federalism

The 2018 Elections: Governors

These nine races will shape the future of U.S. climate policy.

In the Trump era, states have become crucial to any hope of moving climate policy forward. That makes gubernatorial elections more crucial than ever. With that in mind, I’ve taken a look at crucial governors’ races to check out the potential effect on climate policy. My selection of states is based on lists of key …

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Native American Treaties, Declining Salmon Populations, Broken Promises & Environmental Justice

Pending Washington v. U.S. Supreme Court Decision Offers Hope & Vindication for Tribes, Coastal Fisheries

Truth be told, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017-18 Term has been an unsually quiet one for environmental and natural resources law.  Until now. This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a last-minute addition to the Court’s current docket.  Washington v. United States, No. 17-269, a case the justices only accepted for review in January, …

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Fifty States, Fifty Energy Policies

New report provides a snapshot of renewable energy growth across the country.

The federal government gets all the headlines, but state governments control much of energy policy. They control local utilities and set policies on renewable energy. But because so many jurisdictions are involved, it’s hard to get an overall picture of what’s really happening. I’ve been trying to get at least a rough sense of what’s …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: The Issue of Scale in Climate Solutions

Post #10 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the tenth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] The issue of scale is intertwined with political will, discussed in my prior post,but also poses separate challenges.  If …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Political Will to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Post #9 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the ninth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] I said at the outset of these blog posts that political will and the issue of scale are bigger …

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The Return of Federal Common Law

Will the federal courts take over control of climate change litigation? One judge says so.

I’m traveling but wanted to get in a few quick words about Judge Alsup’s decision today in the California climate change litigation. This is a really complex issue, and I wanted to try to unpack it a bit. In general, except where a federal statute or constitutional provision is the basis for an action, legal …

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Renewable New England

The New England states include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, with a total population of 8 million. These states are all small in acreage but have larger populations than many western states  – for instance, tiny Rhode Island has a larger population than the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, or Alaska. In terms …

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Renewable Energy on the Lower Mississippi

From Missouri to Louisiana to Alabama, fundamental similarities but individual differences.

The states in the lower Mississippi basin have a lot in common. From Missouri down to Louisiana and Alabama, they all voted for Trump. These states – Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee – were all part of the Confederacy. (I’m stretching geography a bit by including Alabama, since only the top of the state …

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The Anthropocene and public law

Major doctrinal changes could occur in constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law

In this post, I will discuss ways in which the Anthropocene might affect public law doctrines, focusing on constitutional law, administrative law, statutory interpretation and criminal law. Again, the changes here are driven by three characteristics of the interaction of the Anthropocene with the legal system that I have developed in my prior posts: a …

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Where the Wild Things Are

For endangered species, don’t think Alaska or Montana. Think Hawaii and California. And Alabama.

When we think about preserving nature in the United States, we tend to think of the country’s great wilderness areas in places like Alaska and the Rockies. We don’t think about Alabama or Puerto Rico, for instance. But in terms of biodiversity protection, this is almost the opposite of the truth. By and large, the …

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