Climate Change

Making Climate Policy Work

New book highlights the weaknesses of carbon pricing in addressing climate policy

I have a new post up at JOTWELL reviewing a recent book from Danny Cullenward at the climate think-tank Carbon Plan, and Professor David Victor of UC San Diego.  Their book, Making Climate Policy Work, is a terrific overview of the political and administrative weaknesses of carbon pricing as a tool for climate policy.  Please …

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The Major Money Doctrine 

Senate passes biggest climate legislation ever.

In June, the Supreme Court trimmed EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. The Court used the “Major Question Doctrine,” which says that issues of “vast political and economic significance” must be decided by Congress.  Senate Democrats gave their response on Sunday: the Major Money Doctrine. They passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides over …

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Don’t hamstring carbon removal

California needs to lead in developing critical carbon removal technologies

Assessments by the IPCC have made clear that the most feasible way for the world to meet its target of restricting climate change to below two degrees Celsius of warming includes rapid and massive expansion of carbon removal technology – technology that would extract carbon dioxide and permanently sequester that carbon dioxide underground.  California has …

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Two and a half cheers for the IRA

Climate legislation sets the stage not just for decarbonization now, but greater policy success later on

The announcement of the legislative deal (the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022) between Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and the Democratic Senate leadership was a bid deal in climate policy.  The legislation relies on the reconciliation process, allowing it to pass with a simple 50 votes (plus Vice President Harris’ tie-breaker vote).  The legislation provides for …

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The climate bill and oil and gas leasing

Provision in big climate bill that mandates oil and gas leasing on federal lands has limited reach

The big news in climate policy this past week was Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) signing off on a deal with the Democratic Senate Majority leader, Chuck Schumer, to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on climate investments – the bill is catchily called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.  I’ll take a look at the …

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Climate Adaptation Moves Toward Center Stage

There’s an increasing bipartisan move to fund climate resilience.

The big news today is the deal with Manchin to  provide billions of dollars of funding for clean energy. Manchin’s vote will be needed because no Republican Senator will vote for the bill.  In contrast, funding for climate resilience has drawing power even for Republicans. It seems to be true that, in Bob Dylan’s words …

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What the Supreme Court Left Standing

No, the Court didn’t eliminate EPA’s ability to fight climate change.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the West Virginia case left many people with the impression that it eliminated the government’s power to regulate carbon emissions. There are quite a number of areas of climate law that the Supreme Court has left untouched. Here’s the EPA authority the Court hasn’t touched: EPA’s jurisdiction over greenhouse gases.  …

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Declaring a Climate Change Emergency: A Citizen’s Guide

Would it be legal to declare a national emergency for climate change? Would it be useful? Here’s what you need to know.

Based on press reports, it now seems likely that Biden will soon declare climate change to be a national emergency.  Would this be legal? Would it unlock important powers that could be used to fight climate change?  My answers are: It would probably be legal, and it would unlock some significant powers. But an emergency …

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Climate Change and the Major Question Doctrine

Just because a regulation involves climate change, that doesn’t make it a major question.

Red State AGs are preparing to go to town with the West Virginia case. They seem to think that everything involving climate change automatically becomes a major question. That’s simply wrong. The doctrine is more nuanced. Recall that the Supreme Court struck down OSHA’s vaccine mandate, essentially on major questions grounds, but the majority found …

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Making Heat Pumps Accessible and Affordable to Decarbonize Buildings

New policy report on solutions to improve deployment of heat pump technologies in existing buildings | Webinar July 19

Join us for a webinar to discuss the report findings with leaders on July 19 at 1 pm PT. RSVP here You may have seen heat pumps (or #heatpumpnation) in the news recently and wondered, what really is this device? How do heat pumps relate to building decarbonization goals, national security, and climate mitigation efforts? …

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