July 9, 2018

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 addressed in this month's call:

  • Dismissal of suit by Oakland and San Francisco against oil companies.
  • Thoughts on impact of Justice Kennedy's retirement on climate change cases.
  • DC Circuit decision not requiring programmatic EIS for coal leasing program.
  • Second Circuit decision on penalties for violations of CAFE standards.
  • New Mexico district decision requiring NEPA analysis of GHG impacts of coal leasing in Santa Fe National Forest.
  • The NY DEC just issued its regulations (in the works for several  years) requiring consideration of climate change in EISs under SEQRA.
  • RI joined the ranks of cities suing over climate impacts.
  • Hawaii enacted a package of legislation in June establishing a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, creating a framework for a carbon offset program, and requiring consideration of sea-level rise in environmental review processes. Hawaii is now the first state to create a carbon neutrality goal by law. HB 2182 establishes the neutrality goal and creates a new Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force. HB 1986 directs the Office of Planning to work with the new GHG Sequestration Task Force to investigate and establish the carbon offset program. HB 2106 requires the Environmental Council to adopt rules requiring the consideration of sea-level rise, using best available science, in environmental assessments and environmental impact statements.
  • Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced June 19 that he has directed the state to adopt the California low emissions vehicle program, joining 12 other states in adopting this component of the California clean cars program. 
  • Nine states released an update Zero Emission Vehicle action plan on June 20; a bipartisan action plan for boosting deployment of zero-emission vehicles that builds on a previous plan released in 2014.  The nine states represent approximately one-third of the United States car market.
  • Voters in the Bay Area and statewide in California approved bridge toll increases and bond measures to help adapt infrastructure to sea-level rise and flooding, and to implement other climate change preparedness efforts.
  • Boston Planning and Development Agency approved a Smart Utilities Policy, requiring new large developments to meet certain requirements that will help prepare utility infrastructure for climate change impacts like flooding and heat waves.
  • A group of 15 states launched two carbon capture initiatives on June 19, led by Govs. Matt Mead (R-Wyo.) and Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), to encourage state and federal policy to expand carbon capture deployment.
  • Implications of Pruitt resignation.
  • EPA ANPR on costs and benefits.
  • New EDF methane study.
  • ANPR on NEPA regulations.
  • Prospects for ratification of Kigali HFC treaty.
  • CPP replacement rule.
  • The ever-growing House Climate Solutions Caucus (42 Republican members and counting).
  • DOE appropriations.

Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Climate Center, Georgetown University
Michael B. Gerrard, Professor, Columbia Law School; Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Manik Roy, Senior Fellow, DEPLOY/US [formerly, ClimateWorks Foundation]
Robert Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates

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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.