Climate Change

Donald Trump Creates the Green New Deal

Emergency Powers Can Be Very….Flexible

Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor today that Donald Trump will sign the new border compromise, then declare a National Emergency at the border, and use Presidential powers under the Emergency declaration to fund at least part of his border wall.  Demonstrating his central philosophical principle — party over country — McConnell announced his […]

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Breaking Up with Fossil Fuels

It’s not us. It’s you.

WORLD: Thanks for the card. . . . But I think we need to talk. FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY: About what? W: About us. FFI: About us?? Can’t it wait until some other time? This is Valentine’s Day, and I’ve made plans for us.  Big plans. W: No, I think we need to get some things […]

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Is the Green New Deal’s Ambition Smart Policy?

Some Lessons from Environmental History

At the the heart of the Green New Deal — which demands slashing U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 by shifting to 100 percent clean energy  — is a major conundrum.  Even the most enthusiastic proponents of ambitious climate policy don’t believe the goals are achievable, technologically let alone politically.  Stanford Professor Marc Z. Jacobsen, for […]

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Emmett Institute Publishes Issue Brief on California’s Clean Air Act Vehicle Authority

Co-Authored by Ann Carlson, Meredith Hankins, and Julia Stein

Cross-posted to the American Constitution Society’s ACSblog As we have previously covered in past Legal Planet posts, in an outright assault on public health and the environment, the Trump Administration recently proposed rolling back national motor vehicle emission standards put in place by the Obama Administration. As part of this proposal, the Trump Administration also […]

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Bottoms-Up! An Emerging New Governance System (2)

Bottom-up appraches aren’t just fallbacks when top-down fails. They have their own strengths.

  There are some obvious advantages to top-down climate police, whereby a uniform global climate policy is adopted at the global level and then seamlessly implemented by nations, or whereby a similar process takes place at the national level.  Of course, this top-down model requires first global agreement on a uniform policy and then effective […]

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John Dingell, 1926-2019

The Surprising Environmental Record of Detroit’s Biggest Congressional Defender

There’s an old story about Rep. John Dingell, the long-running chair of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, who died yesterday at the age of 92, and served in the House longer than anyone in American history. Outside the office of the Committee, there is a huge picture of the Earth, taken from the Apollo […]

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I’ve Been Waiting My Whole Life for a Green New Deal

Get on Board or Get out of the Way: A Millennial Response to the GND

In 2016, millennials (those of us born between 1981 and 1996) surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest share of the US population. Yet you’d never know it by our relative shares of Congressional representation. Even after the great Millennial Wave of the 2018 midterm elections, millennials still only make up 6% of the House of […]

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To Dream the Impossible Dream

What are the pros and cons of yesterday’s proposal for a Green New Deal?

The Green New Deal proposal introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey is a call for drastic action to address climate change. Specifically, section 1(A) says that “it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal . . . to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair […]

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Does the Future Have Standing?

Climate change may devastate future generations. Is there a way to get their interests before the courts?

Climate change is not just a long-range problem; it’s one that will get much worse in the future unless major emissions cuts are made.  For instance, sea levels will continue to rise for centuries. But the people who will be harmed by these changes can’t go to court: they haven’t been born yet. How can […]

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