Legally Speaking

Legally Speaking is our bi-weekly newsletter that provides timely updates on state attorneys general filings, hearings, decisions, or other notable developments on clean energy, climate and environmental matters.

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Our latest issues

Unjust, Unreasonable, Unwelcome: EJ Barriers at FERC

Opportunities to engage with EJ issues at FERC; AGs protect communities from aircraft pollution; study shows economic consequences of ESG boycotts; and more.

Equity, Energy, and Environmental Reviews: States Shake Things Up at the Close of 2022

A roundup of state climate & EJ laws from the end of the year; AGs push back against pipeline project; the latest regulatory agenda; and more.

AG Actions Wrapped: Looking Back at What AGs Have Done on Energy and Environment this Year

Report on AG wins; AGs challenge Gulf oil & gas leasing; Fed proposes climate risk rules; more.

A Role for State Attorneys General in a Just Transition

A new report on how AGs can help drive a just transition; AGs support ESG investing options; implementation of federal climate funding; and more.

Get a GRIP on DOE Funding

Funding from Grid Resilience Innovation Partnership (GRIP) programs; AG election results; AGs act on PFAS; EPA considers new "cumulative impacts" policy; and more.

Carving Out Funds for Clean Energy

Hocus pocus? Not in the IRA! And: AGs address environmental horrors; brewing issues like West Coast offshore wind; social 'curse' of GHGs; and more.

Take the Next Exit: Getting to Decarbonized, Equitable Transportation

A just transportation transition; AGs oppose federal drilling; IRS seeks IRA tax credit input; more.

WOTUS, SCOTUS, and Pigs, Oh My!

A preview of environmental cases this term at SCOTUS; AGs secure big energy efficiency win; EPA launches new EJ office; Formosa permits revoked; and more.

EJ Statutes Grow at the State Level

A roundup of environmental justice statutes at the state-level; AGs urge federal government to cut single-use plastics; renewable expansion in New England; and more.

It's Gettin' Hot in Here: Extreme Heat and Urban Heat Islands

Take a break; Urban heat islands; AGs push for heavy-duty trucks regulations; Congress acts on climate; and more.

Any (Major) Questions? Environmental Law at the Supreme Court

What WV v EPA really says; AGs turn up heat on consumer protection; offshore wind breezes along.

Earlier Issues

2022

June 23, 2022 — Plugging in to Opportunities for a Resilient Grid
Efforts at FERC and by states for a more resilient, equitable grid; AGs push to regulate smog-causing emissions; EPA to regulate PFAS; and more.

May 26, 2022 — A New Look for a Busy Year
New website; AGs urge CEQ to include critical context in EJ Screening Tool; DOE report on small-scale wind energy projects; and more.

May 12, 2022 — Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, Nor...Gas-Powered Fleet
AGs sue USPS; states support social cost of carbon; EPA considers regulating PVC; and more.

April 28, 2022 — Food For Thought: A Case for Urban Agriculture
Urban agriculture; AGs urge FERC to assess climate & EJ for natural gas projects; PA to join GHG initiative; Court declines pipeline review; and more.

April 7, 2022 — What We’re Watching: FERC Edition
Highlights from FERC’s gas, consumer protection, and electricity market work; AGs call for stronger aircraft PM regulations; SCOTUS reinstates Trump-era CWA rule; and more.

March 24, 2022 — The “Goldilocks” Approach to Transmission Cost Allocation

AGs call for fair utility costs; SEC climate disclosure rule; ruling on social cost of carbon; more.

March 10, 2022 — Okay, So We Gonna Talk About Bru...Climate Risk?

SEC on climate risk; AGs push for stronger fuel efficiency rules; EPA considers chemical recycling regulations; and more.

February 24, 2022 — Don’t Wait ‘Til Cows Come Home: State Actions on Climate-Neutral Agriculture

Climate neutral agriculture; AGs call for better WOTUS definition; DOI focus on DEIA; more.

February 10, 2022 — The Earth is Green, Water is Blue, Is Environmental Law the Career for You?

AGs support CH4 regs; EPA faces air quality review suit; Gulf drilling lease canceled; more.

January 27, 2022 — Will You Look at Your Gas Stove Differently After Reading This?

Gas stoves, climate, & health; AGs demand worker heat protection; call for EJ in LA; and more.

