In a March 15, 2011, decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated in part the Environmental Proection Agency’s (“EPA”) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (“CAFO”) rules, which we analyzed in a previous blog entry. The Fifth Circuit struck down the requirement that CAFOs which “propose to discharge”—that is, which are “designed, constructed, operated, or maintained such that a discharge would occur”—must obtain NPDES permits. Under EPA’s “propose to discharge” standard, a CAFO could be required to obtain an
Clean energy projects have tremendous potential to create jobs and grow the economy and help the nation meet its energy needs in a more sustainable way, but regulatory and legal barriers to energy projects have substantially reduced job creation and economic growth while impeding efforts to bring new energy generation facilities on line, according to a recent economic study commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce as part of its Project No Project. The report, entitled, “Progress Denied: A Study on the Potential Economic Impact of Permitting Challenges Facing Proposed Energy Projects,” (PDF) found that legal challenges, threats of legal challenge, and regulatory hurdles caused the delay or cancellation of 333 energy projects which, if constructed and operated for twenty years, would have potential economic and employment benefits of a projected $3.4 trillion. These estimated benefits would include $1.4 trillion in employment earnings and one million or more jobs per year.