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
The European Commission is currently discussing a draft of a proposal for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”) Regulation that it is expected to present on July 14, 2021. A CBAM was already announced in the European Commission’s Communication for a Green Deal and is intended to protect the EU’s domestic industry that is at risk of carbon leakage—to create a level playing field—and to serve as a policy tool to encourage third countries to reduce their greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.
Continue Reading Twelve Things to Know About the Upcoming EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
On March 25, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (“GGPPA”), which establishes a national pricing benchmark for greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, case numbers 38663, 38781, and 39116. Several provinces challenged the law, arguing that it was unconstitutional and that it imposed unlawful taxes. In upholding the constitutionality of Canada’s federal pricing program, the decision is a strong affirmation of the need to impose a uniform price on carbon emissions across jurisdictions and has some significant “upshot” implications for businesses and policymakers in the United States.
Continue Reading Canada Given Green Light to Carbon Pricing: The Supreme Court of Canada Upholds the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act
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
In October 2020, Covington public policy experts Sebastian Vos and Gary Guzy were invited to the 2020 CleanEquity Monaco sustainable technology conference to discuss the policy outlook in the EU and US, and likely impacts on efforts to decarbonize carbon-intensive sectors of the economy. The event was presented globally on EarthX TV. Covington’s London-based emerging companies, corporate partner Simon Amies introduced the panel discussion and Washington-based environmental and public policy associate Lindsay Brewer moderated. A link to the full discussion (including some content not presented at the conference) is available here and Monaco news media coverage of the presentation is available here. …
Continue Reading Covington Experts Discuss Decarbonization Strategies in the EU and US at a Leading Global Sustainable Technology Conference
Recently, the three sitting Commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) convened thirty industry experts at a virtual Technical Conference on state adoption of carbon pricing and its implementation in organized, wholesale electricity markets managed by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) or independent system operators (ISOs). Public interest was high, with more than 2,000 computers across the country logged on to the discussion, which stretched over nine hours. Although no carbon pricing measures have been filed by RTO/ISOs for consideration by FERC, the sense of the Technical Conference was that proposals from states or from RTO/ISOs acting on their own initiative are right around the corner, irrespective of the election outcomes in November.
Continue Reading FERC Takes Close Look at Carbon Pricing
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled a conference on September 30, 2020 regarding carbon pricing in organized wholesale electricity markets. According to the conference notice, the purpose is to discuss “considerations related to state adoption of mechanisms to price carbon dioxide emissions…in regions with FERC-jurisdictional organized wholesale electricity markets.” This conference should be of significant interest to a wide range of market participants and their investors, plus consumers of electricity, state policymakers and other diverse interests.
Continue Reading FERC Carbon Pricing Conference Set
As expected, with the inauguration of President Trump all Obama Administration content on the White House website has been replaced with content of the new Administration. The new content includes “An America First Energy Plan”, the entire focus of which is national security and job creation benefits of the Administration’s “embrace” and promotion of…
In August, EPA is expected to finalize and to modify its ambitious Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Here is a Watch List of key areas for possible changes and clarification that EPA might make, after considering voluminous public comments on the Proposed Regulations, which were issued in June 2014:
- Timelines for State Implementation. Will EPA relax the level of interim requirements for emission reductions by 2020 (or 2022, as suggested in recent press reports) and allow each state a more gradual or back-loaded schedule to meet final targets by 2030?
- Timelines for Filing State Implementation Plans. Will EPA delay or ease the threshold for granting waivers of the one-year requirement for filing single-state implementation plans or two-years for multi-state implementation plans?
- Credits for Early Action. Will EPA enable states to obtain credits or adjustments in baseline periods for early emission reduction actions that have already occurred or for acceleration of emission reductions achieved prior to 2020?
- Adjustments to the Four Building Blocks. Will EPA modify the four building blocks used to calculate each state’s achievable emission reductions, including changes in assumptions regarding achievable emission reductions under each building block?
Continue Reading A Watch List of Possible Changes in EPA’s Final Clean Power Plan
Two of the Supreme Court’s major, end-of-term decisions turn on the deference the Court gives to agency determinations of the meaning of ambiguous clauses in complex regulatory statutes, applying the familiar Chevron framework. The Court’s less deferential applications of Chevron raise important questions about the deference courts might be expected to give to the scope…