecinos para el Bienestar de la Comunidad Costera v. FERC, which faulted FERC for failing to consider whether the social cost of carbon (SCC) is a “generally accepted” analytical tool for assessing the significance of greenhouse gas impacts under NEPA. The decision is likely to result in…
This is the twenty-fifth in our series on the “ABCs of the AJP.”
The American Jobs Plan aims to electrify 20% of the country’s iconic yellow school bus fleet through a new “Clean Buses for Kids” program, alongside a broader effort to replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles. The move will have important health benefits and assist in the electrification of the heavy duty transportation and freight sectors, which face additional challenges as they seek to decarbonize.
Continue Reading Yellow School Buses and Diesel Electrification
This is the twenty-second in our series on “the ABCs of the AJP”
The single largest expenditure in President Biden’s original proposal for his American Jobs Plan is a $174 billion investment to promote electric vehicles (EVs). This considerable sum reflects the fact that increasing the number of EVs on the road in the United States would advance a number of key administration priorities, as described below.
Continue Reading Vying for America’s Future through Electric Vehicles
This is the eleventh in our series on the “ABCs of the AJP.”
America’s kids are the beneficiaries of many of the provisions of President Biden’s Jobs Plan, and several of the proposals would benefit them and their caretakers specifically. Children have become a focus point of discussions about climate change, because absent intervention they are poised to inherit a world that suffers from its negative effects without having contributed meaningfully to the emissions that bring it about. This has been a central narrative of the long-running Juliana litigation, for example. The Biden Administration has also recognized the intergenerational inequity of climate change in other policy initiatives, for example in its ongoing efforts to revise the social cost of greenhouse gases.
Continue Reading Kids and a Sustainable Future
This blog is the second in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”
The American Jobs Plan recognizes that a net-zero economy will require significant innovation in and deployment of energy storage technology. For example, the President’s efforts to decarbonize the power sector by 2035 will include increased reliance of renewable energy sources, which will benefit greatly from utility-scale battery systems. The push to electrify the transportation sector also depends on cost-competitive batteries powering vehicles. Here, we present three ways in which AJP seeks to advance battery technology and adoption.
Continue Reading Building Back Better with Batteries
Briefing for certiorari has recently completed in Volkswagen v. Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County. The challenged Ninth Circuit decision, if permitted to stand, could have significant effects on federal administration of motor vehicle emissions regulations, and enforcement actions against auto manufacturers.
Continue Reading Volkswagen asks the Supreme Court to Clarify the Role of States in Regulating a Manufacturer’s Post-Sale Vehicle Conduct
The Biden Administration has signaled its willingness to resume the practice of including supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) in settlements by swiftly revoking Trump Administration memoranda which formally eliminated their use. This is an important development that regulated entities can benefit from when they face investigations and enforcement proceedings. Although further clarification from the Department of Justice is expected in this area, targets in potential enforcement actions can begin to prepare now.
Continue Reading New Environmental Enforcement Flexibilities in the Biden Administration: What you Can Do Now To Benefit from a Powerful Tool for Resolving Controversies
The Biden Administration has promulgated interim figures for the social cost of carbon (SCC), which will support key policy efforts in the next year until a final, revised figure can be established.
Continue Reading Biden Issues Interim Social Cost of Carbon, Paving the Way for A Climate Agenda