A different perspective on a familiar holiday.
When you think about it, the Hanukkah story is, in a funny way, about a miraculous increase in energy efficiency. An energy resource (olive oil) that was supposed to supply only enough energy for one night’s worth of light was able to supply light for eight nights. That’s an eightfold improvement in energy efficiency, akin …CONTINUE READING
There’s more money for climate action tucked away in a must-pass bill.
Surprise! The lame-duck Congress is about to consider another bill with billions of dollars of spending for climate adaptation and emission reductions. Another surprise: the bill is named for Senator James Inhofe. In case you’ve forgotten, he’s the climate change denier who once took a snowball to the Senate floor to disprove climate change. You …CONTINUE READING
Four tight races will have big impacts on their states.
Although their powers vary in different states, governors are key figures in setting and implementing climate and energy policies. There are several very tight races that could have significant policy impacts. They also have indirect impacts via the governor’s role in electoral matters. Elections in these four states are considered toss-ups. The Democrats are all …CONTINUE READING
Imagining different futures can be the best way to think through options when we don’t know the odds.
In environmental law, we’re often operating at the limits of knowledge about the natural world and human behavior. Climate change is well understood in some ways, but it will set off a chain of reactions that we only partly understand. It’s also difficult to predict the future of ecosystems, future energy prices, technological changes, and …CONTINUE READING
It’s not the game changer some people think, but IRA could help in several ways.
There’s been a lot of recent talk about whether the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) indirectly overrides West Virginia v. EPA. The answer to that is probably “no.” However, some IRA provisions will help lawyers defend certain regulatory actions. IRA may also have an important framing effect when courts are considering the reasonableness of agency actions. …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
A trio of new laws will power the energy transition.
Passage of IRA was clearly a big deal, with nearly $380 billion devoted to climate and other environmental issues. But IRA is only one of the three big climate bills passed in the ten months. The three represent a concerted effort to accelerate the energy transition. The earliest was the Infrastructure Act last November. In …CONTINUE READING
How would the Manchin-Schumer deal on permitting impact the environment?
To get Manchin’s vote for the $379 billion in environmental spending in the IRA bill, Schumer and other congressional leaders had to agree to support Manchin’s efforts to speed up the permit system. At this point, all we have is a one-page list of permitting changes that would form the basis of a new bill. …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
A short video explainer of why passage of the IRA bill is such a big deal.
We all have something to celebrate with the House passage of the IRA on Friday. Getting it passed required some difficult compromises, but the bill represents a major step forward. Because of the Mar-a-Lago search, it hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as it deserves. If you don’t have time for a lot of details, …CONTINUE READING