What Can and Should the President do About Climate Change Without Congress?

President Obama made clear in his State of the Union that he would do everything within in his power to combat climate change even if Congress refused to go along.  Here are his words:

 I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate
change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few
years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.
I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and
in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences
of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of
energy.

It seems safe to say that Congress will not pass a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change any time soon.  So what, exactly, can and should the President do with his existing authority?  The Harvard Law Review Forum has just posted three articles by  Richard Lazarus, Michael Gerrard and me that attempt to answer this question.  You can read them all here: http://www.harvardlawreview.org/forum/

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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “What Can and Should the President do About Climate Change Without Congress?”

  1. Richard J. Lazarus wrote: “Acutely aware of how increased energy efficiency saves the lives of troops responsible for transporting energy supplies into conflict areas, the armed forces have assumed a leadership role in saving energy. The Army’s “Net Zero Initiative” will make twenty-five of its installations “net zero” for energy, water, and waste by 2030 and five bases net zero energy by 2020. The Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” seeks fifty percent alternative energy supplies for its shored-base requirements, and fifty percent of its installations to become net zero by 2020. These initiatives are role models for the nation.”

    This is something I thought about the other day in class, and seeing it written about makes me wonder what your response is… specifically, Jevons Paradox as it applies to the military. What are your thoughts? You can even post it in a new blog post if you want (or provide a link if you have already written about it).

  2. Richard J. Lazarus wrote: “Acutely aware of how increased energy efficiency saves the lives of troops responsible for transporting energy supplies into conflict areas, the armed forces have assumed a leadership role in saving energy. The Army’s “Net Zero Initiative” will make twenty-five of its installations “net zero” for energy, water, and waste by 2030 and five bases net zero energy by 2020. The Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” seeks fifty percent alternative energy supplies for its shored-base requirements, and fifty percent of its installations to become net zero by 2020. These initiatives are role models for the nation.”

    This is something I thought about the other day in class, and seeing it written about makes me wonder what your response is… specifically, Jevons Paradox as it applies to the military. What are your thoughts? You can even post it in a new blog post if you want (or provide a link if you have already written about it).

Comments are closed.

About Ann

Ann Carlson

Ann Carlson is the Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and the co-Faculty Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School…

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