The leaders of the Natural Resources Defense Council are predicting that 2014 will be an important year for environmental policy.
The NRDC is optimistic about prospects for environmental policies and legislation in 2014. In a conference call to highlight the group’s priorities, Climate and Clean Air Campaign Director Pete Altman notes a continuing trend toward increased political acceptance of climate change science.
“We also think that climate is increasingly understood as a safe political issue for candidates,” he said. “And recent polls show strong support for the president’s climate plan, particularly imposing standards for power plants, and the support goes across party lines.”
Clean Air Director John Walke says he expects rulings on two significant air regulations—the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. He says he also thinks momentum opposing air regulations is dying down.
“In 2014, I expect fewer congressional attacks on the Clean Air Act and its standards, really with no greater prospects for success than we saw the House Republicans enjoy in 2013,” he said.
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which regulates pollution that blows across state lines, is currently before the Supreme Court, and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard is in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
The NRDC also expects the State Department to finish its environmental review of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline—which would carry oil from tar sands in Canada through the U.S.—and to make a recommendation on that project.