Why subsidies for clean energy generally are preconditions for other climate policies
The Inflation Reduction Act would be, if enacted, the biggest piece of climate legislation that the U.S. Congress has ever passed. As such, it’s gotten a fair amount of coverage attempting to put it into context for the broader scope of climate policy in the U.S. and globally – in particular, this article in Slate …CONTINUE READING
Climate legislation sets the stage not just for decarbonization now, but greater policy success later on
The announcement of the legislative deal (the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022) between Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and the Democratic Senate leadership was a bid deal in climate policy. The legislation relies on the reconciliation process, allowing it to pass with a simple 50 votes (plus Vice President Harris’ tie-breaker vote). The legislation provides for …CONTINUE READING
Provision in big climate bill that mandates oil and gas leasing on federal lands has limited reach
The big news in climate policy this past week was Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) signing off on a deal with the Democratic Senate Majority leader, Chuck Schumer, to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on climate investments – the bill is catchily called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. I’ll take a look at the …CONTINUE READING
Understanding the Property Clause’s location in Article IV clarifies the power of Congress and the federal government to protect public lands
In my previous blog post, I discussed how the location of the Property Clause in Article IV can help answer key debates about congressional versus executive power under the Clause, as well as federal versus state power under the Clause. Here I want to draw on the principles I developed in the prior blog post: …CONTINUE READING
The Supreme Court is almost certain to cut back on EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. What then?
In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court is reviewing Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) itself no longer has any practical relevance, but there’s every reason to predict the Court will strike it down anyway. The ruling will also restrict EPA’s future options. The big question is what the Biden Administration …CONTINUE READING
A case on the shadow docket may shed light on the Court’s direction.
Court watchers and environmentalists are waiting with bated breath for the Supreme Court to rule on West Virginia v. EPA, the Court’s most important climate change case in a generation. The issue in that case is what, if anything, EPA can do to regulate carbon emissions from power plants and factories. Yesterday, conservative states asked …CONTINUE READING
Trump tried to keep climate change out of environmental impact statements. Biden was right to scotch that effort.
Yesterday, the White House undid an effort by the Trump Administration to undermine the use of environmental impact statements. The pre-Trump rules had been in effect since 1978. Restoring the 1978 version was the right thing to do. The Trump’s rules arbitrarily limited the scope of the environmental effects that EPA can consider. Their goal …CONTINUE READING
Under Administrator Michael Regan, the Biden EPA is beginning to churn out important new regulatory proposals.
The Trump Administration left a trail of regulatory destruction behind it. Cleaning up the mess and issuing new regulations is Priority #1 for the Biden Administration. Under EPA head Michael Regan, the effort is beginning to pick up steam. EPA has begun the year with several major new regulatory efforts. No one of them is …CONTINUE READING
Why race is an important factor to consider
Last Friday, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released its long-awaited Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. The screening tool will guide the Biden Administration’s implementation of its Justice40 Initiative that directs that 40 percent of certain federal investment programs benefit disadvantaged communities. However, like may legal scholars predicted and the White House foreshadowed, …CONTINUE READING
The three front runners have track records, but they’re not easy to interpret.
Currently, the press seems to view Judges Michelle Childs, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Leondra Kruger as the front runners to replace Breyer. That may shift over the next month, but it seems worthwhile to give these three a closer look. They’ve all decided environmental cases while on the bench. I assume most readers don’t want …CONTINUE READING