Environmental Highlights of 2012
December 26, 2012
- Reelection of President Obama, defeating Mitt Romney who had promised a major deregulatory push and massive expansion of fossil fuels.
- Election of new pro-environmental Senators such as Chris Murphy (Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.), and Liz Warren (Mass.)
- D.C. Circuit upholds EPA endangerment finding and rules for new stationary sources of greenhouse gases.
- California holds first auction of carbon allowances under AB 32.
- Obama creates Chimney Park National Monument.
- EPA issues new air quality standard for particulates.
- EPA issues new air pollution rules for industrial boilers.
- Courts uphold a federal rule that limits development on 50 million acres of roadless area.
- A federal court approves a partial settlement of civil claims against BP amounting to over $7 billion.
- BP pleads guilty to criminal charges and agrees to pay $4.5 billion in fines.
- NOAA lists ringed and bearded seals as in part because of climate change impacts.
- John Kerry, a leading advocate of international action on climate change, nominated as Secretary of State.
- Public awareness of the risks of climate change raised by Hurricane Sandy.
- Obama proposes doubling the size of marine sanctuary off the California coast.
- Obama administration finalizes new fuel economy rules that will almost double the current standard for cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon within 12 years.