Clean Power Plan

Politico: ELPC Hires Janet McCabe, Obama-era Acting EPA Air Chief

Politico 

McCABE LANDS AT CHICAGO-BASED GREEN GROUP

Janet McCabe, the Obama-era acting EPA air chief who helped mastermind the Clean Power Plan and oversaw various other key regulations, will join the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center as a senior law fellow, she confirmed to ME. In an email to the ELPC staff yesterday, executive director Howard Learner notes McCabe will work part-time from her native Indianapolis starting May 15. Learner added: “These are extraordinary times, and we are adding top-rate talent to keep building ELPC’s ‘top of our game’ team to play both winning offense and defense. The best defense is a good offense. I am excited to be working together with Janet McCabe to play to win in the changed political circumstances.”

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E&E News: ELPC Hires Former US EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe

Obama-era Air Chief Lands at Green Group
By Kevin Bogardus

Janet McCabe, who helped craft President Obama’s Clean Power Plan at U.S. EPA, has landed at a prominent environmental group.

McCabe is joining the Environmental Law & Policy Center as a senior law fellow. She starts at the Midwestern green law and policy group May 15 and will be based in Indianapolis.

In an interview with E&E News, McCabe said she was looking forward to working with ELPC.

People: Comings and Goings
“I’m really excited about this opportunity and want to remain active in these discussions about public health and the environment,” McCabe said.

Howard Learner, executive director of ELPC, said the group was thrilled to bring someone with McCabe’s clout on board, considering the challenging political times for the environmental movement.

“Janet is terrific, and she is one of the nation’s leading clean air attorneys,” Learner said.

“Certainly her knowledge, experience and savvy in developing the Clean Air Act standards during the last administration will give us strong insights into what strategic actions we should take going forward in protecting public health and the environment.”

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WGN Radio’s The Download: ELPC’s Learner Talks to Justin Kaufmann About the Impact of Trump’s Rollbacks of Clean Power Plan & Fuel Efficiency Standards

Why Does President Trump Want to Loosen Fuel Economy Standards?
March 30, 2017
With Justin Kaufmann

Howard Learner, President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, joins Justin to discuss President Trump rolling back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards, President Trump signing an executive order killing of Obama’s Clean Power Plan and what that means for the economy, technology and climate change.

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Greenwire: ELPC’s Howard Learner Says Pruitt Wrong for U.S. EPA

GreenwireTRANSITION: Pruitt Has Mixed Court Record in EPA Showdowns
December 8, 2016
By Jeremy P. Jacobs and Amanda Reilly

As Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead U.S. EPA, built a record of filing politically charged lawsuits against the agency.

Almost all of those lawsuits failed.

Since Pruitt became attorney general in 2011, the Republican has used the office to launch an offensive against EPA as well as other major Obama administration policies, including the Affordable Care Act.

But a review of those lawsuits by E&E News shows Pruitt lost the majority of those cases, some of which were quickly tossed by federal judges.

Pruitt’s most significant win was the Supreme Court’s decision to put President Obama’s landmark greenhouse gas emissions program on hold. But legal experts say his primary argument — that EPA was overstepping constitutional limits and trampling states’ rights — is unlikely to prevail.

Yet Pruitt has drawn a significant following on the right for his tenacity in challenging the Obama administration. And Pruitt’s legal strategy appears in line with Trump’s strong statements on the campaign trail about rolling back Obama administration regulations that he views as threatening the economy.

The president-elect commented along similar lines in announcing Pruitt’s nomination today.

“For too long, [EPA] has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn,” Trump said in a statement. “As my EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, the highly respected Attorney General from the state of Oklahoma, will reverse this trend and restore the EPA’s essential mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe.”

Pruitt’s critics, however, say the Republican is more interested in scoring political points than advancing sound legal theories.

“He clearly files politically motivated lawsuits aimed at protecting polluters,” said Bill Snape, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “And he’s done some odd things legally.”

Howard Learner of the Environmental Law & Policy Center was more direct in assessing Pruitt’s record.

“Look, as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Mr. Pruitt consistently challenged EPA clean air and clean water standards,” Learner said. “And mostly, he did not achieve success.”

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Midwest Energy News: ELPC’s Rob Kelter says New Ohio Energy Bill Could Threaten Jobs

Midwest-Energy-News-Logo

Critics: Jobs Will Be in Jeopardy if Ohio Energy Bill Becomes Law
December 2, 2016
By Kathiann M. Kowalski

On the same day that a new study reported that more than 300 companies in Ohio are part of the supply chains for the wind and solar industries, lawmakers voted a bill out of committee that would make compliance with the state’s clean energy standards voluntary until 2020.

If House Bill 554 becomes law, critics say the state would lose out on business opportunities and jobs. In their view, the bill would also discourage competition, keep electricity prices high and promote pollution that causes health problems and contributes to climate change.

“We’re either going to move in a clean energy direction that produces new jobs related to solar and wind and efficiency,” said Rob Kelter of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, which released the supply chain report on Nov. 30. “Or we’re going to let other states and other countries manufacture these new products.”

