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 […]
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 structure of permitting programs can make a big difference for the implementation of environmental law
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. This post is cross-posted at Reg Blog. Reg Blog, supported by the U Penn Program on Regulation is an […]
EPA is right to include climate impacts on foreign countries in its cost-benefit analysis of regulations.
When a regulation benefits people outside the U.S., should those benefits be counted? Or should a cost-benefit analysis include only positive and negative domestic impacts? As a recent paper by Ted Gayer and Kip Viscusi highlights, EPA has been counting the benefits of restricting carbon emissions for the entire world, not just the U.S. […]
Justices Decline to Address Constitutionality of LCFS
The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in closely-watched cases in which the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) was being challenged. The LCFS is, in turn, an integral part of the state’s multifaceted strategy to reduce California’s aggregate greenhouse gas emissions as required under AB 32, the state’s landmark 2006 climate change […]
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 […]
While FRA Considers New Federal Regulations, States Can Ramp Up Prevention and Emergency Response
At a joint Senate and Assembly hearing last week on oil by rail safety in California, some lawmakers expressed frustration at slow federal action, and asked what California can do to increase public safety. My testimony focused on federal preemption issues, defining areas where the state can regulate, and those where it is preempted by […]