NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the executive branch and Congress to establish a national energy policy that encourages access to and removal of impediments to all available domestic sources of energy; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments encourages the U.S. EPA to recognize the sovereign power of state regulators to avoid costly litigation; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments recommends state policymakers work closely with their environmental commissioners, informed by electricity providers and other stakeholders, this resolution and the states’ previous recommendations, to develop comments and where appropriate comments with other states addressing the legal, economic, employment, timing, achievability, affordability, implementation scheduling and reliability issues in the proposed regulations for their state and file them by U.S. EPA’s comment deadline and to stay engaged with U.S. EPA and other relevant federal agencies after the comment period ends and the regulation is finalized to eliminate or minimize the risks and consequences from U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments encourages states to inform their congressional delegations on their evaluations and comments and encourage these representatives to help resolve issues by reducing or eliminating negative consequences from U.S. EPA’s proposed regulation;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as co-regulators of water resources, states should be fully consulted and engaged in any process that may affect the management of their waters;

and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to defer adopting any redefinition of the waters of the U.S. rule until: the Science Advisory Board concludes its review and the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers incorporates the conclusions of the Science Advisory Board review; and an economic analysis is completed that addresses the full economic impact of the rule and uses properly updated data.

What happens in the Arctic doesn’t necessarily stay in the Arctic.

That was the theme Saturday at the CSG West WESTRENDS Board meeting, where legislators, academics and private sector representatives came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the region as it experiences significant change, as well as the implications for other states and neighboring countries.

“Alaska makes this country an Arctic nation. All states should have an interest in the Arctic, because it will benefit all states,” said Alaska Rep. Bob Herron.

Climate change is a global problem in need of global solutions, said Cal Dallas, minister of international and intergovernmental relations for the government of Alberta.

“There’s not a person in this room who needs to be convinced that we must continue to develop better policies to balance economic growth with protection of the environment,” Dallas said Sunday at the CSG West Canada Relations Committee. “We are all citizens of the world. We have an obligation to move toward a lower carbon future.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming told attendees of at the CSG West Energy and Public Lands Committee there’s a movement on public lands.

“There are a lot of things that are happening on private land that are not happening on federal land,” he said, noting, in particular, energy development projects underway in places like North Dakota.

Karen Billups, the minority staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy, agreed.

“The oil and gas boom has been a private sector and state phenomenon,” she said. “The federal government seems to be dragging its feet.”

With the new proposed rules by the United States Environmental Protection Agency related to section 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act, many states have questions about what the rule means for their state. The session will address the questions state leaders need to ask to have a better understanding of how the rule affects their state’s businesses, citizens and energy future.

State leaders received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, released June 2, with mixed reactions. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback considers the new regulations on existing coal-fired power plants to be “more of the Obama administration’s war against middle America.” Kansas, like many...

Even though it has been a few weeks since the opinion was handed down, unless you happen to read Land Use Prof Blog you probably have no idea that the birth control mandate case is likely to affect land use regulation. 

As usual, on the last day of the Supreme Court’s term it released its opinion in the biggest case of the term:  Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.  The Court held 5-4 that the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), as applied to closely held corporations.  

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief, which Justice Ginsburg quoted in her dissenting opinion, because of the possible effect on land use. 

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A proposal to store nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron is drawing increased scrutiny and opposition, with Michigan lawmakers again weighing in with a new round of legislation and resolutions.
If its project is approved by Canadian regulators, Ontario Power Generation would build a 2,230-foot-deep geologic repository that would hold low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.

Law and not policy is supposed to be the basis upon which courts decide cases.  Yet the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding permitting stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases is full of as much policy as law.  The Court’s bottom line is this:  The burdens on the states of giving EPA everything it wants are simply too much.

The Clean Air Act regulates pollution-generating emissions from stationary source (factories, power plants, etc.) and moving sources (cars, trucks, planes, etc.).  In 2007 in Massachusetts v. EPA the Court held EPA could regulate greenhouse gases emissions from new motor vehicles.  As a result of that case, EPA concluded it was required or permitted to apply permitting requirements to all stationary sources that emitted greenhouse gases in excess of statutory thresholds. 

In Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA the Court held 5-4 that EPA cannot require stationary sources to obtain Clean Air Act permits only because they emit greenhouse gases.  But, the Court concluded 7-2, EPA may require “anyway” stationary sources, which have to obtain permits based on their emissions of other pollutants, to comply with “best available control technology” BACT emission standards for greenhouse gases. 

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