One of these things is not like the others.
The automotive world is changing quickly. Most of the trends are mutually reinforcing. But one points in the opposite direction. The first and most obvious trend is the rise of EVs. In the twenty years since Tesla arrived, EVs have gone from 0.2% of new cars to 13%, and Bloomberg predicts that this figure will …CONTINUE READING
A leading environmental lawyer gives his perspective.
Transportation is now the source of 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than the electric power sector. The transportation sector is also a substantial source of nitrogen oxides and particulates, both of which are dangerous to human health. The Biden Administration has taken important regulatory actions bearing on these problems, with others in the …CONTINUE READING
A different perspective on a familiar holiday.
When you think about it, the Hanukkah story is, in a funny way, about a miraculous increase in energy efficiency. An energy resource (olive oil) that was supposed to supply only enough energy for one night’s worth of light was able to supply light for eight nights. That’s an eightfold improvement in energy efficiency, akin …CONTINUE READING
Just because a regulation involves climate change, that doesn’t make it a major question.
Red State AGs are preparing to go to town with the West Virginia case. They seem to think that everything involving climate change automatically becomes a major question. That’s simply wrong. The doctrine is more nuanced. Recall that the Supreme Court struck down OSHA’s vaccine mandate, essentially on major questions grounds, but the majority found …CONTINUE READING
Cases were few, but one judge was years ahead of her time.
In an earlier post, I tried to figure out when the legal academy first discovered climate changes. As it turns out, it was almost a decade later when the federal courts took notice. Those first climate change cases shed light on how new issues get litigated and how courts respond to new science. My research …CONTINUE READING
A 6-3 conservative court is bad news for climate action. Here’s a threat assessment.
With Romney’s announcement this morning that he would support consideration of a nominee before the election, it now seems virtually certain that Trump will be able to appoint a sixth conservative Justice. How will that affect future climate policy? Here is a preliminary threat assessment. The answer varies, depending on what policies we’re talking about. …CONTINUE READING
For now, at least, environmentalists and economists are aligned in criticizing Trump’s rollbacks. Will this alliance last?
If it’s true that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” environmentalists might want to take another look at cost-benefit analysis. The Trump Administration is certainly doing its best to gut economic analysis of its rollbacks. Both economists and environmentalists are resisting. Is this an alliance of convenience or will it be the start …CONTINUE READING
The Court’s ruling could have important implications for environmental cases.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Department of Homeland Security v. UC Regents was great news for 700,000 “Dreamers” who would otherwise face deportation. It also has important implications for administrative law — and for environmental law cases in particular. Here are three main takeaways. Requiring Reasoned Explanation. Chief Justice John Roberts reinforced the principle that …CONTINUE READING
The effects are more gradual, but deregulation could be as deadly as the pandemic.
The Trump Administration has been busy repealing pollution laws that protect public health. The health impact of these rollbacks isn’t as dramatic as an epidemic. There’s a credible argument, however, that it will be just as deadly. In order to put some numbers on the effects of deregulation, we need to make some assumptions on …CONTINUE READING
Much of environmental law is about protecting public health. But the Trump Administration won’t listen.
During the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the voice of reason. Much of the public turns to him for critical information about public health, while even Trump finds it necessary to listen. In the Trump era, no one plays that role in the environmental area. The result is a mindless campaign of deregulation …CONTINUE READING