Hearings on the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State are scheduled to begin on January 11th. The nomination puts Tillerson and his company at the vortex of a whirlwind of public grievances about ExxonMobil’s positions on climate science and Russian influence over American politics and policy. While […]
International Environmental Law
Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket
In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law. That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]
“But except for that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” It’s an old joke, for all I know going back to 1865. That was 2016,too, in a way. Like Mrs. Lincoln’s evening at Ford’s Theater, 2016 contained a lot of good things, some bad things, and then disaster. Here’s a list of each. The […]
They’re not as bad as you might think. Relatively speaking.
The immediate environmentalist reaction to Rex Tillerson and Rick Perry — Trump’s choices to run the Departments of State and Energy — is that these are disastrous choices, like Trump’s selection of climate change denier Scott Pruitt to run EPA. That’s understandable. After all, Tillerson is the CEO of Exxon. As to Perry, the Washington Post headline says […]
Transition Team Uniformly Anti-Climate but Trump Signals Open Mind to NY Times
Today we got a sliver of hope from President-Elect Trump about remaining in the Paris Agreement. He also acknowledged a connection between human activity and climate change, something obviously at odds with his campaign rhetoric. Trump told the New York Times he would “keep an open mind” about the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement. He […]
After the election of Trump, state and local leaders have to step up
As my colleague Ethan Elkind pointed out in a blog post the other day, the most viable path forward in the fight to slow (cause we’re kind of past the ability to prevent) climate change after the election of Donald Trump as President on Tuesday will be at the sub-federal level. As Ethan pointed out, […]
When you look at the whole of his legacy, it’s a stunning record.
When he leaves office in January, President Obama will have compiled a remarkable record of environmental achievements. The record spans everything from climate change to endangered species and ocean protection. We can only hope that next Tuesday’s election doesn’t undo many of these gains. Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of […]
Long-term thinking and short-term deficiencies in climate change mitigation
With the Paris Agreement now ratified by 86 countries, and entering into force this Friday, countries have defined their first targets—the first round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The United States has pledged to reduce GHG emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. This initial round of NDCs is significant, but represents only a short timeframe and […]
October has seen major strides toward controlling greenhouse gases.
As the campaign seems to get more and more awful, I thought you might like to hear some good news. Behind the tumult of the campaign, there has been real progress in addressing climate change in the U.S. and around the world. In particular, there were four major advances just this month. The first is that […]
Yup, international diplomacy is slow. One year ago, at their last meeting, the parties to the Montreal Protocol decided to proceed with negotiating an amendment to the treaty to limit HFCs. They negotiated that amendment in several sessions over the past year, and adopted it last Friday at the end of their 2016 meeting in […]