A divided Supreme Court on Monday ruled against federal regulators’ attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. The rules began to take effect in April, but the court split 5-4 to rule that the EPA failed to take their cost into account when the agency first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.
As Washington State lawmakers moved into a third special session Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement signalled he would back off his administration’s proposed low carbon fuel standard in return for Republican votes needed in the Senate to pass a 16-year, $15 billion surface transportation investment package. A gas tax hike of 11.7 cents per gallon has been part of the Senate GOP majority draft law.
Plans in Washington for a Low Carbon Fuel Standard are getting a rough ride as lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee try to engineer a badly-needed transportation spending package. And in Oregon, a clean fuel standard passed into law in March had looked as if it would be repealed late this week in order to win Republican votes to pass a transportation package there.
The Obama administration on Friday introduced a major climate change regulation intended to reduce planet-warming carbon pollution from heavy-duty trucks. The proposed rule is meant to increase the fuel efficiency of the vast rigs that haul goods as varied as steel, timber, and oil, as well as packages from Amazon.com.
Backup generation, and the grid infrastructure across which it flows, become increasingly uneconomic as consumers generate more of their own power (and thus pay less to other providers). A recent report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology notes that solar power’s success therefore risks being self-limiting.
The proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal could hurt rather than boost the Pacific Northwest economy, potentially undercutting a major argument in favor of the project, according to a study released Tuesday afternoon. Kathryn Stenger, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, a group of interests backing the terminals, said the new study was not objective and failed to rely on the company’s information or previous research.