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Carrie Jenks

  • Utilities urge Supreme Court to dismiss challenge to EPA’s fleetwide carbon emissions approach

    March 2, 2022

    The debate at the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA could affect the Biden administration's options for meeting its goal of setting the United States on a path to having emissions-free electricity by 2035 and being carbon-free across the economy by mid-century. "It is clear that Congress and the [Supreme] Court think that EPA should be regulating greenhouse gases from the power sector," [Carrie] Jenks said. "The question is how, and we don't know the how, because we don't have a rule from EPA. So that's what's unique about this case, and which is making everyone focused on it, because the court obviously took the case and wants to say something about it."

  • In EPA Supreme Court case, the agency’s power to combat climate change hangs in the balance

    February 28, 2022

    President Biden’s ambitious plans to combat climate change, blocked by an uncooperative Congress, face an equally tough test next week at the Supreme Court. With the court’s conservative justices increasingly suspicious that agencies are overstepping their powers, the case’s outcome could not only reshape U.S. environmental policy but also call into question the authority of regulators to tackle the nation’s most pressing problems. ... Biden’s team has yet to issue its own plan for the power sector. For that reason, environmentalists took it as an “earthquake” when the Supreme Court accepted the case last fall, said Harvard Law School professor Richard Lazarus. It appeared to signal a move on the part of the court’s conservatives to delineate — and probably trim — the EPA’s powers before there were even regulations to review. ... The policy that sparked this battle — the Clean Power Plan — is now moot, since the market has done what regulators could not. “The targets were achieved way in advance, more than a decade before they would have been required,” said Carrie Jenks, executive director of Harvard’s Environmental & Energy Law Program.

  • Biden begins crackdown on power plant pollution

    February 1, 2022

    Biden administration officials are kicking off a crackdown on power plant pollution, aiming to shift the nation’s electricity supply to cleaner energy in the face of congressional resistance and a Supreme Court that could limit the federal government’s ability to tighten public health standards. ... “Normally the court would wait until they have a new rule to review,” said Carrie Jenks, executive director of Harvard Law School’s Environmental and Energy Law Program, adding that EPA officials “obviously have to see what the Supreme Court says. And the Supreme Court could say things that would change their timing.”

  • Courts may overhaul energy law in 2022. Here’s how

    January 3, 2022

    After a year of high-profile energy project cancellations, federal courts in 2022 are expected to speak on the role of climate in oil, gas and power rules. In February, the nation’s highest bench will consider the scope of EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. In the lower courts, judges will consider whether the Interior Department can suspend new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and how the federal government can incorporate emissions cost estimates into regulatory decisionmaking. ... "The Biden administration is trying to take a very measured, legally sound and thoughtful approach for all regulations," said Carrie Jenks, executive director of Harvard Law School’s Environmental & Energy Law Program. "The goal is to enable industry to make the long-term investments that are needed to address climate change and ensure these regulations stick."