Climate Policy

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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The climate bill and oil and gas leasing

Provision in big climate bill that mandates oil and gas leasing on federal lands has limited reach

The big news in climate policy this past week was Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) signing off on a deal with the Democratic Senate Majority leader, Chuck Schumer, to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on climate investments – the bill is catchily called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.  I’ll take a look at the …

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Will public power advance decarbonization?

Increasing public control of energy systems may not facilitate decarbonization

Over the past few years, there has been a push in both Europe and the United States for a “Green New Deal” in which decarbonization efforts would be pushed by aggressive, direct government investments in clean energy technology and infrastructure.  But in much of the United States and in Europe, large portions of the electricity …

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Conservatives Who Support Climate Action

No, not here. The British Tories.

There is continuing conservative support for climate action. Not so much here, of course, but in the UK. The British government is firmly in the grip of the Conservative Party. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is no Donald Trump, but he does have at least a whiff of Trumpiness about him. Like the GOP, the Tories …

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Mexico y el Cambio Climático

There is much to celebrate today. But Mexican climate policy may not be one of them.

This being Cinco de Mayo, it seems like an appropriate time for a look at Mexico’s climate challenges.  Mexico’s carbon emissions are about the same as those of Texas, the highest-emitting US state. Per capita emissions, however, are far lower, given Mexico’s much larger population. Mexico is also highly vulnerable to climate change. What’s the …

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A Bad Week for Biden, and for Climate Action

First House progressives, and next conservative Justices, poked a stick in the spokes.

President Biden hoped to go to the international climate summit in Glasgow with momentum behind him. He wanted to reestablish US credibility with concrete progress on climate change. Instead, the ability of the US to take action on climate change is shrouded in doubt.  Biden  suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of members of …

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