Last week, conflicting federal court decisions regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA or “Obamacare,” set the nation abuzz. In Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation providing federal subsidies to low-income taxpayers who purchase health insurance through a […]
Federal Climate Policy
Henry Waxman urges FERC to act on greenhouse gas emissions.
In a Congressional hearing this morning, Congressman Henry Waxman had a rare chance to face all five sitting members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at the same time to talk about climate change. He took the opportunity to point out UC Berkeley’s recent report on FERC’s authority under existing law to reduce greenhouse […]
The Supreme Court ignored a major option for effective regulation
Author’s Note: The following post is co-authored by Eric Biber and J.B. Ruhl, the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law and the Co-Director of the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Program at Vanderbilt Law School. It is also cross-posted at Reg Blog. Reg Blog, supported by the U Penn Program on Regulation is an […]
The UARG majority opinion says the context and overall structure of a statute help determine the meaning of statutory terms
The tax subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act to pay for health insurance are, of course, the subject of significant press coverage since dueling federal appeals courts came to different conclusions about who receives them this week. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held, in a 2-1 decision called Harbig v. Burwell, that an […]
A new report shows that FERC has extensive power to address climate change.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has captured the attention of the energy world with its proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants – and for good reason. The EPA’s authority is broad and its resolve to address climate change is evident. But other federal agencies are in a position to […]
The public continues to support a federal action to address climate change.
A poll released last month probed American attitudes toward climate change. The poll was released after the Obama Administration issued its proposed rules for existing power plants to loud cries of protest from industry. The poll was conducted by Stanford University and Resources for the Future, a highly regarded think tank. At the time, the […]
The Supreme Court may have just eliminated a major legal and political risk to EPA's greenhouse gas regulatory program
A couple of folks have already written about the UARG decision, and there is surely more to understand about the implications of the Scalia majority decision for future EPA greenhouse gas regulatory efforts. But I want to highlight one key implication of the decision for EPA’s overall greenhouse gas regulatory program. First, it is important […]
Direct implications are limited, but we'll be reading the tea leaves for future implications.
Scholars, lawyers, and judges will be spending a lot of time dissecting today’s ruling. Overall, it’s a bit like yesterday’s World Cup game — EPA didn’t win outright but it didn’t lose either. Here are three key questions with some initial thoughts: What is the direct legal impact of the ruling? This was really […]
The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, the justices’ third encounter with climate change law and policy. In a Solomonic ruling, the Court ruled that EPA lacks authority to require the operators of “stationary sources” of greenhouse gas emissions (power plants, factories, etc.) to obtain […]
Why Republicans probably won't be able to eliminate the EPA rules before 2016
I wrote earlier about why the 2016 Presidential election will be the election that matters (politically) for the long-term success of the new greenhouse gas rules proposed by EPA. (The status of legal challenges is a different question.) I want to elaborate a little more now about why the 2014 midterm elections are pretty much […]