California has become the first state in the nation to ban major retail stores from providing single-use carryout plastic bags to their customers. The new legislation similarly prohibits stores from selling or distributing recycled paper bags unless the store makes such bags available for purchase for no less than 10 cents per bag. The new law, […]
Pollution & Health
The environmental stakes are high in the Hawkeye State.
Iowa is a state where the Republican and Democratic candidates have starkly different views about the environment. Joni Ernst, the Republican Senatorial candidate in Iowa, is staunchly anti-environmental. In one of the Republican debates, she had this to say: Another area that we need to look at is the Environmental Protection Agency. When we talk […]
Electric vehicle pioneer to announce its siting decision today
Some California environmentalists may be celebrating now that Tesla has apparently decided to build its $5 billion “gigafactory” in Nevada instead of California. Lawmakers here had toyed with the idea of weakening the state’s signature environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to help expedite review on the factory and therefore encourage Tesla to […]
Will UARG Persuade the Supreme Court to Overturn New Air Quality Standards?
“UARG” sounds like the name of a monster in a children’s book or maybe some kind of strangled exclamation. But it actually stands for Utility Air Regulatory Group, which represents utility companies in litigation. UARG did well in two important Supreme Court cases last year, winning part of the case it brought against EPA climate change […]
Is Increased Reliance on the Public Trust Doctrine an Essential Part of Effective State Adaptation Policy?
I often tell students in my Climate Change Law and Policy course that adaptation–that is, how we can best adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change–is the poor stepchild of the debate over greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. By that I mean that climate change mitigation (i.e., how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) generates far more […]
Debating the Relationship between the Healthcare Fight and Climate Regulation
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 […]
D.C. Circuit upholds Enhanced Coordination Process, refuses to review agency guidance
The D.C. Circuit has rejected a challenge to consultation procedures developed by the EPA and Corps of Engineers for reviewing mountaintop removal mining permits and to EPA’s guidance for reviewing permits issued by the Corps or state permitting agencies. Because it rests on standard administrative law, the decision shouldn’t merit comment. But it does, because […]
Will the Justices Choose to Decide the LCFS's Constitutionality?
You might think that the U.S. Supreme Court, having decided the Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA Clean Air Act case on Monday, was done for the current Term when it comes to environmental law and policy. Think again. Today the justices met in conference to decide whether to grant review in a large number of pending […]
Four years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon was still gushing oil. The well was finally capped in mid- July. There’s been a lot of legal action since then, but it’s hard to keep track of all the piecemeal developments. Here’s quick rundown. The Presidential Commission investigating the spill identified the “root causes” as management failures by industry and […]
Vermont's new chemical program looks to be a mixed bag
Vermont just joined the posse of states taking chemical regulation reform into their own hands in the face of inaction in Congress. Last week the Green Mountain State enacted a new law covering chemicals in children’s products. (A children’s product is defined as “any consumer product, marketed for use by, marketed to, sold, offered for […]