SB 261 results from CLEE report recommendation
The California Legislature passed two path-breaking climate risk disclosure bills this week. Both bills now go to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk where he has until October 14th to sign them. Senate Bill 261 (Stern) requires major corporations to disclose climate change related financial risks, using a framework consistent with that of the Task Force on Climate …CONTINUE READING
What are the environmental impacts of Uncle Sam’s failure to pay his debts on time?
A journalist asked me how a default might impact environmental law. As I thought about it, I realized that the answers were, “In one way, very little,” and “In another way, potentially a disaster.” The effects might not amount to much. Or we could be talking about multigenerational climate impacts. There’s a lot of uncertainty …CONTINUE READING
The new rule has hardly any of the features that caused the Supreme Court to strike down the Obama rule.
We’ve already started to hear claims that the Biden power plant rule falls under the major question doctrine, which the Supreme Court used to strike down Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Are those claims plausible? Consider the aspects of the Clean Power Plan that the Supreme Court found objectionable. I’ve identified eight factors that the Court …CONTINUE READING
Claims that the new rule violates the doctrine are groundless.
Ever since the Supreme Court decided West Virginia v. EPA, conservatives and industry interests have claimed that just about every new regulation violates the major question doctrine. When the Biden Administration ramped up fuel efficiency requirements through 2026, ideologues such as the Heartland Institute and states like Texas were quick to wheel out this attack. …CONTINUE READING
The climate crisis is unprecedented. So is its legal fallout.
In teaching my class on Climate Law, I’ve been struck by how many new legal questions courts are confronting as a result of the climate crisis. Dealing with these new legal questions is going to put stress on existing legal doctrines and require courts to rethink some basic principles. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is pushing …CONTINUE READING
As the initial top-down approach failed, a new approach to climate policy crystalized.
My last blog post told the story of the original top-down approach to climate policy. It was supposed to feature binding restrictions on carbon emissions in a global treaty and federal legislation. By 2012, it was plain that neither half of this “Plan A” strategy was in the offing. Building on trends that had begun …CONTINUE READING
The president talks up his climate laws without saying “climate.” Can the U.S. meet its climate goals without telling voters about them?
Well, we finally got a real “Infrastructure Week.” President Biden has been traveling from Baltimore to New York to Kentucky, touting his major legislative achievements in front of trains, tunnels and bridges. He’s talking up both the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a warm-up for his State …CONTINUE READING
Call to Action on Active Mobility and Deep Dive on Clean Trucks
Last month at COP 27 in Egypt, CLEE partnered with the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance (TDA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as chair of TDA, to convene experts to discuss some of the major next steps in clean transportation. While avoiding the worst of climate change requires a rapid increase in the pace of …CONTINUE READING
As my colleagues Katie Segal, Ted Lamm, and Ross Zelen have described, our team at CLEE released an analysis earlier this month detailing how San Francisco can fund implementation of its Climate Action Plan. Katie provided an overview of the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), describing how San Francisco will need to secure tens of billions …CONTINUE READING
We have a White House climate czar. That’s not going to be enough.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) creates a massive funding program for clean energy and other climate policies. This funding complements regulatory efforts at EPA elsewhere. Yet authority over energy policy is fragmented at the federal level. Without better coordination, there’s a risk that various policies will mesh poorly or operate at cross-purposes. And state governments, …CONTINUE READING