Federal Climate Policy

The Supreme Court Stay and the Dog That Didn’t Bark


EPA's Requirements for New Plants Remain Intact

The Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan was a surprise to almost all observers, maybe even to the lawyers requesting the stay.  We can only speculate on what the five majority Justices had in mind, since there was no written opinion. The practical impact of the decision is also unclear. E&E news reports that the […]

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Initial Thoughts on the Supreme Court Staying the Clean Power Plan


Short Answer: There's Nothing Good to Say About it

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 half-page order, dealt the Obama Administration a big blow today by preventing its Clean Power Plan from going into effect until the case can be heard on its merits.  We know from the order that the Court split in the usual way, with the four more liberal members of the Court […]

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EPA Wins the First Round in Clean Power Plan Litigation

CCP series

…But this is just the beginning—and the Supreme Court will have a say

As we reported last week, on January 21st, a D.C. Circuit panel denied Clean Power Plan opponents’ request for a “stay”—or temporary suspension—of the rule pending judicial review. Read the court order here. We have discussed the Clean Power Plan litigation at length on Legal Planet. As a quick refresher, the Clean Power Plan is […]

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DC Circuit Denies Stay of Clean Power Plan

  The DC Circuit issued a judgment denying the request for a stay in the case challenging the Clean Power Plan, West Virginia v. EPA. The decision simply states that the petitioners failed to meet the “stringent requirements for a stay pending court review.” The court ordered the parties to submit a proposed briefing schedule by […]

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Questioning the Questioners

Repub Debate

Examining the role of moderators in Presidential debates

On Sunday night, the three remaining candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination took the stage in South Carolina for the third Democratic primary debate. I was pleased that one of the video questions of the night asked the candidates for their plan to address climate change. Although the Democratic candidates have discussed climate change policies […]

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Want an Economy-Wide Cap on U.S. Climate Emissions? Consider This Corner of the Clean Air Act


New report on Section 115 of the Act suggests an interesting post-Paris approach

A largely-untapped provision of the Clean Air Act authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop and implement an economy-wide, market-based program to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the Obama Administration’s Paris Agreement pledge, according to a report released today by several coordinating law school centers, including the Emmett Institute at UCLA.  See […]

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Climate Politics as a War of Attrition


Don't expect a quick end to battles over climate policy. It could be a long war.

It may be a mistake to assume that opponents of climate policy will see the handwriting on the wall and gracefully give way to the inevitable. In politics, decisions are rarely made for all time, and agreements between opposing sides may not be enforceable. In such situations, game theorists have proposed war-of-attrition models for conflicts. In […]

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Top 10 Environmental News Stories of 2015

Paris fireworks

More goods than bad, but some of each.

Here are the top ten stories, at least as I see them: A Warming World. 2015 will almost certainly be the warmest year on record. This is one more confirmation of recent studies indicating that either there was no climate hiatus or it has ended. Saving Wetlands and Water Bodies. EPA and the Army Corp […]

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COP 21 Battle over 1.5 Degree Global Target


The Contradictory Impulses in the Global Climate Negotiations

The Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 negotiations are, not surprisingly, coming down to the wire with a number of contentious issues still unresolved.  One issue that has surprised, impressed and puzzled me is the debate about whether the agreement should incorporate a goal that the global community work to limit temperature increases to […]

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