Climate action outside DC is far broader and deeper than when he took office.
Trump remains a grave threat to climate action and to the planet at large. But there actually has been significant progress on climate policy despite him. Not so much in DC, of course. But outside the Beltway, climate policy has widened and deepened. At the state level, there has been a barrage of climate activity. …CONTINUE READING
Democratic governors in deep red states can only do so much.
Democrats flipped a number of statehouses in the past two years. In some of those states, the new governors have faced GOP legislatures. Their travails indicate some of the limits of what a new President could accomplish with a GOP Senate. North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Kansas are three cases in point. I want to ask …CONTINUE READING
Like many humans, the Twenty-First Century’s teenage years were stormy.
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” That pretty much sums up the ten years from January 2010 to January 2020. As the decade began, Barrack Obama was in the White House and the Democrats controlled Congress but were one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority in the House. Under …CONTINUE READING
While the Feds backpedal, the states move forward on clean energy.
Every day seems to bring more news of the Trump Administration’s dogged efforts to reduce environmental protections and accelerate climate change with increased carbon emissions. But, as has been true since Trump took office, the picture at the state level is much different. State governments across the country have accelerated their efforts to decarbonize, while …CONTINUE READING
Bottom-up appraches aren’t just fallbacks when top-down fails. They have their own strengths.
There are some obvious advantages to top-down climate police, whereby a uniform global climate policy is adopted at the global level and then seamlessly implemented by nations, or whereby a similar process takes place at the national level. Of course, this top-down model requires first global agreement on a uniform policy and then effective …CONTINUE READING
Thought experiment: take everything conservative want to do and then do the opposite.
Conservatives, with full support from Donald Trump have come up with a menu of ways to weaken the regulatory state. In honor of National Backward Day – that’s an actual thing, in case you’re wondering, and it’s today – let’s think about reversing those ideas. In other words, let’s try to come up with similar …CONTINUE READING
I agree with Rick’s take on the oral argument in Connecticut v. AEP — in fact, so much so that I predicted it three years ago! But if the Supreme Court overturns the Second Circuit on the viability of a federal common law claim, that actually makes the viability of state common law claims stronger. …CONTINUE READING
I can’t let this one pass unremarked. Seth Jaffe, writing in the Boston law firm Foley Hoag’s “Law and the Environment” blog, uses Portland Oregon’s recent release of an updated draft Climate Action Plan as an occasion to criticize not only Portland (one of the few cities I actually like) but the whole concept of …CONTINUE READING
GAO has released an important report on adaptation. This is a subject that is just beginning to get the attention it deserves. Key findings: The challenges faced by federal, state, and local officials in their efforts to adapt fell into three categories, based on GAO’s analysis of questionnaire results, site visits, and available studies. First, …CONTINUE READING
A great deal of attention has been devoted to federalism issues relating to climate change mitigation. In contrast, the federalism dimension of adaptation has only begun to receive attention. Regardless of mitigation efforts, however, it is clear that society will experience substantial climate impacts and that major adaptation efforts will be required. What roles should …CONTINUE READING