Analysis: EPA emerges from court battle with the edge

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Tuesday was a good day for U.S. EPA, observers on both sides of a fierce legal struggle over the future of the Obama administration’s landmark climate change rule conceded as they emerged from federal appeals court. Many thought the agency and supporters of the Clean Power Plan had an edge during the nearly seven hours of oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It quickly became apparent, though, that the agency’s biggest legal hurdle may come from its attempts to make the standards for power plants more flexible, affordable and ambitious.

Clinton’s tenure on Senate EPW: ‘very focused, very diligent’

Source: George Cahlink and Geof Koss, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Clinton emerges as a pragmatic policy wonk eager to focus on New York-centric issues and push for environmental justice. It also finds a lawmaker aware of her star power and eager to be seen as working with Republicans. But it also shows a senator who did not often break with Democratic environmental orthodoxy — nor did she author any major green legislation that was signed into law.

Trump campaign: ‘Global warming is naturally occurring’

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

In the wake of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s denials Monday night that he’s called climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by China, his campaign manager reiterated in an interview today that Trump doesn’t believe human activity contributes to changing temperatures. And in a separate interview today, GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence offered an incompatible assessment, asserting the Republican ticket would “follow the science” on climate change while avoiding new regulations.

OPEC agrees to production cuts

Source: Nathanial Gronewold, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut production in an effort to boost prices and shore up members’ economies. The news sent crude oil prices sharply upward. The agreed-to cuts, reported by The Wall Street Journal and other outlets, don’t amount to much of total OPEC output. They total roughly 740,000 barrels a day from current estimated output volumes of over 33 million barrels per day. Rising global offshore production will likely match that volume in a little over a year.

Congress heads for exits after passing CR

Source: George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Congress passed a stopgap spending bill late last night that averts a government shutdown and sets the stage for lawmakers to hash out a final fiscal 2017 spending package in a post-election, lame-duck session. The House cleared the continuing resolution 342-85 several hours after it easily passed the Senate 72-16. The White House said the president will sign the legislation.

Mobile solar device hailed as ‘potentially game-changing’

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

“We’ve transformed solar — much like the smartphone revolutionized the personal computer sector, combining numerous components into a single device that’s significantly less expensive, more powerful and easier to use than conventional systems,” said CEO Christopher Estes.

Clean Line Meets Resistance from Arkansas Lawmakers

Source: By Kyle Massey, Arkansas Business • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Who wouldn’t support a project that promises to bring cheap, clean power to 160,000 Arkansas homes along with hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars for state landowners and schools? Well, every member of the Arkansas congressional delegation, for starters.

Mass. poised to join Calif. among clean energy elite

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Make room, California. Massachusetts is making a run for the top echelon of U.S. clean-energy states. In an unprecedented string of policy developments this summer, Massachusetts has embraced core elements of what experts describe as a transformational blueprint for how carbon-free electricity flows from power producers and utilities to consumers. At the same time, the state has backed technology that could sock away vast amounts of electricity to hedge against high prices and weather-related emergencies.

Cedar Rapids Fends Off Flood Damage With Temporary Barriers

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

An elaborate system of temporary floodwalls is so far protecting thousands of homes and businesses in Cedar Rapids from major flooding. Iowa’s second-largest city says its hastily erected 9.8-mile system of Hesco barriers and earthen berms is largely holding back the rain-swollen Cedar River, which crested Tuesday at its second-highest level on record.

Invoking Scalia, judges question whether EPA bent the law

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The late Justice Antonin Scalia loomed large today as the courtroom battle over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan kicked off.Several conservative judges suggested that Congress — not U.S. EPA — should be tasked with making major environmental policy decisions. They cited one of Scalia’s last major environmental opinions as a possible frame for viewing this case, which may not bode well for the administration.