Guest contributor Mollie Cueva-Dabkoski reflects on working as a summer law intern at Our Children’s Trust on the Held v. Montana case.
It’s been three months now since 16 young plaintiffs suing the state of Montana for climate harms piled into a Helena courtroom so small that the attorneys worried whether everyone would fit. (They did.) And it’s been one month since the Montana First District Court determined that the state of Montana had indeed violated Montana …CONTINUE READING
California is in the process of making income-graduated fixed rates a part of ratepayers’ electric bills. This is the first post in a series that follows that proceeding.
Under new legislation, California is moving to a novel system that includes income-based fixed charges for electricity. Some critics contend that this is a giveaway to incumbent utilities. It’s not. Others have implied that the charges reflect new costs to ratepayers on top of existing rates. This is also not accurate. There are, however, important …CONTINUE READING
These three power plants cause a big share of America’s mercury pollution.
In Ireland, poor people used to burn peat from fuel. Barely a step ahead of that, some American power plants burn semi-fossilized peat (lignite) to run their generators. It turns out that those power plants produce about a third of all the toxic mercury emissions of the entire industry. Even more remarkably, about half of …CONTINUE READING
Enacted a year ago, the climate law is boosting EVs and clean-energy manufacturing. But there’s urgent work to be done on transmission siting and connecting communities with IRA funding.
Happy birthday to the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s been nearly a year since Democratic lawmakers and the White House celebrated the passage of the biggest climate spending legislation in American history. But in many ways passage was the easy part. Exactly how the IRA continues to be implemented at the local, state, and federal level …CONTINUE READING
The electric power sector remains 30 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, and this rule can incentivize the push towards renewables.
On May 23, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed emission limits and guidelines for carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-powered plants. To avoid the same fate as the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which was struck down by the conservative Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA last year, the new draft rule does not determine …CONTINUE READING
The OSTP has adopted a ‘risk-risk’ framing in its report on geoengineering research: will this help or hinder sound climate policy?
Last month’s report on solar geoengineering research from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) consolidated a shift in the discourse on this controversial technology. Over recent years advocates for more research have increasingly adopted a ‘risk-risk’ framing. As Gernot Wagner puts it in ‘Geoengineering: the Gamble’: “The decision is all about …CONTINUE READING
Governor Newsom’s CEQA trailer bills probably won’t do much. But his heavy-handed rhetoric foreshadows a larger anti-CEQA push that should worry communities that rely on California’s premier public participation statute.
Speaking to Ezra Klein in late June, Governor Gavin Newsom hearkened back to the California of the 1950s and 1960s: “People are losing trust and confidence in our ability to build big things. People look at me all the time and ask, ‘What the hell happened to the California of the ‘50s and ‘60s?’” Governor …CONTINUE READING
The benefits of the energy transition transcend climate.
The main reason to control carbon is to protect the climate. But cleaning up the energy system has plenty of other benefits. Those benefits will flow to people in rural areas as well as urban ones, to national security and international development, and to nature itself. To begin with, there are the health benefits of …CONTINUE READING
The state argued that Held v. Montana is a boring case about procedure. The kids made a compelling case that climate action is part of Montana’s constitutional obligation to maintain a healthy environment.
The very first American trial of a youth climate lawsuit was hardly blockbuster Court TV, but we learned a lot from the proceedings. The bench trial took place last month in the state capitol, Helena, where 16 youth plaintiffs ages 5 to 22 made the case that Montana’s unwavering promotion of fossil fuels violates the …CONTINUE READING
The Maldives is one of the nations most vulnerable to rising sea levels. So, why is climate change not a topic of discussion here?
It was the site for one of the most iconic climate policy photos. In the run-up to the Copenhagen climate negotiations in 2009, President Mohamed Nasheed held a cabinet meeting in scuba gear 20 feet underwater to show what awaited the low-lying island nation of the Maldives if serious action were not taken to reduce …CONTINUE READING