Climate Change

The Inflation Reduction Act and California Offshore Wind

There May Be Workarounds for Delays in Offshore Wind Created by IRA Section 50265

Various measures in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law on August 16, 2022, create new momentum for offshore wind in California. However, as with all things in life, it’s never that simple. In this case, the IRA ties offshore wind (OSW) leases to offshore oil and gas auctions and prevents OSW leases from …

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Dear 1L . . .

You couldn’t have picked a more critical time to come to law school, for the country, the planet, and our future.

Dear 1L: You’ve gotten to law school at a crucial time for the future of the planet. The good news is that you’re arriving at a pivotal point when your work as a lawyer can make a big difference. The bad news is that we have a dwindling amount of time to get the situation …

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IRA’s Impact

The new law is a Big Deal. Or more precisely, a REALLY Big Deal.

IRA, the Inflation Reduction Act, is clearly the biggest climate legislation ever passed in the United States.  The law will provide  $379 billion in subsidies to clean energy in the form of direct payments and tax credits. Subsidies aren’t the ideal way to cut emissions, because it’s impossible to target them to the precise behavioral …

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The Inflation Reduction Act and the Sequencing of Climate Policy

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 …

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Why We Can’t Wait

In climate policy, delay is deadly.

There are a lot of complaints about the very real flaws in the Inflation Reduction Act, tied with arguments that we should wait until we can do something better. In climate policy, however, waiting is dangerous.  We’ve already delayed far too long. Further delay means having to cut emission much more rapidly to make up …

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Making Climate Policy Work

New book highlights the weaknesses of carbon pricing in addressing climate policy

I have a new post up at JOTWELL reviewing a recent book from Danny Cullenward at the climate think-tank Carbon Plan, and Professor David Victor of UC San Diego.  Their book, Making Climate Policy Work, is a terrific overview of the political and administrative weaknesses of carbon pricing as a tool for climate policy.  Please …

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Don’t hamstring carbon removal

California needs to lead in developing critical carbon removal technologies

Assessments by the IPCC have made clear that the most feasible way for the world to meet its target of restricting climate change to below two degrees Celsius of warming includes rapid and massive expansion of carbon removal technology – technology that would extract carbon dioxide and permanently sequester that carbon dioxide underground.  California has …

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Two and a half cheers for the IRA

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 …

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Declaring a Climate Change Emergency: A Citizen’s Guide

Would it be legal to declare a national emergency for climate change? Would it be useful? Here’s what you need to know.

Based on press reports, it now seems likely that Biden will soon declare climate change to be a national emergency.  Would this be legal? Would it unlock important powers that could be used to fight climate change?  My answers are: It would probably be legal, and it would unlock some significant powers. But an emergency …

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Climate Change and the Major Question Doctrine

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 …

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