Federal Climate Policy

Public Lands Watch: Sage Grouse Plans Move Forward

Administration takes next steps to scale back protections for iconic Western bird on federal public lands.

I’ve posted before about proposals by the Trump Administration to roll back protections for the sage grouse, an iconic species of the Western United States, from oil and gas development on federal public lands.  (The initial blog post with background is here; the specific proposed revisions are here.)  The Administration has now issued a final […]

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Climate Negotiations Start in Poland: Setting the Stage

Much at Stake in COP-24, Including Negotiation of Paris Rulebook to Implement 2015 Commitments

This week and next, negotiators are meeting in Poland for the big annual international climate-change meeting. This meeting, formally, is the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1992 treaty that provides the foundation for all official international action on climate change, and informally is called “COP-24.” It […]

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Guess What? It’s THAT Time of Year.

Yes, it’s fundraising season. And yes, we’re asking you to help out.

Yes, it’s fundraising season. And yes, we’re asking for your help on this Giving Tuesday — not for our own sakes, but because we think the work we’re trying to do on climate change and other issues is important. Like everyone else, I’m sure you find fundraising appeals annoying.  That’s why we hardly ever do […]

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Does the New National Climate Assessment Hurt the Trump Administration in Court?

The Report Could Affect a Number of Cases

The newly released Fourth National Climate Assessment is a bombshell.  It catalogues, in excruciating detail, the dire health, economic, and environmental consequences of unchecked climate change on every region of the United States. And although the Trump Administration appears to have tried to minimize the report’s political and public  impact by dropping it on Black […]

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A Catalogue of Game Changers

We’re making progress on addressing climate change, and I’m hopeful that we’ll continue doing so. Yet it’s not clear whether the path we’re currently on will make progress fast enough to avoid very serious risks.  So what would it take for us to make a quantum leap in this effort?  I wouldn’t hazard a prediction […]

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Guest Bloggers Deborah Gordon and Frances Reuland: Is California Extraordinary? Its Oil Resources Certainly Are

Facts About California’s Oil and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Despite ongoing federal rollbacks to environmental regulations, California has the right to set its own clean air standards because it is truly extraordinary. Truth be told, the compelling circumstances that first set in motion California’s vehicle emissions standards remain entirely valid. And there are four recent conditions, related to California’s oil supply, production, and refining, […]

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An Ax, Not a Scalpel

Trump’s “take no prisoner’s” deregulatory strategy carries big litigation risks.

Some people, it would seem, prefer using an ax to a scalpel. That’s the Trump Administration. That strategy can be a great way to cut down a tree, but it doesn’t work so well for surgery. And there’s always the chance of cutting off your own foot. In many environmental domains, the Administration seems set […]

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Sessions Out, Whitaker In: What Might the DOJ Shakeup Mean for Environmental Enforcement?

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News broke this afternoon that Trump has forced Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to resign — naming Sessions’ chief of staff, the Marbury v. Madison critic and sports take tweeter Matthew Whitaker acting AG. This move obviously has some pretty horrifying implications for the country at large, but it’s worth thinking about how the […]

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Negative Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the National Academies, and the Law

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda

What does the scaling-up of negative emissions technologies for environmental law?

In my previous posts , I described how most emissions scenarios that are expected to keep warming within 2 or 1.5°C rely on negative emissions technologies (NETs) at large scales and how the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change addresses NETs (as well as how solar geoengineering could offer an additional means to […]

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Politics, the Environment, and the Rural/Urban Divide

Rural areas have been home to regulatory skeptics. But there may be ways of changing that.

Is there an urban/rural split in America? Definitely so, in politics, demography, and economics — and on the environment. Consider this, from Dan Balz at the Washington Post: “in the 2,332 counties that make up small-town and rural America, [Trump] swamped his Democratic rival, winning 60 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 34 percent.” But Balz reports […]

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