Is Your Environmental Position Moral Or Not?

By Lawrence F. Jacobs |   Mar. 20, 2015

Robb Willer, a New York Times columnist, recently posed the question “why do liberals moralize environmental issues, while conservatives do not?” His February 27, 2015 column, Is the Environment a Moral Cause?, focused on this apparent contradiction: while increasing numbers of Republicans identify global warming as a serious problem, conservatives remain less likely to be morally engaged in the subject, and, therefore, less likely to support action to address it. Willer suggests the contradiction may be explained by conservatives’ reaction to the “moral rhetoric” typically surrounding environmental issues rather than a rejection of the underlying concern of global warming. Apparently, liberals and conservatives respond to different moral cues - he says that liberals respond to “protection from harm” while conservatives respond to “patriotism,” “sanctity.” and “authority”.

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Topics : Climate Change, Environment | 0 Comments Read More

EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

By Jeffrey W. Cappola |   Aug. 11, 2014

The United States Supreme Court ruled in June that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must reduce its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. The EPA tried to increase two of its permit programs to include emissions of carbon dioxide from stationary sources, which the Court ruled as a violation of the Clean Air Act. The EPA “can continue to treat greenhouse gas emissions as a pollutant for so-called ‘anyway’ sources that already require a permit under the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) program for conventional pollutants like particulate matter, but cannot do the same from defining a ‘major emitting facility’ for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) or a ‘major source’ for Title V.” Many groups that challenged the EPA’s interpretation of the rule claimed that they were trying to fit greenhouse gas regulations around the very different PSD program; the Court ruled that the EPA has no authority to “tailor” the language of the Clean Air Act to fit their policy goal. Although the EPA had some of its authority struck down, the agency was happy with the decision because it can still “require carbon pollution limits for the nation’s largest sources.”

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Topics : Litigation, Regulation, Climate Change | 0 Comments Read More

EPA Looks to Reduce Methane Emissions from Landfills

By Jeffrey W. Cappola |   Aug. 4, 2014

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the EPA is proposing to require certain landfills to capture extra landfill gas in order to decrease methane emissions. Methane is a strong greenhouse gas, its global warming potential is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Landfills are the third largest anthropogenic source of methane in the United States, and methane emissions account for 9% of all emitted greenhouse gases. The new proposal would require landfills to increase their capture of methane and air toxics emissions by 13% by 2023, which would mean capturing two-thirds of emissions. The estimated compliance cost of this proposal is $471,000 in 2023.

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Topics : Regulation, Climate Change | 0 Comments Read More

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