35 Major Climate Initiatives Under Biden

By any measure, it has been an eventful four years for climate policy, with billions in spending and many major regulations finalized. Here’s a timeline of the Top 30 actions.

In light of President Biden’s withdrawal from the 2024 presidential race yesterday, we thought it was appropriate to update this piece about the climate legacy of the Biden-Harris Administration. In his four years in office, Donald Trump rolled back essentially every existing federal policy to limit climate change. The picture under the Biden Administration has …


Here We Go Again! (Maybe)

The possibility of a second Trump presidency looms ahead. Time for some contingency planning!

As the Project 2025 report shows, people on the other side are doing their own contingency planning, and so should climate advocates. We can expect many of the same actions, beginning with massive regulatory rollbacks (over a hundred rollbacks last time around). 


Renewable Energy: A Timeline

Today’s wind and solar resources didn’t come out of nowhere.

The first efforts to use of wind to generate electricity was 134 years ago, and the photoelectric effect was discovered six decades earlier. So in a sense, these are old technologies — about the same age as the very first internal combustion engines. But the scientific and technological advances that made these technologies competitive with …


(Energy) Independence Day

A post in which I surprise readers — and myself — with strong praise for George W. Bush.

The only way to achieve energy independence is to achieve independence from fossil fuels. That’s not something we can achieve overnight, but the closer we come, the better — for our health, our national security, and the world.


Grid Experts Weigh in on EPA’s Good Neighbor Plan for NOx

UCLA Emmett Institute faculty submit amicus brief in Utah v. EPA, a major ozone case, on behalf of some of the nation’s leading grid experts.

Last year, EPA issued a new federal implementation plan to address interstate pollution from nitrous oxides under the Clean Air Act’s Good Neighbor Provision. The Good Neighbor Provision is designed to address interstate pollution: those instances where emissions from upwind states impose harms across state lines, effectively shifting the costs of controlling their pollution to …


The Supreme Court & Interstate Pollution

It was puzzling that the Court agreed to hear the case. How has it ruled? And why?

Months ago, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an “emergency” request to stay EPA’s new rule regulating interstate air pollution.  Like most observers, I was puzzled that the Court was bothering with the case before the D.C. Circuit even had a chance to consider the merits of the challenges. Months later, the Court has finally …


The Ten Most Important U.S. Environmental Laws

An image of the U.S. Capitol Building in the evening.

Some of the choices may surprise you.

What are America’s most important environmental laws? Some are familiar, such as the federal air and water pollution laws, and the Endangered Species Act. But there are other people rarely hear about — even in environmental law courses — but have done a lot to protect the environment.



The story behind today’s energy efficient lighting and a forgotten episode in the culture wars.

The conservative fight to save an obsolete lighting technology – the incandescent bulb — has something to tell us about current environmental disputes and the nature of culture wars.


The Hawai’i Youth Climate Trial

Thirteen youth plaintiffs say the Aloha State is failing to live up to its ambitious climate goals. Here’s what to watch for as Navahine v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation goes to trial this month.

Last summer, many Americans were glued to the events unfolding in Maui as a raging inferno overtook the town of Lahaina, trapping thousands and killing at least 99 people.    This summer, we’ll see 13 youth plaintiffs in Hawaiʻi take the state’s Department of Transportation to court for allegedly failing to implement climate policies meant to …


Hillary Clinton, Climate Change, and the ‘Sliding Doors’ of History

Here’s what could have happened instead of Trump’s crusade against climate action, if Clinton had squeaked out a victory in 2016.

If Hillary Clinton had won, we would be much further along today in the battle to cut carbon emissions and control climate change. Instead, Trump was a climate disaster. The bottom line: Elections do matter. Not just for politicians but for all of us.