Biden Administration

30 Major Climate Initiatives Under Biden

By any measure, it has been an eventful four years for climate policy, with billions in spending and many major regulations finalized. Here’s a timeline of the Top 30 actions.

In his four years in office, Donald Trump rolled back essentially every existing federal policy to limit climate change. The picture under the Biden Administration has been a dramatic reversal, enacting lots of environmental protections and starting to spend tens of billions of dollars. By one count, Biden has overturned more than two dozen of …

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Could Trump Cancel the IRA?

Probably not. But also possibly yes.

The Inflation Reduction Act is Biden’s signature climate initiative. Trump has already called for repealing it, and so have some Republicans in Congress.  Given the IRA’s huge cuts in carbon emissions, that would be a tragedy.  Can he do that? He would certainly face some very significant barriers.  Trump would need Republican majorities in the …

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A New Era for Protecting Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management has always prioritized extraction activities. Now the agency has announced a rule that could elevate conservation.

In August, 2021, I blogged on Legal Planet about a piece in Science I had co-authored arguing for an end to prohibiting “nonuse” rights to bid on public land use. The article helped popularize the issue and the Bureau of Land Management today announced a final rule that, as the BLM press release describes, “recognizes …

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Ranking Presidents on Climate Change

Seven presidents, seven very different legacies.

Although a 1977 memo alerted Jimmy Carter to the problem of climate change, the first tentative responses to climate change didn’t emerge until he left the White House. Since then, there have been seven very different men in the White House.  You may find the rankings surprising. Here’s how I would rank them, from best …

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The Long Life and Sudden Demise of Federal Wetlands Protection

Here’s a timeline of events.

It’s no wonder that one EPA staffer’s reaction to the Supreme Court ruling was a single word: “Heartbroken.” In 2023, the Supreme Court ended fifty years of broad federal protection to wetlands in Sackett v. United States.  It is only when you look back at the history of federal wetland regulation that you realize just …

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See You at the Ribbon Cutting

Solar panel array in CA desert

Republicans think clean energy is terrible and woke and they also want more of it.

“You know, I’ve joined many of you on the groundbreakings . . . And as I told my Republican friends, we’ll even do their districts too.  (Laughter.)  And I’ll be there for the ribbon cutting.  (Laughter.)” That was President Biden tweaking the GOP members of Congress who had all voted against the Inflation Reduction Act …

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Angry About Stalled Progress on Fossil Fuels? Biden’s Not the Culprit.

Sorry, no president can single-handedly fix climate policy. And certainly not with this Supreme Court.

With Biden two-thirds of the way through his term in office, he seems to be catching a lot of flack from climate activists. On Sunday, thousands of angry demonstrators gathered to protest Biden’s U.N. visit. “If you want our vote if you don’t want the blood of our generations to be on your hands, end …

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IRA Implementation: The State of Play

It’s not easy to get a handle on IRA implementation, but some agencies are off to a good start.

The Inflation Reduction Act is Biden’s signature climate program.  You’d think it would be easy to get an analysis of the government’s funding efforts in its first year.  It’s not. This seems like an unforced error to me. In political terms, this seems like a lost opportunity to showcase the government’s achievements; it’s also a …

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 The Contradictory Attacks on Biden’s Climate Programs

“Job Killing” or “Overheating the Economy” — Which Is It?

“Job-killing regulations” is a longtime conservative meme. That attack has now been joined by the claim that major new spending for clean energy is overheating the economy. The inflation claim is new, prompted by the passage of the 2021 Infrastructure law and the 2022 IRA.   And if they were both right, the two problems would …

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Cars, Smog, and EPA

Over the past fifty years, EPA has overseen incredible reductions in auto pollution.

This is part of an occasional series of posts about the evolution of pollution standards. Today’s subject is pollution control for new vehicles, which have been known to cause smog since the 1960s. The history of these pollution standards is quite distinctive. At the high temperatures in internal combustion engines, some of the nitrogen in …

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