Energy

Will Russia “Win” the Climate Crisis?

It’s complicated. But probably not.

The conventional view is that climate change is going to be a great thing for Russia.  The reason is pretty obvious: a lot of Russia is cold and icy right now; warming will be an improvement. That’s likely to be true in some ways, but warming may be a mixed blessing. Whether what is good …

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Two FERC Cases and Why They Matter

Last week’s D.C. Circuit cases illustrate why environmental lawyers need to understand FERC.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been called the most important environmental agency that no one has heard of. At the end of last week, the D.C. Circuit decided two undramatic FERC cases that illustrate FERC’s environmental significance. One involved a bailout to coal and nuclear plants, the other involved water quality. The first …

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Equity Weighting: A Brief Introduction

An unfamiliar concept for most that just might make cost-benefit analysis more progressive.

A technique called equity weighting could make regulation more progressive. Implementing this technique may be harder than it sounds, however, for a variety of practical, legal, and political reasons. Agencies might do best to use equity weighting as a way to check their regulatory decisions rather than as their main decision tool.

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South Korea and Climate Change

A small country, but a significant carbon emitter.

Little known fact: The ninth largest carbon emitter in the world is South Korea. What is South Korea doing to cut its emissions? That answer, in brief, is that it has adopted the right kinds of policies, but may need to up its level of ambition. Even so, it compares favorably with the national governments …

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Climate Policy in India

What’s Happening in the World’s Second Largest Country?

India is home to 1.39 billion people, just below China but growing faster. By some projections, it will have the second largest economy in the world by 2050. In terms of climate policy, however, it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as China. That’s understandable in terms of India’s current carbon emissions, which are now …

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Will public power advance decarbonization?

Increasing public control of energy systems may not facilitate decarbonization

Over the past few years, there has been a push in both Europe and the United States for a “Green New Deal” in which decarbonization efforts would be pushed by aggressive, direct government investments in clean energy technology and infrastructure.  But in much of the United States and in Europe, large portions of the electricity …

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Advancing renewables through electricity restructuring

Reducing barriers to siting new electricity generation can help advance renewable energy production

Our electricity system will be crucial to decarbonization efforts, both because much of our current energy comes from electricity, and because decarbonizing sectors like transportation will require significant electrification.  And electricity is the sector where we have had the most success in decarbonization so far in the United States. But there is still more to …

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Conservatives Who Support Climate Action

No, not here. The British Tories.

There is continuing conservative support for climate action. Not so much here, of course, but in the UK. The British government is firmly in the grip of the Conservative Party. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is no Donald Trump, but he does have at least a whiff of Trumpiness about him. Like the GOP, the Tories …

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After the Court Rules: Gaming out Responses to a Cutback in EPA Authority

The Supreme Court is almost certain to cut back on EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. What then?

In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court is reviewing Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) itself no longer has any practical relevance, but there’s every reason to predict the Court will strike it down anyway. The ruling will also restrict EPA’s future options. The big question is what the Biden Administration …

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Good News from “Down Under”

Australia’s election signals a welcome change in climate policy.

Australia has had a change of government. The Liberal Party — conservative  in everything but name — lost control of the federal government to Labor.   Australia was recently ranked last out of sixty countries in climate policy.The victorious Labor candidate told his supporters, “Together we can end the climate wars. Together we can take advantage of …

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