Federal Climate Policy

Libertarian Candidate Endorses a Carbon Fee

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson has put his weight behind

In an interview in Alaska, Gary Johnson endorsed the idea of a fee on carbon emissions. Here’s what he had to say, according to E&E News: “Johnson described his “free market approach” to global warming to the Juneau Empire in an interview published this weekend. He said his plan would include a fee, “not a […]

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A Small-Government Approach to Pricing Carbon

CO2_smoke

We can impose a price on carbon without a tax or emissions trading. Here’s how.

Cap and dividend is a politically appealing idea; put a price on carbon, then refund the money to consumers in equal shares.  But conservatives and libertarians object to this idea on two grounds. First, cap-and-trade systems are complex and require a lot of regulatory oversight.  Second, if the government collects the money, despite its current […]

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The New NEPA Guidance

white house

The new guidance on climate change is a step forward, though it could have been stronger.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued new guidance today on considering climate change in environmental impact statements.  Here are the key points: Quantification.  The guidance recommends that agencies quantify projected direct and indirect emissions, using the amount of emissions as a proxy for the eventual impact on climate change.  The EIS should also […]

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The Aviation Endangerment Finding

airplane CO2

While we are watching the political conventions, EPA took an important step forward

Last Monday, EPA issued a formal finding that carbon emissions from commercial aviation endanger human health and welfare.   Understanding the significance of the finding requires a little background. Section 231(a)(2) of the Clean Air Act directs the EPA Administrator to “issue proposed emission standards applicable to the emission of any air pollutant from any class […]

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The Clean Power Plan — Low Cost, High Benefits

coal pollution image

Despite claims by industry and conservatives, the CPP’s costs are completely manageable.

The Supreme Court’s stay of EPA’s Clean Power Plan was a surprise, and a questionable action on many grounds.  It now seems clear that the stay — along with much of the political fuss about the CPP — was based on very questionable economics. In terms of the stay, a team of economists at Resources […]

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Gaming Out Environmental Law: 2017-2019

2016 election

The heavens or the abyss? Or somewhere in between?

What happens after November? A lot depends on who’s the next President, but the congressional elections also matter. Basically, a Trump victory would mean at least a rollback of much of Obama’s environmental legacy, and perhaps passage of the current House deregulatory agenda into law. A Clinton victory would be likely to preserve or strengthen the […]

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Bush, Nader, and the Lost Years of Climate Policy

Nader

Actions by these two very different men set climate policy back eight years.

From 2001 to 2009, the US sat on its hands while the atmosphere filled with carbon. Much of that carbon came from the US itself, at six billion tons per year up to the 2008 crash. The story of how this came to pass is yet to be fully written. It is, in part, a […]

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Trump, Sanders Voters and Climate Change

trumpwarming

If you need even one reason to vote for Clinton, climate change ought to suffice

I don’t pretend to understand the allure of Donald Trump.  I am an unabashed  supporter of Hillary Clinton.  I appreciate that many people I know and respect are Bernie Sanders supporters.  I am hoping that, once Clinton officially becomes the  Democratic candidate for President, Sanders supporters will work hard to elect Clinton as President, even […]

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This April Was the Cruelest Month (Or at Least the Hottest)

April 2016

Once again, a global temperature record is broken.

For the seventh month in a row, the average global temperature set a new monthly record going back at least 136 years.  Rutherford Hayes was President back then, the first electric street light was turned on, and Gladstone beat Disraeli.  We’ve had 24 Presidents since then.  In other words, that was a long time ago. As you […]

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UCLA Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Electric Grid Experts in “Clean Power Plan” Case

U.S. Dep't of Energy

Supporting EPA’s regulation of power-sector carbon emissions

Today, several of us at UCLA Law School’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment—me, Cara Horowitz, Sarah Duffy, & Ann Carlson—together with Professor William Boyd of University of Colorado Law School, filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of five electric grid experts in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan” […]

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