States and Environmental Groups to Sue EPA to Get Emissions Rules

Posted by Wonk Room Fri, 01 Aug 2008 11:20:00 GMT

From the Progress Report.

A coalition of states and environmental groups intends to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “if it does not act soon to reduce pollution from ships, aircraft and off-road vehicles.” California Attorney General Jerry Brown is set to send a letter to the EPA in which he will “accuse the Bush administration of ignoring their requests to set restrictions” on greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA will have 180 days to respond. Under the Clean Air Act, “a U.S. district court can compel the EPA to take action to protect the public’s welfare if the agency delays doing so for an unreasonably long time.”

“It’s a necessary pressure to get the job done,” Brown said of the lawsuit. “The issue of reducing our energy dependence and greenhouse gas emissions is so challenging and so important that we have to follow this judicial pathway.”

In the last year, states have also sued the EPA for dragging its heels in regulating carbon dioxide and for having lax smog standards.

This week, lawmakers called on EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to resign because he has become “a secretive and dangerous ally of polluters.”

National Conservation, Environment and Energy Independence Act introduced in US House: oil drilling, coal-to-liquid, Renewable Energy Reserve Fund planned 4

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 01 Aug 2008 09:58:00 GMT

22 members of the US House of Representatives have introduced the National Conservation, Environment and Energy Independence Act that would lift many restrictions on offshore oil drilling, while providing a projected $2.6 trillion in lease and royalty payments that would generate $390 million for a Renewable Energy Reserve Act. The bill introduced by 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans would open up all protected Outer Continental Shelf lands and end the oil shale leasing moratorium. The bill is in sharp contravention of Democratic leadership but in line with Republican demands.

The leaders of the effort were John Peterson, R-Pa.; Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii; Thelma Drake, R-Va.; Tim Walz, D-Minn.; Jim Costa, D-Calif.; and Dan Burton, R-Ind.

A group of ten senators is working on a similar plan. “There’s going to be substantially more drilling and substantially more conservation,” Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) said of the Senate plan.

The House bill includes:
  • Ending moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, and oil shale lease sales: funds apportioned 30% to general treasury, 30% to states, 8% to conservation, 10% to environmental restoration, 15% to renewable energy, 5% to CCS/nuclear waste, 2% to LIHEAP
  • Repealing the Waxman provision (Section 526)
  • 6-year extension of renewable energy/energy efficiency tax credits
  • Drawdown of light grade petroleum from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with $100 million going into LIHEAP, $60 million for university research, $15 million for wind research, $30 million for solar research, $30 million for hydro research, $40 million for automotive research, $110 million for industrial emissions research, $70 million for building efficiency R&D, $30 million for geothermal R&D, $30 million for smart grid R&D, $385 million for CCS R&D, $65 million for natural gas extraction research, $5 million for a hydrogen prize, $100 million for battery research