Biden has set up a lot of future actions. But he’s already got some notches on his belt.
Tomorrow marks Biden’s first 100 days in office. He’s appointed a great climate team and is negotiating an infrastructure bill that focuses on climate change. With luck, those actions will produce major environmental gains down the road. There are also some solid gains in the form of actions that have already come to fruition. Here’s …CONTINUE READING
Soil is an important carbon sink. It’s literally going down the drain, eroding away.
Today is Earth Day. Let’s talk about something earthy: the dirt under our feet. When I was a kid growing up in central Illinois, the topsoil was black and went down about a foot. When I was a little older and tried gardening, I was amazed at the fertility of the soil. When I’ve gone …CONTINUE READING
Exploring legal options for congressional and executive actions to terminate existing fossil fuel leases on federal lands.
The Biden Administration has set aggressive goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the United States. And a necessary component for any long-term plan to address greenhouse gas emissions from the United States is reducing and ultimately eliminating the emissions from fossil fuels produced on federal lands. Why is this such a critical …CONTINUE READING
The Biden Administration has already started to revisit this important issue.
“The social cost of carbon” isn’t exactly a household phrase. It’s an estimate of the harm caused by emitting a ton of CO2 over the many decades it remains in the atmosphere. That’s an important factor in calculating the costs and benefits of climate regulations. For an arcane concept, it has certainly caused a lot …CONTINUE READING
Encouraging Signals As To How Biden’s USDOJ Will Resolve Environmental Lawsuits Originally Brought Against the Trump Administration
The transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration makes for fascinating spectator sport. President Biden’s first month in office reveals that he and his Administration are committed to undoing the widespread damage former President Trump and his minions engineered across so many policy and legal areas. The environment is a particularly prominent example. …CONTINUE READING
Experts will no longer be pariahs under Biden. But will their voices be heard?
One of the abiding issues in governance is the balance between democratic leadership and experts. We don’t want government solely by technocrats. Nor do we want government steered solely by ideology and politics, as under Trump. Biden will be a vast improvement, but there’s still some question about whether he’ll get the balance right. I …CONTINUE READING
Big changes may be coming to White House regulatory oversight.
President Biden seems to be poised to dramatically change how the White House reviews proposed agency regulations. I argued in a recent post that it would be better to expand the focus of regulatory review beyond cost-benefit analysis to include important values such as social justice and environmental quality. Biden may be moving in that …CONTINUE READING
There was Biden’s Executive Order, of course. And two other things. Or maybe three.
Yesterday, I read three encouraging stories about the U.S. and climate change. One was about action by the federal government, one about action by the states, and one about action by the private sector. The biggest news was from the federal government, in the form of Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at …CONTINUE READING
UCLA Environmental Law Professor Named NHTSA General Counsel
President Joe Biden has appointed UCLA environmental law professor–and frequent Legal Planet contributor–Ann Carlson to serve as General Counsel of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA, part of the U.S. Department of Administration (USDOT), plays a key regulatory role in charting federal transportation policy. Professor Carlson has anchored UCLA School of Law’s …CONTINUE READING
Biden has a congressional shortcut to cancel Trump’s regulatory rollbacks, but it comes with risks.
The Trump administration dedicated itself to deregulation with unprecedented fervor. It rolled back scores of regulations across government agencies, including more than 80 environmental rules. The Biden administration can reverse some of those actions quickly – for instance, as president, Joe Biden can undo Donald Trump’s executive orders with a stroke of the pen. He …CONTINUE READING