Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?

Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/cc-insure.pdf Federal and private insurers are well aware that if the scientific consensus is correct that climate change will cause more frequent extreme weather events, they may be making substantially increased payments in the future. Commentary on the link between climate change and insurance has become voluminous. One … Continue reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: Selected Legal Issues

Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43152.pdf …At the state level, hydraulic fracturing tort litigation has raised questions about causation; whether hydraulic fracturing is an abnormally dangerous activity; and whether hydraulic fracturing may constitute a subsurface trespass to land. Also, several municipalities have attempted to ban hydraulic fracturing through zoning restrictions and other local laws, creating … Continue reading

Enhanced EPA Oversight Needed to Address Risks From Declining Clean Air Act Title V Revenues

U.S. EPA, Office of Inspector General http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2014/20141020-15-P-0006.pdf [From a Greenwire article by Amanda Peterka, sub. req'd] The revenues brought in from Clean Air Act permit fees have not been sufficient to cover regulatory agencies’ expenses in processing those permits, according to a new report by U.S. EPA’s Office of Inspector General. The study found that … Continue reading

Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA’s 2015 Revision

Congressional Research Service http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43092.pdf [Energy Guardian]  The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has quietly given some advice to lawmakers: Don’t believe the most dire warnings about the costs of the Obama administration’s upcoming rule on allowable levels of smog-producing ozone. In an Oct. 3 report on the status of the planned ozone proposal by the Environmental … Continue reading

Final Ozone Rule from EPA

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import and Export,  2015-2019 (40 CFR Part 82 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0263; FRL-9917-98-OAR] RIN 2060-AR04) http://1.usa.gov/1uuKN6f http://www.epa.gov/glo/fs20070802.html (fact sheet) The EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, signed the following final rule on 10/16/14, and EPA is submitting it for publication in the Federal Register. While we have … Continue reading

EPA Study: Negligible Benefits to Soybean Production from Pesticide Linked to Bee Deaths

Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production http://www2.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/benefits-neonicotinoid-seed-treatments-soybean-production [Salon] The EPA has yet to do much about neonicotinoids, the class of pesticides implicated in the United States’ mass bee die-offs, but it has started looking into them. And the results of an extensive review into one such pesticide, commonly applied to soybean seeds, presents … Continue reading

Integrated Life-cycle Assessment of Electricity-supply Scenarios Confirms Global Environmental Benefit of Low-carbon Technologies

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Published online before print October 6, 2014; doi:10.1073/pnas.1312753111) / by Edgar G. Hertwich, et al. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/10/02/1312753111.abstract [GreenBiz.com] For years, some critics of renewable energy have contended that it’s really no better than fossil fuels when you consider the entire life cycle that goes into making their components. They … Continue reading

Climate Change: USDA’s Ongoing Efforts Can Be Enhanced with Better Metrics and More Relevant Information for Farmers

US Government Accountability Office http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-755 Why GAO Did This Study In 2012, the United States produced about $395 billion in agricultural commodities, with about half of this revenue from crop sales and half from livestock. According to the Third National Climate Assessment, climate change has the potential to negatively affect agricultural productivity in the United … Continue reading

NRDC’s Second Annual Energy Report 2014: Positive Energy Trends Bode Well for U.S. Security and the Economy

NRDC http://www.nrdc.org/energy/energy-environment-report/default.asp [From Press Release] The United States is reducing oil dependence, slowing the growth of electricity needs, and making energy services more affordable to all Americans. Oil and energy consumption remain well below levels seen a decade ago, renewable energy is surging, and growth in U.S. electricity sales continues to decline. NRDC’s 2014 review … Continue reading

Potential Impacts of the EPA Clean Power Plan

NERA Economic Consulting for: the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity; National Mining Association; American Farm Bureau Federation; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; Association of American Railroads; Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, and the Consumer Energy Alliance / by David Harrison, et al. http://bit.ly/Zwrpgt [The Hill] A study commissioned by the coal industry and other business … Continue reading