‘Behind the Radar’

According to the supply chain report, 207 Ohio companies supply the solar energy industry, 134 manufacture things for the wind energy industry, and 20 serve as suppliers for both industries.

Those companies’ manufacturing operations “are sort of behind the radar,” Kelter noted.

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Public News Service: ELPC’s Rob Kelter says wind and solar play important role in Ohio’s clean-energy future

Public News ServiceReport: Solar and Wind Good Business for Ohio Companies
November 30, 2016
By Mary Kuhlman

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As Ohio lawmakers debate the future of the freeze on the state’s clean-energy standards, a new report highlights how strong clean-energy policies can boost the economic growth of wind and solar energy. According to research released today by the Environmental Law and Policy Center, with more than 300 solar and wind supply-chain businesses, the Buckeye State is primed to become a major renewable-energy hub.

Senior attorney at the center Robert Kelter said the state’s established manufacturing base and trained workforce are a big part of the reason.

“Ohio has a really strong workforce of people in the manufacturing sector, and those people are perfect for the kinds of jobs that are needed to supply the wind and solar industries,” he explained.

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Progress IL: Enviros rally & testify on clean energy justice issues in Chicago

Environmentalists from across the country were in Chicago Wednesday to testify before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP).

CEIP is an optional component of the Clean Power Plan, which seeks to slash carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The voluntary incentive program is meant to jump-start action to curb carbon pollution and help states comply with the Clean Power Plan.

CEIP seeks to reward early investment in energy efficiency and solar projects in low-income communities as well as zero-emitting renewable energy projects — including wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower — in all communities.

Participating states could use the emission allowances or emission rate credits distributed through the program to comply with the Clean Power Plan when it takes effect in 2022. The EPA, which released its updated CEIP plan in June, is proposing that the matching pool of allowances or emission rate credits be split evenly between low-income community projects and renewable energy projects.

Emma Lockridge, a leader with Michigan United and the People’s Action Institute, was among dozens of speakers from across the country who testified this morning in support of making CEIP mandatory and more comprehensive.

Lockridge and many other hearing attendees described themselves as living in frontline, environmental justice communities.

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Crain’s Detroit Business: ELPC’s Learner Discusses Flaws in Economic Study of Mich. Clean Power Plan Options

 

Seeking Answers on Emissions

By Jay Greene

The statewide and national conundrum over clean energy regulations could be partially solved by a tax on carbon producers or a system of tradeable permits for pollution producers, according to a new report.

A report by the Anderson Economic Group LLC in Lansing concludes that using a “cap and trade” or “carbon tax” approach in Michigan to comply with the proposed Clean Power Plan — the Environmental Protection Agency regulations to significantly reduce U.S. power plants’ carbon dioxide — would be costly for Michigan residents, raise business costs and act as a damper on economic development.

But doing nothing and allowing current energy production and efficiency trends to continue over the next decade will not reduce carbon dioxide pollution from power plants enough to comply with carbon reduction targets contained in the EPA’s proposed plan, said Patrick Anderson, the study’s author.
For two years, Michigan legislators have debated how best to replace the state’s 2008 energy law that mandated 10 percent renewable energy generation and set targets for energy efficiency savings. The law helped create 1,500 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power 1.3 million homes, and generate savings to rate payers of $4 billion, state officials have said.

But it appears Republicans, who hold a solid majority in the state Legislature, can’t agree on issues like customer choice, net metering, a strong integrated resource planning process (which, among other things, uses predictive modeling to estimate future energy costs) and how best to encourage utilities to replace coal with renewable energy or natural gas.

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Press Release: SENATE LEADERSHIP SHOULD HOLD FAIR HEARING OF SUPREME COURT NOMINEE AS REQUIRED BY CONSTITUTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2016

Contact:
David Jakubiak

Senate Leadership Should Hold Fair Hearing of Supreme Court Nominee as Required by Constitution
Not Doing So is “Disrespectful of Americans’ Rights to Breathe Clean Air, Drink Safe Water, and Live in Communities Without Toxic Threats to Their Children’s Health”

Statement by Howard Learner, Executive Director, Environmental Law & Policy Center

“We are pleased that President Obama is exercising his constitutional responsibility to nominate a highly-qualified Justice for the United States Supreme Court.  The Senate leadership is putting politics ahead of their constitutional duty to hold a fair hearing and fully consider the President’s Supreme Court nominee, which is disrespectful of Americans’ rights to breathe clean air, drink safe water, and live in communities without toxic threats to their children’s health,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “The Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 stay vote, blocking the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan standards, should remind everyone what’s at stake.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, by an unusual 5-4 order, halted implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan in February.  The Clean Power Plan will both help to drive clean energy development and reduce greenhouse gas pollution that harms public health and our environment.  The Clean Power Plan is based on the Clean Air Act requirement, recognized by the Supreme Court in the Massachusetts v. EPA decision, that the U.S. EPA regulate to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, which endangers public health.

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WGN Radio: ELPC’s Learner Explores What Scalia’s Death Means for the Clean Power Plan

Howard Learner joins Justin Kaufmann to discuss President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and what the future holds for the plan after the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Listen to their conversation online at WGN Radio.

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