Regulatory Policy

A Small-Government Approach to Pricing Carbon

CO2_smoke

We can impose a price on carbon without a tax or emissions trading. Here’s how.

Cap and dividend is a politically appealing idea; put a price on carbon, then refund the money to consumers in equal shares.  But conservatives and libertarians object to this idea on two grounds. First, cap-and-trade systems are complex and require a lot of regulatory oversight.  Second, if the government collects the money, despite its current […]

Continue Reading

National Park Service Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

It’s Time to Celebrate–and Re-Commit to–“America’s Best Idea”

This week the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday.  On August 25, 1916, Congress enacted legislation proposed by President Woodrow Wilson to create the Park Service.  To this date, creation of the Service remains one of the nation’s most important actions to protect America’s environment.  (Documentarian Ken Burns–himself a national treasure–famously called the national […]

Continue Reading

Upcoming Regulatory Takings Conference 2016

TAKINGS2016-webHEADER-600x275

Nation’s Top Annual Takings Event Set for November 4th in New Orleans

One of the most important issues in modern environmental law and policy is the extent to which constitutionally-protected property rights limit environmental regulatory programs at the federal, state and local levels.  Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has focused more attention on this question over the last four decades than any other aspect of modern environmental […]

Continue Reading

Beyond Administrative Law

AALS

Law students need to know about more than administrative procedure and judicial review.

Since the days of Felix Frankfurter, the Administrative Law course has been a staple of American law schools.  It’s a great course, but it’s limited.  The same is true of most of the courses on legislation and regulation in the first year, which also focus on how courts interpret statutes and how they review administrative […]

Continue Reading

Legal Analysis of CAISO Expansion

Electricalgrid

We don’t foresee changes to FERC jurisdiction or Commerce Clause validity

The California Independent System Operator — known as CAISO — is considering expanding its footprint to include Pacific Corp as a participating transmission owner.   CAISO recently commissioned a study that Professor William Boyd of the University of Colorado and I authored, in consultation with  Ethan Elkind  of Berkeley and UCLA and Sho Sato Professor […]

Continue Reading

The Miracle Elixir for Economic Growth: More Pollution!

Donald Trump

Trump claims allowing more water and air pollution will boost the economy through the stratosphere.

Is increased pollution the key to economic growth? Can we increase economic growth by dropping restrictions on air and water pollution and ramping up climate change? Donald Trump believes that the answer is yes – indeed, if that if we just get rid of those pesky environmental regulations, we can create 500,000 new jobs every year, […]

Continue Reading

California Governor Jerry Brown Launches Initiative Effort to Achieve Climate Change Goals

Governor Brown Decides to Play Offense in High Stakes Political Battle Over Next Stage of State Climate Change Mitigation Efforts

One of 2016’s biggest political battles in California is over whether and how the state will pursue its ambitious climate change mitigation goals past the year 2020.  California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act–better known as AB 32–committed California to roll back aggregate state greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels no later than 2020.  Through the […]

Continue Reading

The Libertarian Party and the Environment

The Libertarian Party platform leaves many open questions about environmental protection.

A number of people seem drawn to the Libertarian Party during this election cycle.  As it turns out, the Party believes not only in minimal government but a minimal platform.  Compared to the platforms of the major parties, the Libertarian platform is blessedly brief. (It also seems notably more purist than the Party’s presidential ticket.) […]

Continue Reading

157 Days. . . And Still, Congress Has Not Acted

zika

The President requested emergency funding to fight Zika on Feb. 22. Now the virus is starting to spread.

This just in from the Washington Post: “Florida officials on Friday announced the first local spread of Zika virus through infected mosquitoes in the continental United States. “Gov. Rick Scott made the announcement during a press conference Friday after a health department investigation into four suspected cases in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.” On Wednesday, the FDA […]

Continue Reading

Remember the Unitary Executive Theory? The GOP Platform Didn’t.

GOP2

The platform casually blew off a key conservative belief.

The Republican platform contains a fascinating sleeper provision. It proposes to “transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.” What makes this proposal so interesting is that it violates what used to be a core tenet of conservative belief: the unitary executive doctrine. Under the unitary executive doctrine, independent agencies […]

Continue Reading