Federal Climate Policy

After Trump

Suppose we get a pro-climate-action unified government. What then?

Someday, the stars will surely come into alignment and Congress will be able to pass climate legislation.  A national cap-and-trade scheme or a carbon tax would be definite possibilities.  But let’s suppose they aren’t politically feasible, maybe because of opposition from progressive on equity grounds, or maybe because for some reason the public rejects them. […]

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Climate policy and horcruxes

What Harry Potter might have to teach us about making climate policy more resilient to political shifts

As the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear, the negative impacts of climate change are now upon us, and we have a very limited amount of time to decarbonize global economies in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic impacts from climate change, impacts that might begin as soon […]

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EPA’s Return to Bush-Era Clean Air Act Reforms Sacrifices Agency’s Duty to Protect Environment, Ignores the Law

Quiet changes buried behind the big de-regulatory headlines spell disaster for the environment

As I explained back in August, the Trump Administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan replacement (the “Affordable Clean Energy” or ACE rule) came with a significant change to how the EPA has traditionally interpreted the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) provisions mandating pre-construction environmental review and the installation of air pollution controls to offset […]

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The Worst of a Bad Lot

They’re all bad, but this regulatory rollback effort stands out for sheer incompetence.

The Trump Administration has many energy and environmental initiatives, none of them good.  But in terms of shoddy analysis and tenuous evidence, the worst is the Administration’s attempt to freeze fuel efficiency standards. For sheer lack of professionalism, the Administration’s cost-benefit analysis is hard to match. And you can’t even say that the Administration is […]

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The possibilities of a Green New Deal

Proposal for massive government investment in decarbonization of the economy could have long-term political benefits, if it’s done right

The new House Democratic majority takes over this week. In the period between the midterm elections and now, one major issue that has been discussed is the path forward for the Democrats on climate policy. Led by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activists have called for the new majority to set up a special House committee […]

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The Power of the Purse

House Democrats have power to use appropriations process to stop Trump Administration environmental rollbacks

Dan has already posted about some of the big deregulatory steps the Trump Administration is likely to take in the next year. But the new Democratic majority in the House could have something to say about those steps, if they wanted to. Democrats will have even more leverage over spending bills than they had in […]

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The Curious Case of EPA’s Mercury Cost-Benefit Decision

What, exactly, is EPA up to by changing the underlying analysis of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (known as the MATS rule), as it announced yesterday?  Is it the first step in gutting the use of cost-benefit analysis to support strong environmental regulations?  Is it a gift to Murray Energy in its lawsuit seeking […]

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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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