Clean Air

Politics

Defending EPA: Sen. Ben Cardin, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, and me at Netroots Nation

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), defender of the EPA.Photo: Edward KimmelThe EPA is under full-scale assault. Republicans are working furiously to defund the agency and block or weaken its upcoming regulations on greenhouse gases, toxic hazardous emissions, sulfur dioxide, coal ash, and mountaintop-removal mining. (For more on those rules, see my series “Power Struggle.”) And they are getting help from midwestern Democrats in both houses. In the face of this coordinated offensive, pushback from the left has been … fitful. Environmental groups are fired up, but enviros don’t have that many friends (or, alternatively, legislators who are scared of them) in …

Why does American Electric Power hate your children?

.bbpBox80268799235993601 {background:url(http://a0.twimg.com/images/themes/theme1/bg.png) #C0DEED;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block} AEP really is coordinating their PR today. WV, OK and IN media all have stories about costs of EPA compliance. http://t.co/Zgvsgkrless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplySean Casten SeanCasten This morning American Electric Power is waging a not-so-secret — and not terribly subtle — campaign to build sentiment against EPA regulations that would force it to shut down or clean up its oldest, filthiest coal-fired power plants. One of the …

Mercury? Arsenic? We’ll deal with those problems later, says EPA

Does this story sound familiar? A court orders the EPA to take action under the Clean Air Act. The EPA comes out with a set of rules. Business interests complain. The EPA relents, delaying and then relaxing rules that have compliance deadlines years down the line. That's about the tack the EPA has taken on carbon regulation. But apparently the agency liked it so much, it’s decided to apply the same approach to other environmental threats. This week, the EPA decided to delay indefinitely rules that would limit the amount of mercury, lead and other toxins that boilers in power …

This Sunday, get Mother Earth a big bouquet of youth activism

Okay, normally it makes me throw up in my mouth a little to say "Mother Earth," but 16-year-old environmental activist Alec Loorz is just too cute, and he's helping to organize worldwide youth marches for the environment on Mother's Day. So the joke is inevitable. Your fault, adorable activist teen! Anyway, if you're looking for something green to do with your mom, there's probably a march in your town, and if there's not, you can start one! (Some of the marches aren't actually this Sunday, because of scheduling conflicts.) Here's the marches' raison d'etre, and if this doesn't make you pump your …

Pollution

No, ozone regulations were not easy

There’s a certain story you hear from the Breakthrough crowd these days. It goes like this: climate change is not like previous environmental problems. When it came to ozone depletion or acid rain, there were economically viable technologies available. That made it easier for policymakers to impose regulatory limits. Alternatives to fossil fuel energy are not yet economically viable, which explains the difficulty American politicians have had regulating climate pollution.. As Matthew Nisbet put it in the introduction of his recent report, “technological alternatives were already available and the economic benefits of action more certain — both conditions that allowed …

Clean Air

Why the Supreme Court should let states sue the country’s biggest carbon polluters

This post was coauthored by Matt Pawa. He and I represent the land conservation trusts in American Electric Power vs. Connecticut. Today, the Supreme Court hears oral argument in American Electric Power vs. Connecticut — a case in which six states and other plaintiffs are trying to put emissions limits on America’s five largest greenhouse-gas polluters. The states are invoking their right, recognized by the Supreme Court more than a century ago, to seek relief in federal court when polluters in other jurisdictions send dangerous air or water pollution across state lines. The suit charges five gigantic electric power companies …