Climate Change

Deregulating Methane No Matter What

Emmett Institute faculty submit letter opposing Trump’s proposed rollback on methane regulations

Recently, my colleague Sean Hecht and I jointly submitted a comment letter opposing a new EPA Proposed Rule that would roll back standards limiting methane emissions from oil and natural gas production, processing, transmission, and storage facilities. This Proposed Rule essentially revokes two Obama-era regulations, finalized in 2012 and 2016, that first established these methane …


Youth Energy at Madrid COP

Report from the UCLA Law delegation

Along with my UCLA Law colleagues Ted Parson, Alex Wang, and Siyi Shen, I’m in Madrid with three intrepid law students for the annual conference of the major international treaty addressing climate change, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  As these conferences go, this iteration was expected to be pretty sleepy. The conference remains …


Glacial Geoengineering and the Law of Antarctica

Could mega-adaptation projects in Antarctica slow the rise of global sea levels?

As the planet warms over the coming centuries, glacial melt in Greenland and Antarctica will lead to significant sea level rise. This phenomenon threatens to flood coastal cities, submerge island nations, and displace hundreds of millions of people. Coastal adaptation projects underway give us a glimpse into how we will respond to this future. Some …


OK Boomer

Sadly, all too many people in my generation are part of the problem.

The phrase “OK Boomer” got to be front-page news when Chlöe Swarbrick, a youthful member of the New Zealand parliament, used the phrase against a heckler.  She had been trying to explain why her generation was unwilling to accept delays in addressing climate change. She pointed out that her generation, and the ones to follow, …


Things to Be Thankful For

Despite the Trump Administration’s efforts, there are rays of hope.

Three years into the Trump Administration, we’re now accustomed to waking up every morning to learn about a new attack on the environment.  But there are also some things to be thankful for. Here’s how I started a similar post in 2017, just a year after the 2016 election: “Overall, it’s been a pretty lousy …


Greenhouse Gas Regulations Under the Clean Air Act Are Doomed

Will Kavanaugh Use the Major Questions Doctrine or the Non-Delegation Doctrine to Scrap Them?

The Democratic candidates all have bold plans to attack climate change but face an obvious problem: Congress. Unless the Democrats take the Senate and the Presidency while retaining the House, and unless the Democrats abolish the filibuster, it’s hard to imagine Congress passing comprehensive climate legislation (and even then getting legislation through will be a …


Analyzing the revisions to the ESA regulations (Part V)

Overall, the revised regulations increase agency discretion, particularly to avoid consideration of climate change

This is the  fifth post in a series.  The first post is available here.  The second post is available here.  The third post is available here. The fourth post is available here. Overall, the biggest takeaways from the proposed regulations are that (a) they are intended to substantially increase the discretion the agencies have in …


Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part IV)

The most important revisions to the regulations affect how federal agencies avoid harm to endangered species under Section 7 of the ESA

This is the  fourth post in a series.  The first post is available here.  The second post is available here.  The third post is available here.  The final regulations I am discussing in this post are available here. These are by far the most significant, but also the most complicated changes to the regulations.  Section …


Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part III)

Regulations would make it easier for agency to avoid protections for threatened species

This is the third post in a series.  For the first post, see here.  For the second, post, see here.  The regulations I am analyzing in this post are available here. Section 9 of the ESA prohibits any person from “taking” a listed species – take is defined in the statute rather broadly, to include …


Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part II)

Regulations would make it harder to protect species and habitat because of climate change

This is the second in a series of posts.  For the first post, see here.  The regulations I am analyzing in this post are available here. The ESA has a system by which it determines what species warrant protection under the Act, and therefore should be listed as either endangered or threatened.  In theory at …