Climate Policymaking in the Shadow of the Supreme Court

Amy Coney Barrett could shift how the Supreme Court approaches environmental regulations. Policymakers should prepare accordingly

By Ann Carlson, Amelia Keyes, Ben Harris  and  Dallas Burtraw (Cross-posted at Resources for The Future’s blog The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has catapulted the Supreme Court back onto the front pages of newspapers around the country. Though press attention has focused on …

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Down to the Wire: The Battle for the Senate

Control of the Senate will matter tremendously, regardless of who’s in the White House.

According to political forecaster Cook Political, “Suddenly, nearly anything is possible in the Senate races.” After yesterday’s vote to confirm Amy Barrett, I probably don’t need to tell you how important Senate control is. In the next session of Congress, control of the Senate will determine the environmental views of new judges and whether any …

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“The Gaffe”

Will Democrats pay a price for Biden's "inconvenient truth" about the future of oil?

Although no one seemed to notice it while the debate was underway, political commentators are now abuzz about a “gaffe” by Biden about the future of gas and oil. Other aspects of the final presidential debate were covered in Cara Horowitz’s insightful post on Friday.  I want to hone in on “the gaffe” in this …

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5 Takeaways from the Climate Section of the Presidential Debate

The fumes! The tiny windows!

Last night’s Presidential debate was the first in many years to feature an announced climate section. Having sat with the questions and answers for a bit, here are my top 5 takeaways. 5) The discussion came really late in the game, saved till the last few minutes of the final debate between these candidates.  Before …

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Trump and Fossil Fuels

How much has Trump helped fossil fuel production? Not as much as he probably thinks. But enough to make climate change worse.

Trump has a single energy policy: expand production and use of fossil fuels. That also dictates his environmental policy, which is to eliminate any regulation that might get in the way.  How much effect has his love affair of fossil fuels had?  Short answer: not as much he thinks, but more than environmentalists would like. …

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Taming Textualism: A Guide for Environmental Lawyers

How to Argue Cases to Conservative Judges

Textualism is the dominant method of interpreting statutes among conservative judges.  It purports to base interpretation on the “ordinary meaning” of the statutory language. This approach ignores traditional tools of statutory interpretation like considering what was actually said in Congress. Ignoring what Congress actually intended seems odd to me. Still, lawyers have to make arguments …

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What’s At Stake

Here’s a quick crib sheet on the climate change and the election

Here’s a quick reminder about the environmental stakes in the election.  I’ve tried to stick with the facts here — you’re free to decide which way the cut. ISSUE TRUMP BIDEN Problem of climate change ” I don’t know that it’s man-made… I don’t wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars.” Biden “has long appreciated …

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Toxic Releases? Botched Drug Trials? — Not a Problem, in this Administration

The Trump Administration has essentially dropped enforcement of environmental laws and clinical trial requirements.

The easiest way to gut regulations is simply to stop enforcing them. That tried and true technique has been enthusiastically embraced by the Trump Administration.  That’s been long suspected in terms of environmental law. Shockingly, the Administration has also mostly given up on enforcing the standards for conducting clinical drug trials. The breakdown in FDA …

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Battle for the Senate: Two More Seats in Play??

Polling is scant, but Alaska and Kansas just might now be competitive Senate races.

There isn’t a lot of data, but some commentators think there’s an outside chance of the Alaska and Kansas seats flipping.  That would be pretty startling, given the strong GOP bent of both cases. Still, strangers things have happened, some in the recent past.  Here are the candidates in those races and their views about …

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Driving Sustainable Energy Storage Technology

Maximizing the Environmental Utility of Battery Storage: Building a Life Cycle Assessment Framework

Battery energy storage is recognized as a key element of making our energy infrastructure more sustainable and resilient. Battery storage, however, encompasses many technologies–how should sustainability-minded agencies, utilities and storage developers choose among these options? UCLA’s Emmett Institute and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is hosting an interactive workshop on that question …

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