Climate Change Blog | McCarter & English

Zika Transmission in New York, and Now in Florida - Some Legal Thoughts

July 19, 2016 22:30
by J. Wylie Donald
In eight years of climate change blogging we think we have uniformly been able to steer clear of the prurient and the provocative, the lewd and the lascivious. But then came word last Friday from New York that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene had confirmed the zika virus – now endemic in Central and South America and the Caribbean and blamed for birth defects including microcephaly -- had been transmitted from a female to her male sexual partner. I checked with my censors. No, I couldn't go there (the CDC does). But not for the reasons you think.

Climate Change Effects | Florida

Climate Change Opinions Don't Help Business; Data Do

July 15, 2016 07:04
by J. Wylie Donald
We try to stay away from politics on the blog, so we were reluctant to take up the Sierra Club’s recent report concluding that if Donald Trump became president he would be unique among world leaders in his refusal to acknowledge climate change. Business Insider went one better back in January when it republished numerous tweets by Mr. Trump captioning climate change as a hoax, bull***, mythical and non-existent.

Climate Change Effects | Florida | Rising Sea Levels | Utilities

A Coal Plant Shutdown and the Undoing of a Wind Energy Bottleneck

July 14, 2016 11:21
by J. Wylie Donald
Everyone knows the transmission bottleneck is the boot on the neck of wind energy. The Plains States have megawatts of wind energy. Getting it to the places with megawatts of demand, like Oregon and Washington, aye, there’s the rub. If only an operating plant would expire and shuffle off its transmission lines to a wind farm.

Renewable Energy | Wind Energy | Utilities

What is President H.R. Clinton’s Energy Policy?

April 7, 2016 23:04
by Tricia Caliguire
Even as the number of 2016 presidential candidates in both parties has dwindled, the media -- particularly television news -- has yet to focus on an in-depth discussion of the candidates’ policy proposals. While it was difficult to discern the energy policies that a President Trump would implement, candidate Hillary Clinton has made quite clear the energy goals that a President H.R. Clinton would set. Including her “Clean Energy Challenge,” issued last summer, and the proposal to increase energy efficiency standards that she announced in February 2016, Clinton has made very specific and far-reaching plans that would continue and expand on the Obama Administration’s policies. The focus of her energy policy is twofold – address climate change and use the clean energy industry to grow the economy and create jobs. It seems safe to say the phrase “all of the above” will not apply to the Clinton administration energy policy.

Carbon Emissions | Climate Change | Green Buildings | Regulation | Renewable Energy | Wind Energy | Solar Energy

What is President Trump’s Energy Policy?

March 2, 2016 03:29
by Tricia Caliguire
We all know where the respective party “establishments” in Washington come down on climate change, clean power, and the pace at which the country should move to renewables as the primary source of energy (if at all). President Obama gave us the Paris Climate Agreement and the Clean Power Plan; the Republic Congress is not happy about either. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court effectively shut down the discussion until judicial review of the Clean Power Plan is complete – est. circa 2017 – so, the industry may now be better served by concentrating on the energy policies of the candidates to be our next president, one of whom will soon be setting policy for the next four years.

Climate Change | Climate Change Litigation | Regulation | Renewable Energy | Wind Energy | Solar Energy | Supreme Court

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ORECs or ERCs: How Will New Jersey Pay for Offshore Wind?

October 6, 2015 22:43
by Tricia Caliguire
On November 9, 2015, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) will hold the fifth auction of leases for space on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Atlantic Ocean, this one offshore New Jersey. BOEM will offer 342,833 acres in two lease blocks, enough space to support at least 3,400 megawatts (“MW”) of commercial wind generation, which – according to BOEM -- could power approximately 1.2 million homes.

Carbon Emissions | Climate Change | Legislation | Regulation | Renewable Energy | Wind Energy

Top 6 at 6 - Climate Change Legal Highlights of the First Six Months of 2015

July 24, 2015 03:50
by J. Wylie Donald
Some might say that the Clean Power Plan is all one needs to talk about in any highlights article on recent climate change legal issues. When final the CPP will expand the scope of the Clean Air Act profoundly, impact the electricity business fundamentally, restrict the coal industry severely and raise electricity rates for consumers by more than just pennies.

Carbon Dioxide | Climate Change Effects | Florida | Legislation | Regulation | Rising Sea Levels | Supreme Court | Utilities | Year in Review

How the Supreme Court Just Delayed the Clean Power Plan

July 1, 2015 21:40
by Tricia Caliguire
The Supreme Court’s decision in Michigan v. EPA holding that the Environmental Protection Agency should have considered costs when making the decision to regulate mercury emissions from power plants (the “MATS Rule”) may have put the brakes on the late-summer release of the final Clean Power Plan (“CPP”), the regulations limiting CO2 emissions from power plants – but not because EPA failed to consider the costs. They did, just not the right ones.

Carbon Emissions | Climate Change | Climate Change Effects | Renewable Energy

"Capacious" Term Dooms MATS Rule - Does It Say Anything About the Clean Power Plan?

June 29, 2015 11:50
by J. Wylie Donald
The Energy Information Agency predicted the retirement of up to 60 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generation by 2020. A significant contributor to that evolution was the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard or MATS Rule. Until today that is, when a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court concluded in Michigan v. EPA that EPA’s failure to consider cost in deciding to regulate power plant emissions was improper.

Carbon Emissions | Legislation | Regulation | Supreme Court | Utilities

Pope Says No to Cap and Trade

June 21, 2015 17:49
by Tricia Caliguire
"Pope Francis Stands Up to Climate Deniers," or so says the editorial board of the Newark Star Ledger. Yes, but the headline could have read, "Pope says No to Cap and Trade." In his ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME, Pope Francis calls for an honest discussion on environmental issues that divide us, both politically and geographically. While the advance press fed expectations that the encyclical would be all about climate change and humankind’s role in causing it, our read is that the Holy See’s perspective on climate change is part of a larger message.

Climate Change | Greenhouse Gases | Regulation

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