facebook linkedin twitter

D.C. Circuit Revives Obama-Era Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits

April 8, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency improperly rescinded Obama-era restrictions on a class of greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), after the court struck down a portion of the rules, a federal appeals court held Tuesday.

In a divided ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said not only did the EPA misinterpret the court’s ruling, but it rescinded the restrictions without any public notice or comment period.

In 2017, the D.C. Circuit struck down a portion of a 2015 rule imposed by the Obama administration that required users of HFCs to switch to cleaner substances that would not contribute to climate change.

A three-judge panel ruled then that the provision exceeded the EPA’s statutory authority. However, it kept in other provisions, including requiring that anyone still using older ozone-depleting substances switch to the newer, safer chemicals.

After reviewing the decision, the EPA unilaterally said it would stop enforcing the other rule.

On Tuesday, Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, writing for a majority on the court, said the EPA’s decision was fundamentally flawed.

“EPA had several options by which it could have attempted to address the perceived difficulties associated with implementing our decision,” Srinivasan said.

“But the one option EPA could not permissibly pursue was the one it chose: promulgating a legislative rule without abiding by notice-and-comment requirements and without invoking any exception to those obligations,” he wrote.

U.S. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao dissented, writing that the agency had “simply interpreted the immediate and necessary consequences of our decision.”

A spokesperson for the EPA said the agency is reviewing the court’s decision.

Environment

September 17, 2021
by Dan McCue
FWS to Consider Possible Listing of Western Gray Wolf

A pair of petitions seeking a determination that gray wolves are a threatened or endangered species in the western U.S.... Read More

A pair of petitions seeking a determination that gray wolves are a threatened or endangered species in the western U.S. have convinced federal officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take a closer look at the situation. “The service finds that the petitions [for... Read More

September 14, 2021
by Anthropocene
Insects and Fallen Trees Are a Potent Duo When It Comes to Climate Change

This article is by Warren Cornwall and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. When tallying up the myriad things sending planet-warming gases into... Read More

This article is by Warren Cornwall and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. When tallying up the myriad things sending planet-warming gases into the atmosphere, don’t overlook bugs. While humans drive up the overall levels of greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels, a variety of natural forces shape how... Read More

Biden to Survey Wildfire Damage, Make Case for Spending Plan

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden will promote his administration's use of the Defense Production Act to aid in... Read More

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden will promote his administration's use of the Defense Production Act to aid in wildfire preparedness during a western swing in which he'll survey wildfire damage in Idaho and California. The administration activated the wartime provision in early August to... Read More

September 9, 2021
by Dan McCue
DC Would Need to Plant 626K+ Trees Annually to Be Carbon Neutral

WASHINGTON -- The nation’s capital would need to plant 626,557 trees annually to be a carbon neutral city, a new... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The nation’s capital would need to plant 626,557 trees annually to be a carbon neutral city, a new study finds. The analysis, by comparethemarket.com, pegs Washington, D.C.’s annual carbon emissions at 3,132,786 pounds. It then calculated the number of trees needed every year to... Read More

September 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
How Health Is Impacted by Extreme Heat

There have always been periods of extreme heat in the U.S., but now researchers estimate that climate change could make... Read More

There have always been periods of extreme heat in the U.S., but now researchers estimate that climate change could make these periods more frequent, widespread, and severe over the next 30 years.  A recent report from the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, with analysis... Read More

In NYC After Ida, Biden Calls Climate 'Everybody's Crisis'

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden declared climate change has become "everybody's crisis" on Tuesday as he toured neighborhoods... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden declared climate change has become "everybody's crisis" on Tuesday as he toured neighborhoods flooded by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, warning it's time for America to get serious about the "code red" danger or face ever worse loss of... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top