President Biden has named Judge Merrick Garland as his pick for attorney general. In his position as chief judge of the DC Circuit court, Garland has ruled over many disputes related to environmental rules and regulations.
For years, the coal industry has enjoyed tax benefits and exemptions from strict environmental regulations. But those days might be over: President Barack Obama is using EPA authority under the Clean Air Act to try to curb coal power plant emissions, including CO2 and mercury. But coal interests are fighting back in the courts.
President Obama is expected to direct government agencies to consider the effects on climate change before they approve new permits, loan or projects. Authority for the directive comes from the the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970.
The first of EPA's new rules to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant went into effect Jan 2nd. The regulations will mean a huge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the US but some states like Texas claim EPA rules infringe states' rights.
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the CO2 coming out of power plants is a "public nuisance." The land-mark decision opens up big utilities to lawsuits from groups of people affected by climate change.
The New York Attorney General investigates whether energy companies are hiding the true costs of coal and global warming from their investors.