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Monthly Climate Change Briefing: September 2020


September 14, 2020



Staying on top of the legal and policy developments in the climate change arena is no small task. As a special service to our members, the Environmental Law Institute provides a series of monthly conference calls with national experts on climate law and policy to keep you up to date and to answer your questions.


Topics to be addressed in this month's call:

  • Final EPA rules on oil and gas methane emissions

  • Final WH guidance on NEPA

  • Senate Democratic report on climate change

  • (8/19/2020) Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signs two EOs directed at addressing climate change: one establishes the state’s first ever Climate Initiatives Task Force to work on GHG reductions, while the other establishes the state’s first Chief Resilience Officer, who will focus on coastal resiliency in coordination with the state's Coastal Master Plan.

  • (7/10/2020) Virginia has officially joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), becoming the first Southern state to participate in the carbon cap-and-trade pact among Northeastern states.

  • (7/14/2020) Fifteen states and the District of Columbia signed an agreement to transition to 100% zero-emission trucks and buses by 2050.

  • (7/17/2020) New York regulators approved a more than $700 million incentive program for building electric vehicle chargers statewide.

  • (7/23/2020) Florida is moving ahead with plans to dramatically expand its network of electric vehicle charging stations along major interstates and highways.

  • (8/5/2020) Massachusetts is expected to pass clean energy and climate legislation in the coming months that would require the state to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, dividing conservative groups and environmentalists in atypical ways. (NOTE: this has not been passed yet, but both chambers have passed bills backing the net-zero goal, and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has declared that his administration is planning to meet it.)

  • (8/17/2020) California finalized deals with five automakers to slash emissions from passenger cars, regardless of President Trump's rollback of clean car standards.

  • (8/24/2020) Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker laid out an ambitious energy proposal aimed at tackling climate change while also improving utility affordability and accountability. One of the goals is 100% renewables by 2050.

  • (8/27/2020) California's latest cap-and-trade auction rebounded from its spring crash but failed to sell out, raising $474 million in its last auction.

  • Second Circuit decision reinstating penalty increases for fuel economy violations
  • Multiple developments in the common law litigation against oil companies
  • New lawsuits against oil companies by State of Delaware; Charleston, SC; and Hoboken, NJ
  • Montana Supreme Court decision that state Public Service Commission improperly excluded avoided carbon costs from contract rates for small solar facilities

Vicki Arroyo, Professor from Practice and Executive Director, Climate Center, Georgetown University
Michael B. Gerrard, Professor, Columbia Law School; Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Robert Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates

ELI members logged on to the Members site will have access to a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

ELI Monthly Climate Briefings are made possible by the
generous support of our institutional members.

NOTE: This call/recording is for ELI members only. No comments may be quoted
or used without the express written permission of ELI and the panelist.