Posted by: Steven M. Taber | August 15, 2013

Environmental Law and Climate Change Law stories that we are following for Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top Environmental Law and Climate Change Law stories that we are following for today, Thursday, August 15, 2013:

Expect Obama to Make Moves on Climate Change

After what environmentalists have called a lackluster first term on the environment, there growing indications that the Obama Administration is poised to focus on climate and sustainable energy in his second term. EPA will be tasked with reducing carbon emissions. DOE will be in charge of efficiency standards for buildings and commercial products. And at Interior, they are expanding offshore wind energy program. This change has not gone unnoticed by opponents to these programs, particularly elected officials from coal-producing states.

2nd Circuit Will Not Let the State of Vermont Close Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued its decision that blocked the State of Vermont’s attempts to shut down Entergy Corp.’s Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The opinion stated that state laws giving legislators authority over the renewal of the plant’s operations permit were pre-empted by federal Atomic Energy Act.

D.C. District Court Denies EPA’s Summary Judgment in FOIA Case

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the EPA’s Motion for Summary Judgment in its FOIA battle with Landmark Legal Foundation.  Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative public interest law firm has been seeking documents from EPA under FOIA in Landmark’s attempt to show that the Obama Administration attempted to delay “controversial” environmental regulations until after the 2012 Presidential Elections.  EPA has consistently denied the allegation.  At issue here, however, was whether EPA produced all of the relevant documents pursuant to Landmark’s FOIA request.  The Court found that there was sufficient evidence to show that the EPA had conducted an inadequate search for relevant documents and thus, there were material issues of fact precluding summary judgment.  In addition, the Court ruled that Landmark shall have limited discovery regarding whether the EPA Administrator, Deputy Administrator and/or Chief of Staff utilized personal email accounts to conduct official business and whether EPA initially excluded those same officials from Landmark’s FOIA requests.

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