Weekly Climate Change Policy Update - May 24, 2010

Profession:Van Ness Feldman
 
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Article by Kyle Danish, Shelley Fidler, Kevin Gallagher, Megan Ceronsky and Tomás Carbonell

Commentary

Standing with CEOs of the major manufacturers, the White House announced plans for the next tranche of GHG emission and fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles, and first-time GHG standards for heavy-duty vehicles . . . Majority Leader Reid will caucus with committee chairmen during the week of June 7th to discuss whether and how to move the Kerry-Lieberman bill forward in 2010 . . . State Department Climate Envoy Todd Stern reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a forum for treaty negotiations. Meanwhile, Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres took over as Chair of the UNFCCC Secretariat . . . More maneuvering in advance of possibly imminent Senate consideration of the Murkowski bill: Senators Casey and Carper are discussing a bill that would retain EPA's authority to regulate GHG emissions, but remove the authority to regulate smaller stationary sources – an approach similar to that outlined in the Tailoring Rule.

Executive Branch

White House Outlines Plans for Post-2016 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Economy Standards. At a White House event attended by CEOs of major manufacturers of light and heavy-duty vehicles, President Barack Obama announced that he would sign a Presidential memorandum directing the establishment of coordinated fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for light duty vehicles for model years 2017 through 2025. In addition, the Administration announced that it would establish similar standards for heavy duty vehicles, such as cargo trucks, for model years 2014 through 2018. The announcement did not specify the level of emission reductions that would be achieved through the new standards. The anticipated rulemakings would continue the approach adopted in the joint fuel economy and GHG emission standards issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in April 2010. Those standards fulfilled an agreement reached between the Administration, the State of California, and major automakers in May 2009, in which the Administration agreed to undertake the joint rulemaking in exchange for a commitment by California to refrain from enforcing its own state-level GHG emission standards. The Presidential memorandum is available at: http://carboncontrolnews.com/iwpfile.html?file=may2010%2Fccn05212010_memo.pdf . Stern: U.S. to Continue to Seek International Agreement on Climate Change. Special Envoy on Climate Change Todd Stern said that, despite the difficulty of achieving agreement among the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations would remain the "central event" for international climate change negotiations because "no other organization has the credibility the UNFCCC enjoys with the international community." Stern...

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