state climate policy
A new Supreme Court opinion is good news for state climate regulators.
Although the Constitution does not say so directly, the Supreme Court has said there are implied limits on state regulations that interfere with interstate commerce.. This is known as the dormant commerce clause doctrine. State clean energy laws have been bedeviled by challenges based on this doctrine. The Supreme Court has just made it easier …CONTINUE READING
Yes, the new NY law includes some bans on natural gas. That’s far from all it does.
Last week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed major climate legislation. Press coverage focused on one small piece of the legislation: a partial ban on natural gas use in new buildings. That’s controversial and easily grasped by the public. But a much bigger part of the new law went almost unnoticed: the legislature’s endorsement of …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
Despite the distractions of a national election, there were important developments around the country.
Last year, Congress took its first big step into climate policy by passing blockbuster spending measures. Nonetheless, many states are ahead of the Feds in climate policy. There were important developments in a multitude of states. California remained a hotspot for climate action. In terms of transportation emissions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved …CONTINUE READING
Important developments in late summer, some impacting multiple states.
States have played a critical role in U.S. climate policy. The federal government is now supporting that role with federal funding for states. In the meantime, a number of states have moved a step further in plans to phase out gas and diesel vehicles. Two key states have ramped up their plans for carbon neutrality, …CONTINUE READING
Illinois passes pathbreaking energy law.
Last week, Illinois’s governor signed into law a major piece of climate legislation. The law deserves more attention than it has received. Sadly, however, Illinois seems to be something of a neglected stepchild in the media. That’s a pity, because there are some important lessons in Illinois’s experience, both for the Midwest and the country …CONTINUE READING
Here’s some upbeat news. I bet you needed that.
Hardly anyone noticed at the time, but Utah enacted an important bill about climate change in 2018. Yes, Utah – where the GOP holds 78% of the legislature. How that happened, and what happened since, is a story worth telling. The bill itself did not impose any carbon restrictions. But it did call for “the …CONTINUE READING
The move toward renewables is continuing despite Trump.
Despite the efforts of the Trump Administration, renewable energy has continued to thrive. Key states are imposing rigorous deadlines for reducing power generation from fossil fuels. Economic trends are also supporting renewables. In the first half of 2019, Texas produced more power from renewables than coal. Texas may be content to rely on market forces, …CONTINUE READING
Renewable energy and climate action are big issues in NY and NJ.
New York and New Jersey are at the core of what people think about in terms of the “Northeast.” Both are very active in promoting renewable energy — New Jersey despite Governor Chris Christie, New York in part because of Governor Cuomo. New York in particular seems ready to position itself as the East Coast …CONTINUE READING
Hawaii completely depended on imported oil and coal. But it has a plan for kicking the carbon habit.
In June, Hawaii adopted a law endorsing the goals of the Paris Agreement and reinforcing its efforts to deal with climate change. Until that law made the news, I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t paid any attention to Hawaii’s impressive record in this area. In fact, Hawaii may get the prize for passing the …CONTINUE READING