2021

December 16, 2021 — The Virtual Coal in Your Stocking
The environmental impact of cryptocurrency; AGs protect migratory birds; Biden administration’s new executive order; and more.

December 2, 2021 — Watching FERC and Watching the Courts
Recent happenings at FERC; AGs advocate for improved transmission planning process; Biden proceeds with oil drilling on public lands; and more.

November 11, 2021 Halloween is Over, Watch Out for the Leftover Zombies
Supreme Court to hear case on Clean Air Act; EPA proposes to cut methane pollution; US agrees to stop financing fossil fuels abroad; and more.

October 28, 2021 — Tricks, Treats, and Transmission
Energy justice and transmission reform; new web resource; AGs call on EPA to regulate smog-causing emissions; new PFAS roadmap from EPA, and more.

October 7, 2021 — Energy Efficiency in States and Beyond
Energy efficiency in states; coalition calls for cleaner cars; SEC asks for climate impacts; and more.

September 23, 2021 — Climate Progress at Climate Week
Climate action by state AGs; coalition calls for fuel economy standard penalties; FERC lets Spire pipeline flow; and more.

September 9, 2021 — The Climate Moment
Capitol Hill activity; Army Corps orders environmental review of Formosa; HHS unveils new office; and more.

August 12, 2021 — Going With the Flow Doesn’t Cut It Anymore
FERC may be changing its approach to approving pipelines; AGs fight for authority to protect state waters; new vehicle emissions standards; and more.

July 15, 2021 — When a Window Unit Isn’t Cool Enough
The potential of heat pump technology; AGs support EPA’s reconsideration of CA Waiver; largest offshore wind proposal; and more.

July 1, 2021 — A Supreme Court Roundup on States and Environmental Law
An environmental SCOTUS roundup; new issue brief from the State Impact Center; AGs comment on transmission incentives; a look at pipelines; and more.

June 17, 2021 — Getting to a Cleaner Grid
Changes in capacity markets; AGs settle with EPA on asbestos reporting; EPA proposes PFAS reporting requirements; and more.

June 3, 2021 — AGs and Environmental Justice
State AGs focus on environmental justice; new Advisory Council members; AGs press FERC on pipeline policy; Biden backs Alaska oil project; and more.

May 20, 2021 — A Whirlwind of Activity at Interior
Vineyard Wind moves ahead, and other developments from Interior; AGs call on EPA to expand PFAS monitoring; EPA seeks regional input on federal water protections; and more.

May 6, 2021 — Shifting Gears, Driving Progress
Surveying the road ahead on vehicle emissions standards; AGs support CRA resolution to restore methane regs; major chlorpyrifos decision; and more.

April 22, 2021 — Follow the Leaders
State AGs reflect and look ahead on climate action; AGs urge EPA to address lead contamination; Interior freezes royalty reform rollback; and more.

April 8, 2021 — Bold Ambitions, Strong Foundations
As infrastructure moves ahead, fundamentals still matter; nuclear storage site draws lawsuit; questions about gas drilling in SF Bay area; and more.

March 25, 2021 — Presidential Precedent and the Cost of Carbon
Valuing climate costs; AGs challenge GHG threshold rule; shaping energy efficiency priorities; FERC sets key emissions analysis precedent; and more.

March 11, 2021 — The Climate in Congress
Capitol Hill turns to the climate crisis, with opportunities for AGs; state AGs press EPA on ozone, lead pipes; legislation to watch; and more.

February 25, 2021 — The Power Grid in Focus
Climate, justice and equity at FERC; AGs back stronger protections for gas pipeline challengers; an innovative new program from NYPSC; and more.

February 11, 2021 — Wheels of Change
Biden administration sets new tone on climate, environmental justice; state AGs continue vital on-the-ground enforcement efforts; and more.

January 28, 2021 — Perseverance and New Beginnings
Looking ahead to a new era; state AGs file nine lawsuits challenging midnight regulatory actions by the outgoing Trump administration; and more.

January 7, 2021 — Full Court Press
New report from the State Impact Center; AGs file amicus briefs on climate liability, CWA Nationwide Permit 12; Arctic Refuge lease sale; and more.

