Federal Climate Policy

Conservatives as Environmentalists

Ronald Reagan, courtesy National Archives

Environmentalism isn’t an aberration in conservatives. It has deep roots going back to the 1960s.

Scott Pruitt’s appointment as head of EPA illustrates how conservatism has become synonymous with anti-environmentalism.  But that’s really a drastic oversimplification, as I explain in a new paper about the history of conservative environmentalism. There were moments of strong environmentalism in the earlier days of the conservative movement.  When he was running for mayor of New York City, William […]

Continue Reading

About that carbon tax idea….

Eric Biber posted last week about the proposal from several heavyweight Republicans for a carbon tax, outlined in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Much has been said about the merits and problems of a carbon tax, including on this blog, so I will try not to repeat those points here. However, I wanted to expand […]

Continue Reading

Trump’s Environmental Assault Begins

delay

Clean Power Plan, Waters of the U.S. Rules First on the Chopping Block But What Remains in Place Varies Dramatically

The Washington Post is reporting that the Trump Administration will very shortly roll out two executive orders to curtail environmental protection. These rollbacks follow on the heels of the Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt, who has made no secret of his antipathy for federal environmental regulations.  The first executive order, as widely expected, will tell the […]

Continue Reading

The GOP’s stealth carbon tax?

Republican proposals for border adjustment tax are equivalent to a carbon tax on oil

One of the leading proposals being floated by Republicans for tax reform is what is called a border adjustment tax. Put simply, it would tax corporate income on imports into the U.S. and leave income from exports tax exempt. The policy argument for it is that it would simplify tax administration for large, multinational companies […]

Continue Reading

A conservative proposal for a carbon tax

A promising proposal from conservative leaders, but important questions remain

An impressive lineup of senior Republican leaders has embraced a carbon tax as an approach to address climate change.  The proposal is to trade away the Obama Administration Clean Power Plan and tort liability against fossil fuel companies for a $40/ton carbon tax that would increase over time.  All revenues from the tax would be […]

Continue Reading

Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 36

A proposal to revoke an Obama Administration rule on methane flaring on public lands

Additional Update:  It is being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 36. Update:  The resolution passed the House on the morning of Saturday, Feb 4.  It will next go to the Senate. House Joint Resolution 36 (now being considered as part of House Resolution 74) “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives […]

Continue Reading

The Dangers of the New Executive Order on “Reducing Regulation”

The Order is Designed to Prevent Federal Agencies from Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment

Dan Farber just posted an insightful, brief analysis of the executive order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” that was issued this morning. As Dan notes, the order is absurd and arbitrary – but more than that, it’s extraordinary in its potential for doing harm to our country and its residents. It is meant to kneecap […]

Continue Reading

Science Under Siege

GwdDenialism

There are troubling indications of a campaign to hide scientific information from the public.

On January 25, Reuters reported that EPA had been ordered to pull down its climate change page. That didn’t end up happening, but all use of social media was banned and some documents were axed, such as an FAQ about the scientific consensus. Meanwhile, data on international carbon emissions has vanished from the State Department […]

Continue Reading

Earth Day, 2017 Should Be The Next Massive Rally

earthphoto

The 47th Earth Day falls this year on April 22, a Saturday.  The fortuity of a weekend date makes Earth Day the perfect opportunity to marshall the energy of the wildly successful Women’s marches around the world to demand that Congress and the Trump Administration protect our planet (hat tip to Emmett Fellow Julia Forgie […]

Continue Reading

Scott Pruitt, Senator Harris and the California Question

Pruitthearing

California leadership in peril?

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, elided many questions yesterday and made some somewhat surprising commitments to appease Senate Democrats in response to others (acknowledging that humans are at least partially responsible for climate change; saying he’ll use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases).  But his response to […]

Continue Reading