New federal appointees’ sharp differences will make EPA/OMB relationship one to watch

As Dan notes in an earlier post, Cass Sunstein has been selected to direct the White House office that oversees regulation by agencies, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and budget.   An in-depth article  in today’s Los Angeles Times discusses the controversy over his nomination among environmental and labor advocates.  From the Times: …

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Lisa Heinzerling to EPA

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has appointed Georgetown law professor Lisa Heinzerling to be her chief advisor on climate change.  Heinzerling was editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review and clerked for Judge Richard Posner.  She co- authored Priceless, a critique of cost benefit analysis,  and also wrote the lead brief for the plaintiffs in …

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Good News for California

According to the Washingston Post: Obama will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California a waiver to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions linked to global warming, sources said, and he will order the Transportation Department to issue guidelines that will ensure that the nation’s auto fleet reaches an average fuel efficiency of …

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New research points to the need to build resilience to climate change’s impacts

Except when he does not!

While many among us are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the climate is already changing and will continue to change for a long while even if we do everything we can to reduce emissions. As a result, we will need to adapt to our new reality, by building the resilience to deal with changing …

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Sunstein and the Environment

To the dismay of many environmentalists, President Obama has selected Professor Cass Sunstein to head a  key  department at OMB.    This department has been in charge of applying cost-benefit analysis to environmental regulations. For example, the Center for Progressive Regulation (CPR) has issued a report expressing great concern about the selection.  According to CPR: …

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Conservation in a warming world

The latest issue of the journal Science includes another reminder that our current approach to conservation is ill-suited to a world where the climate is changing rapidly.  A study led by Phillip van Mentgem of the U.S. Geological Survey (323 Science 521 (Jan. 23, 2009), subscription required) finds that trees are dying more rapidly in …

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Secretary Clinton makes her first environmental law mistake

As Cymie notes, Secretary of State Clinton seems committed to working for a new climate agreement.  And that’s a good thing (although as I have argued elsewhere, it’s really USTR that should take the lead on climate change negotiation.). But Clinton should stop digging a hole for herself.  She said that the Committee will be …

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Does Anybody Know Who the Commerce Secretary Is?

Does anybody really care? Really. Its budget of between 6 and 7 billion dollars is by far the smallest of any Cabinet Department. That kind of money would be a rounding error for the Pentagon or HHS; hell, the Pentagon lost that much money in transit between Washington and Baghdad. And what really does it …

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Obama and Climate Change

The Obama Administration will face hard regulatory choices on climate change almost immediately.

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Undoing the new ESA consultation regulations?

Nick Rahall (D – W.Va.), joined by 12 co-sponsors, has introduced a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Bush administration’s midnight regulations on ESA section 7 consultation. Some of the many problems with the new regulations have been explained in comments submitted by Berkeley Law profs Eric Biber (coordinating the work …

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