Should we adopt a corporate carbon tax? Something to think about on Tax Day.
Today is Tax Day, delayed from its usual spot in mid-April due a backlog at the IRS. It seems like an apt time to think about a carbon tax. At present, it doesn’t seem to be on Biden’s agenda, but agendas can change with circumstances, sometimes unpredictably. Politically, the biggest problem with a carbon tax …CONTINUE READING
Guest Contributors Clara Barnosky, Jane Sadler, Richard Yates, and Zachary Zimmerman: The Biden Administration’s First 100 Days of Reversing Environmental Rollbacks
An Early Analysis of Progress and Priorities in the Executive Branch
In the final months of the Trump presidency, we (a team of students working with U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)) compiled a database of over 200 environmental rollbacks enacted during the Trump administration. These rollbacks characterized the administration’s aggressive focus on deregulation of industry and disregard of protections for the …CONTINUE READING
Biden has set up a lot of future actions. But he’s already got some notches on his belt.
Tomorrow marks Biden’s first 100 days in office. He’s appointed a great climate team and is negotiating an infrastructure bill that focuses on climate change. With luck, those actions will produce major environmental gains down the road. There are also some solid gains in the form of actions that have already come to fruition. Here’s …CONTINUE READING
Soil is an important carbon sink. It’s literally going down the drain, eroding away.
Today is Earth Day. Let’s talk about something earthy: the dirt under our feet. When I was a kid growing up in central Illinois, the topsoil was black and went down about a foot. When I was a little older and tried gardening, I was amazed at the fertility of the soil. When I’ve gone …CONTINUE READING
Brazil asks for a billion dollars to slow deforestation. Would this be cooperation or extortion?
In March, US President Joe Biden invited the leaders of 40 countries to a virtual climate change summit, which takes place today and tomorrow. During the lead-up to this, many countries announced commitments of varying specificity and firmness to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (I hope to write soon on the European Union.) Brazil’s position is …CONTINUE READING
Businesses have intensified public support for climate action. That could presage a major shift in climate politics.
In the past few weeks, there’s been a notable growth of business support for climate action. A letter from the CEOs of 300 hundred major companies called for a 50% cut from 2005 carbon emissions by 2030. The companies ranged from the utilities to tobacco to investment management. Google, McDonalds, Walmart, and Philip Morris were …CONTINUE READING
How can we help carbon-dependent communities transition economically?
One of the goals of Biden’s clean energy and infrastructure proposals is to provide an economic boost to people who will otherwise lose out in the transition to a sustainable economy. He has similar plans for “environmental justice” communities. This is a great goal, but it may be more difficult than it seems. In a …CONTINUE READING
Yes, it’s a big deal. And yes, it’s politically dicey.
Biden has announced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, with a heavy focus on climate-related investments. The plan is very complicated, and the news coverage hasn’t been all that helpful. Here are the key questions we should be asking about the plan, along with my best attempts to answer. Q: What’s in the plan? A: It’s …CONTINUE READING
Four Emmett Institute scholars react to an important new report
A few of us are part of the Emmett Institute’s Geoengineering Governance Project, where we study the legal and policy issues presented by solar geoengineering and carbon dioxide removal technologies. On the former set of technologies—that is, reflecting a little incoming sunlight to cool the Earth and temporarily counteract heating from greenhouse gases—the US National …CONTINUE READING
It’s not that the policy choices are that hard. It’s the 6-3 Supreme Court.
Coal- and gas-fired power plants are a major source of U.S. carbon emissions. The Obama Administration devised a perfectly sensible, moderate policy to cut those emissions. The Trump Administration replaced it with a ridiculous token policy. The D.C. Circuit appeals court tossed that out. Now what? It wouldn’t be hard to redo the Obama policy …CONTINUE READING