Federal Climate Policy

DC Circuit Gets Help from Grid Experts in Vacating ACE Power Plant Rule

The importance of understanding how things work

I’ve seen lots of good analysis already (including this post from Dan) of the DC Circuit’s decision today to invalidate the Trump Administration’s ACE Rule, which governs climate emissions from coal-fired power plants and does essentially nothing to reduce those emissions.  It turns out that doing essentially nothing is not enough. There’s a lot to …

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A Big Win for Climate Regulation

The DC Circuit overturns Trump’s effort to hamstring regulation of carbon from power plants.

The D.C. Circuit issued an opinion today knocking out Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule.  The Trump rule was a rollback of Obama’s keystone climate initiative, the Clean Power Plan.  The majority opinion plus dissent take up 185 pages, and I won’t try to describe it all here.  Briefly, here’s what the appeals court ruled and …

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Strategies to Reverse Federal Environmental Rollbacks

Last month, CLEE released a website that compiled over 180 Trump Administration environmental policy rollbacks, from the repeal of the Clean Power Plan to the removal of government climate change websites. We tracked and evaluated these rollbacks based on their environmental, climate, public health, and programmatic impacts; identified the pathway and difficulty of reversal; and …

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Today Versus 2008

Despite Trump’s efforts, he couldn’t actually reset the clock to the pre-Obama era.

Obama moved us forward. Trump moved us backwards. Are we back where we began? No. Biden starts from a significantly stronger position than Obama did in 2008. In 2008, like today, the outgoing Republican President had adamantly opposed climate action, favored the oil and gas industry, and turned a cold shoulder toward environmental regulation.  Trump …

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Next Steps to Save the Global Environment

A lot will need to be done to undo Trump’s harm to global cooperation. Here’s a start.

Trump’s hostility domestic environmental regulation is notorious.  He  also stalled or backpedaled on the international front.  Here are seven steps that President Biden could take to remedy the situation. Rejoin the Paris Agreement.  The U.S. needs to immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement.  It also needs to update its climate target, because we can do a …

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The Georgia Elections, the Republican Schism, and the Environment

The prospects for a green stimulus bill have improved

Although the word is overused, last week really did see a seismic shift in the political world. Actually, there were two earthquakes — the victories of Democrats Warnock and Ossoff in Georgia, and the violent invasion of the U.S. capitol incited by Trump.  While the significance of these events is much broader, their relevance to …

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The Year Ahead

Nine key developments to watch for on the environmental front.

2020 was a tumultuous year. Hopefully, 2021 will be balmier.  Widespread use of vaccines will hopefully tame the COVID-19 pandemic, and maybe the political world will settle down a bit too.  Here are nine key things to watch for in terms of environmental policy. The Georgia runoff elections. Currently, the Republicans look likely to control …

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2020: The Year in Review

Trump’s deregulatory reign of terror continued, but there were still some bright spots.

In terms of the environment, the big news was the election.  Biden swept the popular vote and won a solid victor in the Electoral College. At this point, the Republicans have retained control of the Senate, though runoff elections in Georgia could change that. On another front, US carbon emissions were down for the year, …

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Hitching a Ride on the Omnibus

In a holiday gift from Congress, environmental gains arrive in an overstuffed spending bill.

The massive omnibus bill that just passed Congress contains a bevy of environment friendly provisions.  Despite some last-minute tweeted complaints from Trump about the bill, those provisions are likely to make their way into law. Given that the Senate and the White House are in Republican hands,  it’s a wonder when such provisions sneak through …

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Passing Green Laws in a Polarized Senate

New legislation will require threading a needle in the Senate.

How polarized is the Senate?  A lot.  Consider their voting records: Every Republican except one has an environmental voting score below 25%.  Every Democrat but one has a score above 75%.  That’s a walloping fifty point gap. Given this polarization, getting energy or environmental legislation through Congress will require tremendous finesse.  That’s without even considering …

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