New Jersey Signs On to Suit Challenging Legality of EPA Clean Power Plan

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Indiana Will Fight Obama Clean Power Plan.

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Wheeling Jesuit University’s Appalachian Institute will hold a panel discussion on the U.S. Back in 2007, New Jersey joined what proved to be the winning side of a lawsuit that forced the federal Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change.CHEYENNE — State lawmakers voted down a bill that would have required legislative approval or a final court decision before Wyoming could implement new federal environmental regulations. This past Friday, however, the Christie administration joined 23 other states challenging the EPA’s Clean Power Plan right to do so, saying it is an unlawful extension of the federal agency’s authority. Drawing less public attention, but equally important, a court demanded a schedule for long overdue airport screening regulations, a new advisory committee will consider comments on how to register drones, and an agency pushed for more private consideration of a preferred social conscience.

New Jersey has opposed the proposal ever since the EPA released its draft in 2014, calling the plan fundamentally flawed and claiming that it places an unfair burden on states that have already significantly reduced carbon emissions. The rule aims to reduce CO2 emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 to stop what the Obama administration sees as dangerous, human-caused global warming.

President Barack Obama’s signature climate-change initiative seeks to reduce carbon emissions nationwide by 32 percent by 2030 as compared with 2005 levels. The CPP sets emission guidelines for States to follow in developing Clean Air Act (CAA) plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs).

Between 2001 and 2012, New Jersey cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by one-third. “This plan also will burden New Jersey residents with higher electricity costs, and it infringes on the state’s own authority to oversee its energy future,’’ said Gov. The plan sets a goal of cutting the state’s total emissions by 37 to 44 percent — depending on what measurements are used — compared with its 2012 baseline.

Indiana agriculture depends on reliable and low cost energy, and Pence says that is what our state has been able to provide using coal, “We have historically produced more than 80 percent of our electricity from coal, and Hoosiers know that coal means jobs and low-cost energy.” He added the filing of today’s lawsuit is another step in fighting back against the Obama Administration’s war on coal. The proposal, which is called the State Power Accountability and Reliability Charter, was model legislation backed by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. In addition, EPA published its final Standards of Performance: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources – Electric Utility Generating Units rule. In a declaration accompanying the lawsuit, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said the new emission limits established by the federal plan will place existing fossil-fuel plants in the state at a disadvantage. Circuit on the first day that the court had jurisdiction: Petitioners need not flesh out the issues presented until filing a court ordered docketing statement and initial brief.

In another declaration filed by state Board of Public Utilities, President Richard Mroz said the plan fails to credit the investments made by New Jersey ratepayers in renewable energy and energy efficiency from 2001 through 2012. The various conclusory PFRs and memoranda in support of motions to stay the rule suggest that petitioners will argue that the rule: violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by imposing requirements in the final rule that are not a logical outgrowth of the proposed rule; and / or Petitioners asked the court to stay the rule pending disposition of the litigation and while the stay / preliminary injunction bar is high, this consolidated case need only present one petitioner that meets the standard. But he said this could prevent the flexibility that could be found in a state implementation plan. “All we would be doing is saying that we are going to dig our heels in for as long as we possibly can, which to me sounds like waiting for them to force a (federal implementation plan) on us, ” he said. “So what are we hoping for through this piece of legislation?” Although the committee agreed to reject the bill, several members mentioned the possibility of studying the issue further after next year’s legislative session. The litigation is not entirely one-sided because a number of States and organizations have indicated that they will seek to intervene as respondents – supporting EPA. Christie is filing the suit because of his national ambitions and he is aligning New Jersey with the Koch brothers and Texas by trying to overturn these rules instead of trying to protect our state from climate change and air pollution,’’ he said.

The detail will now take months of administrative record review and briefing, and a decision is not likely for a year – and probably not during this Administration. The complexity of this litigation suggests the appropriateness of a stay pending final disposition – even more than the stayed Waters of the United States rule. And Ozone, too: EPA published in today’s Federal Register its expected Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone, which becomes effective in 60 days. DHS, that TSA failed to justify its declination of a petition to initiate notice and comment rulemaking under the APA before using AIT scanners for primary screening and the use of AIT “substantively affects the public to a degree sufficient to implicate the policy interests animating notice-and-comment rulemaking,” i.e.

The court declined to vacate the extant “rule” because doing so “would severely disrupt an essential security operation.” Almost two years later, TSA proposed a rule in March 2013. After waiting another two years, the Competitive Enterprise Institute sought mandamus to compel the agency to act in conformity with the court’s mandate.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) noted in responding that the complained-of AIT system has already been superseded by the Automated Target Recognition (ATR) screening system that it does not produce the complained of image of the traveler’s body, but that transition was begun before the proposed rule. Hard this may be, but four years is an Administration-worth of time to complete a “priority” regulation that should have been adopted six years ago. The FAA requested public comments by November 6, 2015, but also noted that it would keep the docket open after that date and consider all comments received in developing the registration process, presumably until November 20, when the task force reports and expires.

The interpretive rule reinterprets the application of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) pension plan fiduciary rules to investments selected because of their perceived collateral economic or social benefits. These investments have been variously referred to as socially responsible investing; sustainable and responsible investing; environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing; impact investing; and economically targeted investing (ETI).

In 1994 (Clinton) DOL took the view in its first interpretive bulletin that ERISA does not prevent plan fiduciaries from investing plan assets in ETIs if the ETI has an expected rate of return that is commensurate with other investments with similar risk and other characteristics. In 2008 (Bush), DOL advised that fiduciaries may never subordinate the economic interests of the plan participants and beneficiaries to unrelated objectives. Some fiduciaries believe the 2008 guidance sets a higher but unclear standard of compliance for fiduciaries when they are considering ESG factors or ETI investments. The new interpretation tries to make clear that DOL believes that the fiduciary standards applicable to ETIs are no different from the standards applicable to plan investments generally, and DOL expects plan fiduciaries to apply the same standards. This reinterpretation comes a month after the close of the public comment period on DOL’s contentious proposed Definition of the Term “Fiduciary”; Conflict of Interest Rule – Retirement Investment Advice.

That rule if promulgated in final form would heighten the standard that investment advisors must apply in recommending plan investments. ► This “all other things being equal” interpretation might be better suited for inclusion in the substantive rule, except that DOL is taking advantage of the Mortgage Bankers Association v. Here, DOL is attempting to encourage pension plans to conform to this Administration’s perception of a proper (i.e. politically correct) social conscience.

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