2020

December 3, 2020 — A Timely Teach-In
Arctic Refuge lease sale scheduled; pushing energy markets toward decarbonization; AGs add endangered species claim to NEPA challenge; and more.

November 12, 2020 — Midnight Watch Project
Last-minute actions by the outgoing administration; AGs sue over energy efficiency failures; lawsuits over PFAS, PCB contamination; and more.

October 29, 2020 — Health and Environmental Horrors
A new book from the State Impact Center; Massachusetts AG marks milestone 200 actions; AGs call for meaningful airplane emissions standards; and more.

October 15, 2020 — Compliance? Optional
Erosion of environmental enforcement; AGs defend habitat designations, state clean water authority; EPA rescinds long-standing air policy; and more.

October 1, 2020 — A Weak Hand: ACE Rule’s Day in Court
ACE v. CPP: 3 things to watch for in next week’s arguments; state AGs file amicus brief in Dakota Access litigation; Tongass protections in jeopardy; and more.

September 17, 2020 — What’s the State of Play?
A flurry of major legal actions by state AGs on NEPA, Arctic Refuge, Endangered Species Act, methane regulations, Chesapeake Bay and more.

August 20, 2020 — When Our Forests Are Gone
Lessons from Alaska; AGs notch win in defense of migratory birds; AGs challenge LNG-by-rail rule; Arctic Refuge drilling plan moves forward; and more.

August 6, 2020 — It’s Not NEPA, It’s You
The administration’s NEPA hypocrisy; AGs blast plan to skew Clean Air Act cost-benefit; two FERC nominees, at last; EPA OIG investigation; and more.

July 23, 2020 — ‘Tired of Winning’ Yet?
Two major court defeats for the administration; big win for NY AG on cross-state pollution; mixed bag for clean energy at FERC; and more.

July 9, 2020 — Pipeline Platitudes
The truth behind recent pipeline decisions; AGs press EPA to tighten PM standards, regulate O&G methane; CA adopts new electric truck rule; and more.

June 25, 2020 — Juneteenth & the Pursuit of Environmental Justice
Environmental racism and NEPA; A Pass to Pollute; AGs weigh in on net metering, rooftop solar; FERC plans carbon pricing conference; and more.

June 11, 2020 — Toxics, Under the Radar
EPA’s failure to protect the public from toxic substances; AGs seek halt to EPA ‘non-enforcement policy;’ new infrastructure executive order; and more.

May 28, 2020 — COVID & Cars: The Benefits of Rules
COVID, cars and the dangers of ‘deregulation’; AGs challenge weakened car rule; AGs blast ‘secret science’ proposal; limits on EPA guidance; and more.

May 14, 2020 — Unequal Effects
Environmental injustice and COVID-19; AGs challenge EPA ‘non-enforcement’ policy, narrowed WOTUS rule; new questions about SAFE Vehicles rule; and more.

April 30, 2020 — Why Are Federal Energy Regulators’ Disrespecting States’ Rights?
FERC encroachment on states’ energy prerogatives; AGs file opening brief in ACE litigation; net metering, roof-top solar growth at risk; and more.

April 16, 2020 — Leadership in a Crisis
Lessons from the Deepwater Horizon disaster; Earth Day at 50; AGs push back on EPA non-enforcement policy; CWA Sec. 401 rule under review; and more.

April 2, 2020 — Flatten the (Climate) Curve
Flattening the climate curve; AGs blast fuel efficiency rollback, proposal to weaken MBTA protections; EPA waives enforcement amid pandemic; and more.

March 19, 2020 — Our Health
Air pollution and our health; AGs denounce attacks on NEPA, regulatory enforcement; DOJ ends use of popular environmental settlement tool; and more.

March 5, 2020 — Energy & Culture Wars
The administration’s latest culture war; AGs continue fight for lightbulb efficiency standards; EPA and Interior’s new anti-science rules; and more.

February 20, 2020 — Reducing Corporate Environmental Accountability
Corporate environmental accountability; states urge stronger lead, ethylene oxide rules; latest PFAS settlement; White House budget cuts; and more.

February 6, 2020 — Ideology Trumps Science in Clean Water Rollback
WOTUS rule defies science; AGs sue EPA over chemical accident rule rollback; Interior Department moves to severely weaken bird protections; and more.

