Federal Climate Policy

IPCC Report Highlights Need for Rapid Shift to Renewable Energy; Delay Will be Costly

Chicago City Hall Green Roof

Meanwhile, EPA Considers Methane Regulations for Oil and Gas Production

According to the newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report, only a few decades remain to halt the worst effects of global climate change. To meet climate goals, globally we will need to reduce emissions to 40 to 70 percent below today’s levels, by mid-century. Delaying action will be enormously costly from an […]

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Does Keystone Matter?

Project XL

A recent analysis suggests that the pipeline could result in production of a billion extra barrels between now and 2030.

Many people who have studied the issue tell me that the Keystone XL issue is mostly symbolic, because the Alberta oil sands are going to be used one way or another.  But I’m having some second thoughts because of arguments made (here) by Berkeley economist Max Aufhammer. He’s a pretty hard-headed analyst, not given to […]

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Upcoming Climate Practitioners’ Workshop at UCLA

790px-Big_Bend_Power_Station

Explore recent legal developments in Federal and California greenhouse gas regulation for CLE credit

Why not earn your continuing legal education (CLE) credits while learning about recent developments in climate change law? Next Friday, March 14, 2014, the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law is co-hosting an all-day practitioners’ workshop that will explore cutting-edge developments in greenhouse gas regulation. “Navigating Climate Regulation on Dual […]

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George Will and Conservative Climate Denial

George Will

The three types of conservatism all tend to reject climate science, but for different reasons.

A couple of weeks ago, George Will told the Fox News audience that humans have nothing to do with climate change — it’s just natural fluctuations.  Will himself has changed his brand of conservatism in the past few years, as the New Republic has noted.  At this point, he has sampled two of the three […]

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Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA: Another Take on the SCOTUS Oral Argument

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Decision favoring EPA seems likely

The venerable pastime of U.S. Supreme Court-watching always involves divergent opinions that, as Rick Frank noted, all should be taken with a grain (or even a pound) of salt. The outcome of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is decidedly uncertain, but I left the oral argument yesterday more optimistic than my Legal Planet colleague. […]

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Deconstructing Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group

scotus

The EPA Could Well Lose This Challenge to Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the most important environmental law case of the current Term: Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. Based on those arguments–and, more importantly, the justices’ questions and comments–it appears that EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s […]

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Previewing Next Week’s Climate Change Arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court

Big Stakes and Big Players in This Year's Biggest Environmental Case

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the biggest environmental law case of its current Term, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. Legal Planet colleagues Ann Carlson and Dan Farber have already posted their thoughts on the case. Let me add mine. Utility Air Regulatory Group involves EPA’s authority to regulate stationary […]

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Plain Language, Climate Change, and the Supreme Court

supreme-court

The language of the statute relating to next week's argument is clear -- but there's a fly in the ointment.

The Supreme Court will be hearing argument next week in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA.  It’s basically a very simple statutory interpretation case, except for two things.  First, it’s about climate change, and nothing about climate change ever seems to be simple and straightforward.  Second, although the language of the statute, prior Supreme Court precedent, […]

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Is It Unconstitutional for the President to Implement Major New Policies by Regulation?

constitution

According to the Supreme Court, when statutes are unclear, the President is supposed to make policy judgments. That's not unconstitutional -- it's just business as usual.

The short answer is a resounding No.  Some domestic initiatives obviously do require Congressional approval because they are clearly outside the authority conferred by existing law.  But Congress has given the executive branch broad discretion to regulate in many areas, and the executive branch can use that authority for major policy initiatives.  The only real […]

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