The Implementation Gap

Mind the Gap

What lawmakers expect isn’t necessarily what happens — sometimes for better, often for worse.

The public drama revolves around efforts to make and unmake environmental regulations. But as we all know, what statutes and rules say isn’t necessarily what happens on the ground. Often, the result is that environmental goals are frustrated. Deadlines are missed, standards are ignored or fudged, or enforcement efforts misfire. The result is incomplete implementation, […]

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The Overlooked Part of Trump’s Executive Order on Climate Change

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It Revoked a Market-Based Approach to Natural Resource Management

President Trump’s March 28th Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth has understandably received a great deal of attention from the environmental community. Commentators, including those on Legal Planet, have examined the order’s efforts to roll back the climate change initiatives of the Obama administration. Another aspect of the order, though, has been […]

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Court of Appeal Confirms California Cap-and-Trade is Not a Tax

It’s voluntary and it provides valuable commodities to purchasers

With the feds backsliding (or worse) on climate regulation, the efforts of California and other states to tackle climate change are especially prominent and critical. So it’s a welcome time for today’s good news for California climate regulators: The state court of appeal has rejected industry’s challenge to California’s cap-and-trade program.  That program is one […]

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Cutting Through the Smog

LA Smog

New research highlights the importance of reducing ozone pollution and suggests ways to do it.

As a change of pace, here’s a post that’s not about Trump, Pruitt, or their friends in Congress.  Two recent papers highlight the importance of EPA’s tightening of the air quality standard for ozone and suggest some ways of doing so that could be more acceptable to industry. (We’re talking about ground-level smog here, not […]

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Should the Feds Leave Regulation to the States?

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The more we’ve learned about environmental problems, the less they seem purely local.

Voices in and out of the Trump Administration have called for a shift responsibility for environmental protection to the states. Given that none of them has ever shown enthusiasm for state environmental protection, it’s possible whether their rule concern is federalism or deregulation. (In fact, as NYU’s Ricky Revesz points out, Pruitt has generally opposed […]

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Trump’s Executive Order: Bad Policy and More Uncertainty

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President Trump’s Executive Order on climate policy is an invitation to bad policymaking and legal uncertainty. The big-ticket item targeted by the Order, of course, is the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and related rules on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The EO has limited immediate legal impact: none of the major rules can […]

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A House Divided

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The climate change executive order shows the signs of the bitter divisions within the White House.

Actually, there are two divided houses. One is the House of Representatives. The other is the White House. The divisions in the House of Representatives were on display in the abortive effort to pass a health care bill.  Similar fissures in the White House are just below the surface of yesterday’s executive order on climate […]

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Some Resources for Non-Experts (and for Experts Too!) on the Executive Order Rolling Back Federal Climate Change Regulations

Cutting Through the Information Overload

The President’s Executive Order rolling back climate change-related initiatives, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” just came out today, and there’s already plenty of analysis to help people to understand its likely impact.  While the short answer is that it is terrible for our country, the long answers tend to make people’s eyes glaze over if […]

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Trump’s Frontal Assault on Climate Policy

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The true victims aren’t you and me. It’s our descendants who will pay the price, long after Trump is gone.

We live in a time of contrasts. Yesterday, scientists reported more evidence that climate change will intensify heat waves and droughts in temperate zones through changes in the jet stream. Today, however, the Trump Administration initiated the process of eliminating federal climate policies. In a pointed insult to EPA staff who have worked long and […]

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Where Should We Build New Housing In California To Meet 2030 Climate Goals?

Right Type Right Place Cover

New Report From UC Berkeley’s CLEE and Terner Center, Commissioned by Next 10, Released Today

California isn’t building enough housing to meet population growth, while the new housing that does get built is happening too often in the wrong places, like on open space far from jobs. Meanwhile, new climate legislation for 2030 will likely rely on the average Californian reducing his or her driving miles by allowing residents to […]

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