Tag: Clean Power Plan

Trump Would End Clean Power Plan, Waters of the US Rule

Trump Would End Clean Power Plan, Waters of the US Rule

Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump recently said he would scrap some controversial EPA plans and rules and allow more drilling for oil and gas on federal lands. Steel companies applauded the Senate’s passage of a new water reclamation bill.

Trump Would Scrap Clean Power Plan

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released details Thursday of his proposed energy policy, which includes scrapping the Environmental Protection Agency‘s controversial Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rule.

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He also promised to open more federal lands and waters to oil and gas development.

Steel Companies Praise Water Bill

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) recently applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage, by a vote of 95-3, of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which will authorize more than $10 million worth of projects to improve navigation, replace and restore aging locks and dams, and provide aid to Flint, Mich. and other communities in need of replacing pipes, sewers and other drinking water infrastructure.

Does 5th Circuit Haze Ruling Doom EPA Clean Power Plan?

The Environmental Protection Agency‘s Clean Power Plan took another hit this week and ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company, beat expectations with its Q2 filing.

Fifth Circuit Blocks Clean Power Plan ‘Haze Rule’

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent block of the Environmental Protection Agency‘s regional haze plan for Texas and Oklahoma supports arguments that the agency overstepped its legal authority in crafting the overall Clean Power Plan, states challenging the rule told the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday.

We have extensively covered the clean power plan and its implications for U.S. manufacturers.

ArcelorMittal Beats Q2 Forecasts

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer of steel, on Friday reported a better-than-expected core profit for the second quarter but kept its outlook for the full year unchanged. Core profit almost doubled in the second quarter compared to the same period last year to $1.77 billion, well above the $1.574 billion expected in Reuters poll of eight analysts.

States Ask SCOTUS to Stay Clean Power Plan and Precedent Favors It

States Ask SCOTUS to Stay Clean Power Plan and Precedent Favors It

29 States that are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency‘s Clean Power Plan on Tuesday urged the US Supreme Court to block the controversial regulations slashing carbon emissions from existing power plants while they’re being litigated, after the Washington, D.C. Circuit refused to issue a stay last week.

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The D.C. Circuit said Thursday that states and industry groups challenging the Clean Power Plan hadn’t satisfied the strict requirements for granting a stay.

In its Supreme Court application for a stay, West Virginia and 28 other states and state agencies argued that a majority of justices would likely agree that the US Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t have the Clean Air Act authority to craft the rule.

The MATS Precedent

The states might have a strong case for the stay simply because the High Court — at least a 5-4 majority of the justices — sided with them in an earlier case, last year, that pitted the EPA against a similar group of states involving its toxic emissions rule, which tried to limit mercury and air toxics, aka MATS.

That ruling set a major precedent for federal agencies, that they had to consider compliance costs before laying down rules and regulations. This would seem to favor the states filing suit to stop the CPP, as its compliance costs are not calculated, in any way, into the “plan.”

States are, rather, given up to three years to come up with their own plans to implement the CPP, although they may elect to have the EPA do that work for them.

The Effect of a Stay

Of course, the Supreme Court still might not stay the rule while the case is heard and simply wait for the D.C. circuit — which did move the case up on its docket to June — to rule and then hear an appeal to its decision, no matter which side wins. That would mean states would need to comply for a process that could take at least a year to shake out in the legal system.

Remembering that the EPA would only need to sway one justice to its way of thinking, then, perhaps the compliance process playing out over a year could favor the federal government. But, considering that Justice Scalia wrote the opinion in the MATS case, the precedent seems to be staunchly against them.

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“It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits. Statutory context supports this reading,” Scalia wrote in the MATS decision.

Industry Groups Vow Court Fight Over More Stringent EPA Clean Power Plan

Industry Groups Vow Court Fight Over More Stringent EPA Clean Power Plan

A US mining industry association said today it was considering legal action in response to tighter greenhouse gas rules unveiled by the Obama administration.

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The final version of the EPA Clean Power Plan, envisioned last year, sets a goal of cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, by 32% of their 2005 baseline by 2030, 9% more than in the original proposal.

The Clean Power Plan would require states to meet specific emission reductions based on state-by-state energy consumption criteria. National Mining Association President and Chief Executive Officer Hal Quinn said the onus rests with state governors, who can choose between accepting a “flawed plan” or rejecting the EPA’s mandate.

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“NMA filed a request today with EPA to stay the rule while the courts have the opportunity to determine the lawfulness of the agency’s attempt to commandeer the nation’s electric grid,” he said in a statement. “If EPA denies our request we will ask the courts to do so.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute also warned that the regulations would put US steel producers at a competitive disadvantage.

“This rule puts the affordability and reliability of electricity for steel producers at serious risk,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “The leading steel producing states in the US are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production. This rule will have a disproportionate impact on coal-fired utilities and, in turn, impede economic growth for steelmakers.”

Gibson added that the steel industry competes with steel producers in countries where energy costs are often subsidized. He said, therefore, “Limitations on CO2 emissions instituted in the US must also apply at the same level of stringency to other major steel producing nations, such as China. Otherwise, steel production and manufacturing jobs will shift to other nations with higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Metals Service Center Institute also released a statement saying the rule would create larger energy costs for consumers.

“While we appreciate the EPA’s efforts to give industry and US states more time to comply with this rule, the agency also significantly altered the emissions reduction targets and other major parts of the proposed rule it offered last year,” the MSCI statement read. “Studies showed that the earlier proposal would have increased consumer energy costs and made US businesses less competitive on the global stage. It’s likely this final regulation will have an even greater negative impact on families and job creators and, for this reason, MSCI will fully support efforts to challenge this rule in the US courts.”

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