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Where the Law and the Environment Connect. Tox of the Town is a blog written by attorneys in Greenberg Glusker’s Environmental Law Group. With years of legal, technical, and business know-how experience, we look forward to providing our readers with timely updates on environmental issues. Subscribe to our blog today to receive updates on changing environmental laws, regulatory and compliance issues, ongoing litigation, and more.

EPA Refuses to Reconsider its Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Findings

As we previously reported, in December of last year, EPA determined that climate change caused by emissions from greenhouse gases endangered the public welfare and the environment. These so-called “endangerment findings,” while not directly imposing requirements on industry or other entities, paved the way for future EPA action to address climate change...

Bay Area Air Quality District Takes The Plunge

After much thrashing about and hesitancy to act by air quality regulators throughout California and the nation, on June 2, 2010, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), which has jurisdiction over the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay area, became the first air quality regulator to adopt guidelines for...

Senate to Defer on Cap and Trade

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the scaled-down energy bill he intends to introduce before the August recess will not include either a cap and trade provision or a renewable energy portfolio requirement. Acknowledging that he could not command 60 votes for even a utility-only cap and trade program, Reid will...

Greenberg Glusker Named A 2010 Climate Action Leader By Climate Action Reserve

One of a Few Law Firms Earning Distinction For the third year in a row, the Climate Action Reserve, and its affiliated California Climate Action Registry, has awarded Greenberg Glusker the recognition of “Climate Action Leader.” The leadership status, the standard used in the state’s public reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG...

Prospects for Utility-Only Cap and Trade Bill Remain Unclear

Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to introduce energy legislation by the end of July, it is uncertain if, and to what extent, the bill will include a cap and trade provision. Reid continues to state that he will bring a four-part energy and climate package to the Senate...

Tea Leaf Reading From Murkowski Resolution Vote?

Acting pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a “resolution of disapproval” seeking to veto EPA’s endangerment finding regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The endangerment finding is the foundation for EPA’s vehicle emission standards and the newly adopted regulations covering GHG emissions from stationary sources. While failing by 47 – 53 on...

Timing and Incentives Differentiate Senate and House Climate Bills

Although Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman’s (I-CT) recently released American Power Act and the American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed by the House in June 2009, call for identical reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below those levels by 2050, they differ in...

The Race to Regulate Greenhouse Gases

It has been an interesting week for the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions with the unveiling of Senator Kerry and Lieberman’s energy and climate change legislation and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plans to regulate greenhouse gases. However, Congress’s emergence in the regulation of greenhouse gases may preempt the...

Reid – Graham Standoff Continues on Senate Climate Change Legislation

The Kerry-Lieberman-Graham Senate climate change bill that was scheduled for a public unveiling on April 26, 2010 remains under wraps. Days before its scheduled introduction, Sen. Graham (R-SC) withdrew his support for the legislation he had been working on with Senators Kerry (D – MA) and Lieberman (I &ndash...

EPA Proposes to Require Petroleum and Natural Gas Facilities To Report GHG Emissions

On March 22, 2010, EPA signed a proposed rulemaking that would require petroleum and natural gas facilities emitting 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or more to report GHG emissions including methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. The proposed rule amends the GHG Mandatory Reporting Rule that was...

PG&E to Miss Renewable Power Goals

Although not wholly unexpected, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will not meet the renewable power mandates required under California Law this year, according to a March 1 article by the San Francisco Business Times. While PG&E will come close, it expects only 17 to 19 percent of its electricity...

LA Mayor Promotes Carbon Surcharge for Utility Customers

On February 28, the Los Angeles Times reported that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has recommended a “carbon surcharge” to help the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power seek new renewable energy sources. The proposed fee, which could amount to $2.50 per consumer, would help the utility pursue new solar...