January 23, 2020 — The Administration’s Deregulation Agenda is Increasing Americans’ Risk of Injury and Death
Hazards of LNG by rail; AGs oppose expanded leasing in Alaska reserve; new cross-state air pollution lawsuits; benefits of declining coal; and more.

January 9, 2020 — Cutting the Heart out of NEPA
CEQ proposes regulations restricting NEPA reviews; AGs challenge WOTUS rollback; EPA Science Advisory Board criticizes analysis of major proposals; and more.

2019

December 19, 2019 — The Climate Travesty Unfolding Before Our Eyes
Wrong direction on GHG emissions reductions; AGs object to proposed removal of Tongass protections; FERC deals major blow to clean energy; and more.

December 5, 2019 — Coal in Your Stockings
AGs blast rollback of methane emissions regulations, sue over clean car standards; EPA considers adding PFAS to Toxics Release Inventory; and more.

November 14, 2019 — EPA is Messing with Science, Again
EPA tries to ditch science; lightbulb efficiency rollbacks; federal judge rules for AGs in landfill methane case, another suit on PFAS; and more.

October 31, 2019 — A Halloween Message: Stop the Scary Safety Rollbacks
Scary safety rollbacks; regulating “bomb trains”; states’ authority on clean energy and clean water; toxic Superfund cleanup litigation; and more.

October 17, 2019 — Like It or Not, the Power Sector is Decarbonizing
States’ energy mixes continue to shift toward clean sources; AGs intervene to defend EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases; AGs weigh in on New Source Review permitting; and more.

October 3, 2019 — New Report: Clean Energy Issues Are on the Docket for State Attorneys General
New report on state AGs and clean energy; AGs sue to defend Endangered Species Act; AGs fight withdrawal of CA auto emissions authority; FERC proposes PURPA rule changes; and more.

September 19, 2019 — The Trump Administration’s Car Wreck
EPA revokes CA auto emissions authority; AGs continue defense of efficiency standards; EPA rolls back WOTUS; BLM releases Arctic Refuge EIS; and more.

September 5, 2019 — Methane, Motherhood & Apple Pie
EPA proposes rollback of methane emissions regulations; DOE rolls back lightbulb efficiency rule; AGs weigh in to defend NEPA reviews; new developments on landfill methane; and more.

August 22, 2019 — State Attorneys General Stand Up for Conservation
State AGs advocate for conservation & endangered species; states challenge ACE power plant emissions rule; Royalty Policy Committee decision; and more.

August 8, 2019 — DOE’s Latest Attempt to Neuter Its Statutory Energy Efficiency Responsibilities
Judge rules AGs have standing to challenge MBTA changes; states press Congress to address PFAS crisis; AGs defend EPA advisory committees; and more.

July 25, 2019 — State AGs Making the Case for Climate Optimism
State AGs and climate optimism; new developments in fight over Clean Car Standards; AGs file amicus in Maui Clean Water Act case; and more.

July 11, 2019 — States are Keeping “Cooperative Federalism” Alive
State attorneys general pledge to fight ACE rule; MA & CA lead suit on asbestos reporting requirements; Canada adopts CA car standards; FOIA integrity issues; and more.

June 20, 2019 — Protecting Species Means Admitting We Have a Climate Change Problem
The Endangered Species Act in a changing climate; AGs press BLM on coal leasing impacts, methane waste; AGs rebuke EPA groundwater guidance; and more.

June 6, 2019 — Buckle Your Seat Belts: The Most Dangerous Environmental Rollbacks Are On Deck
Vulnerabilities in the administration’s most dangerous rollbacks; states leading response to PFAS crisis; climate science under threat; and more.

May 23, 2019 — The U.S. Is Taking on the Climate Crisis – No Thanks to the Trump Administration
A case for climate optimism; AGs push back against EPA budget cuts; legal and congressional developments on PFAS; a FOIA court victory; and more.

May 9, 2019 — The Administration is Disrespecting States’ Environmental & Energy Rights
An overview of threats to states’ energy and environmental authority; a new clean energy op-ed; a major win on methane emissions; and more.

April 25, 2019 — Another Important Court Win, With Legs
David J. Hayes on the administration’s approach to rulemaking; 15 AGs oppose EPA “Dirty Water Rule;” 21 AGs defend MATS air pollution rule; and more.

