Biden Administration

No, EVs are Not Worse for the Planet

There’s an electric car culture war raging. It doesn’t hurt to say obvious things, like that electric cars reduce driving costs and pollute far less than gas-powered cars.

If you have somehow managed to escape the frenzied political headlines about electric vehicles, first I envy you and second, I must regrettably inform you that the EV has become an acronym of partisan rancor on par with IVF, DEI, and CRT. There’s a lot of reasons for this electric car culture war: President Biden …

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Will the NEPA Amendments Speed Up Permitting?

Probably not much. If at all.

I’ve blogged quite a bit about the challenges of interpreting the NEPA amendments, which snuck through as part of last year’s debt ceiling bill.  I haven’t said much about their impact.  Given the amount of energy infrastructure we need to build in the near future, a streamlined permitting process would be great. Alas, I don’t …

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Critical Insights on the Mineral Boom: Part III

On the rise of resource nationalism and building an equitable supply chain: Insights from the Emmett Institute’s “Powering the Future” symposium.

The topic of critical minerals and the energy transition is one of choices and priorities, at least according to author and journalist Ernest Scheyder, who spoke at the second panel in our recent “Powering the Future” symposium. This panel, Critical Minerals and Global Supply Chains, discussed some of the fundamental choices that governments, industry, and …

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The New EPA Car Rule Doesn’t Violate the Major Questions Doctrine

They both relate to climate, but West Virginia v. EPA involved a very different regulation raising very different issues.

In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court struck down the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.  The heart of the ruling was that EPA had engaged in a power grab, basing an unprecedented expansion of its regulatory authority on an obscure provision of the statute.  Conservative groups have claimed since then that virtually every government regulation …

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Critical Insights on the Mineral Boom

In the race for critical minerals, the challenges, tradeoffs, and potential winners are becoming clear. Insights from the Emmett Institute’s “Powering the Future” symposium.

A couple hundred miles north of the Las Vegas strip at Rhyolite Ridge you’ll find a dusty yellow wildflower called Tiehm’s buckwheat that grows nowhere else in the world. But this flower sits atop a massive, untapped lithium reserve that would help the U.S. transition to cleaner energy. Now, what if you had to choose …

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Replacing McConnell

If the GOP flips the Senate, who will lead them on environmental issues?

Who will lead the Senate in 2025?  The odds are that it will be a Republican. Democrats have a slim margin and face some close races, while all the GOP seats seem secure. That makes the question of who will replace Mitch McConell as GOP leader all the more important for climate and energy policy. …

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Deciphering NEPA 2.0

Here’s everything you wanted to know about the “New NEPA” but were afraid to ask.

NEPA was long an island of legal stability, standing almost unamended for over a half century.  Then in the summer of 2023, everything changed.  As a rider on the agreement to raise the debt ceiling, Congress extensively rewrote and expanded NEPA, gifting us with a new statutory regime.  As I’ve written before — and discuss …

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The Problems with the SCOTUS ‘Good Neighbor’ Arguments

Guest contributors Megan Herzog and Sean Donahue write that last week’s argument in the case of EPA’s Good Neighbor Rule shows the perils of agency rulemaking cases on the Supreme Court’s shadow docket.

Megan M. Herzog (former Emmett/Frankel Fellow at UCLA School of Law 2012-2016) and Sean H. Donahue are partners at Donahue, Goldberg & Herzog, which represents the Environmental Defense Fund, a Respondent-Intervenor in the Good Neighbor Rule litigation.   Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court did something it has done only three times in the last half-century—it heard …

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Ranking Presidents on Climate Change

Seven presidents, seven very different legacies.

Although a 1977 memo alerted Jimmy Carter to the problem of climate change, the first tentative responses to climate change didn’t emerge until he left the White House. Since then, there have been seven very different men in the White House.  You may find the rankings surprising. Here’s how I would rank them, from best …

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I ♥ IRA

Yes, the IRA has flaws. But it was a really unexpected breakthrough for US climate policy.

Call me eccentric, but this is my Valentine to a federal statute, the Inflation Reduction Act, better known as the IRA. No one really expected IRA to pass. A version of the Green New Deal had passed the House. But the Democrats had only a one-vote margin in the Senate, and that one vote was …

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