April 11, 2019 — Deceptions May Sink Plans to Drill for Oil in the Arctic Refuge
David J. Hayes on flaws in Interior’s approach to Arctic Refuge drilling; states challenge Two-for-One executive order; new study from the Institute for Policy Integrity; and more.

March 28, 2019 — Learning from the Past to Help Resolve Future Health & Environmental Challenges
An update on the Health & Environmental Settlements Project; AGs defend states’ authority over water quality permitting; a rehearing on chlorpyrifos; and more.

March 14, 2019 — New Report: Climate & Health Showdown in the Courts: State Attorneys General Prepare to Fight
Announcing a new Special Report; AGs oppose plan to drill in the Arctic Refuge; AGs seek preliminary injunctions to block seismic testing; and more.

February 21, 2019 — Everyone is a Fan of Saving Energy... Except the Trump Administration
David J. Hayes on energy efficiency standards; 18 states challenge EPA’s Clean Car Standards rollback; Massachusetts Attorney General Healey advocates for offshore wind; and more.

February 7, 2019 — PFAS — An Opportunity for EPA Leadership
EPA’s PFAS Management Plan; New York Attorney General Letitia James sues EPA over upwind pollution; Colorado & Michigan Withdraw from Clean Power Plan lawsuit; and more.

January 24, 2019 — State Attorneys General Are Clearing the Way for Clean Energy
States are leading the clean energy revolution; California Attorney General Xavier Becerra leads $800M diesel emissions scandal settlement; seismic testing permits on hold; and more.

January 10, 2019 — The Energy & Environmental Stakes in 2019 Couldn’t be Higher
Bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general oppose seismic testing in the Atlantic; State Impact Center Executive Director David J. Hayes outlines key issues of 2019; and more.

2018

December 13, 2018 — Climate Change and the Law
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal launches new Environmental Enforcement and Environmental Justice section; State Impact Center launches new website; and more.

November 29, 2018 — Key Takeaways from National Climate Assessment
State Impact Center Executive Director David J. Hayes outlines key takeaways from the Fourth National Climate Assessment; SCOTUS issues opinion in dusky gopher frog case; and more.

November 8, 2018 — Trump’s Deregulatory Agenda
Op-ed by State Impact Center Executive Director David J. Hayes on Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda; EPA proposes rule to delay landfill methane standards; and more.

October 25, 2018 — Misleading Claims of “Reduced Costs“
Current and former state attorneys general offer support for ExxonMobil investigations in New York and Massachusetts; Trump administration backs down on anti-science proposal; and more.

October 11, 2018 — Legally Speaking Update
State attorneys general testify on proposed Clean Power Plan replacement; an important development in EPA methane litigation; Legally Speaking moves to bi-weekly schedule; and more.

September, 2018
State attorneys general defend vehicle emissions standards; Coalitions of state attorneys general defend Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Endangered Species Act; and more.

August, 2018
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood leads coalition of 11 states in successfully defending rule to prevent chemical accidents; and more.

July, 2018
EPA backs down over glider truck rule; state attorneys general file amicus brief requesting Supreme Court overturn lower court ruling on hydrofluorocarbons, and more.

June, 2018
Op-ed by State Impact Center Executive Director David J. Hayes and Lynn Scarlett; state attorneys general challenge “Two-for-one” Executive Order; and more.

May, 2018
State attorneys general oppose bailouts for failing coal plants; sue EPA to protect agricultural workers from exposure to toxic pesticides; and more.

April, 2018
Fifteen state attorneys general sue EPA on illegal delay of methane emission standards; twelve attorneys general issue statement opposing clean car standards rollback; and more.

March, 2018
State attorneys general secure victory against EPA in smog lawsuit; Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh leads amicus brief on coal ash pollution; and more.

February, 2018
Announcing a major report from the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center; a profile of New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas; and more.

January, 2018
State attorneys general oppose offshore drilling; Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey advocates for ratepayers; and more.


2017

December, 2017
15 state attorneys general sue EPA to defend Clean Air Act requirements; California Attorney General Xavier Beccera leads bipartisan opposition to National Parks fee hikes; and more.

November, 2017
Six state attorneys general urge Congress to reinstate Federal Flood Standard; state attorneys general request hearings on Clean Power Plan Repeal; and more.