Federal Climate Policy

Guest Bloggers Deborah Gordon and Frances Reuland: Is California Extraordinary? Its Oil Resources Certainly Are

Facts About California’s Oil and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Despite ongoing federal rollbacks to environmental regulations, California has the right to set its own clean air standards because it is truly extraordinary. Truth be told, the compelling circumstances that first set in motion California’s vehicle emissions standards remain entirely valid. And there are four recent conditions, related to California’s oil supply, production, and refining, […]

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An Ax, Not a Scalpel

Trump’s “take no prisoner’s” deregulatory strategy carries big litigation risks.

Some people, it would seem, prefer using an ax to a scalpel. That’s the Trump Administration. That strategy can be a great way to cut down a tree, but it doesn’t work so well for surgery. And there’s always the chance of cutting off your own foot. In many environmental domains, the Administration seems set […]

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Sessions Out, Whitaker In: What Might the DOJ Shakeup Mean for Environmental Enforcement?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

News broke this afternoon that Trump has forced Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to resign — naming Sessions’ chief of staff, the Marbury v. Madison critic and sports take tweeter Matthew Whitaker acting AG. This move obviously has some pretty horrifying implications for the country at large, but it’s worth thinking about how the […]

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Negative Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the National Academies, and the Law

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda

What does the scaling-up of negative emissions technologies for environmental law?

In my previous posts , I described how most emissions scenarios that are expected to keep warming within 2 or 1.5°C rely on negative emissions technologies (NETs) at large scales and how the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change addresses NETs (as well as how solar geoengineering could offer an additional means to […]

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Politics, the Environment, and the Rural/Urban Divide

Rural areas have been home to regulatory skeptics. But there may be ways of changing that.

Is there an urban/rural split in America? Definitely so, in politics, demography, and economics — and on the environment. Consider this, from Dan Balz at the Washington Post: “in the 2,332 counties that make up small-town and rural America, [Trump] swamped his Democratic rival, winning 60 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 34 percent.” But Balz reports […]

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Supreme Court Stays Upcoming Juliana Trial

Chief Justice Roberts’ Order a Major Win for the Trump Administration

The presently-constituted U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t seem to care for climate change litigation or regulation. On Friday the Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of freezing pending discovery and the scheduled October 29th trial date in the closely-watched Juliana v. United States litigation.  In a brief order, Chief Justice Roberts stayed all district court proceedings […]

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Jumping the Fence Line, Embracing the Grid

Precedent from another agency for the Clean Power Plan.

If you’ve been reading this blog or otherwise keeping up with environmental law, you’ve probably heard this a hundred times: In rolling back Obama’s signature climate regulation, the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration is relying on the idea that EPA’s jurisdiction stops at the fence line. That is, according to the Trump folks, EPA […]

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Let’s Make A Deal

What Should Environmentalists Give Up – and Demand – For A Carbon Tax?

A nice editorial from the Los Angeles Times about the proposed carbon tax being offered by some Republicans under the front group Americans for Carbon Dividends, most notably former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz. Exxon-Mobil is even throwing $1 million into the effort — chump change for such a corporate behemoth. The Times […]

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“National Security” Coal-Bailout Collapses

Trump demanded the use of national security powers to subsidize the coal industry. Looks like that’s not happening.

In its desperate effort to save the failing American coal industry, the Trump Administration promised to use emergency powers to keep coal-fired power plants in operation even though they’re not economically viable. That would have been the kind of disruptive change that Trump promised to bring to Washington. But the effort seems to have gone […]

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Californians Strongly Oppose Rolling Back Clean Car Standards

Day-long hearing in Fresno shows clear opposition to Trump administration proposal

Along with hundreds of others, I traveled to Fresno, California to testify today against EPA’s proposed rollback of vehicle standards. We’ve covered EPA and NHTSA’s legally flawed proposal in a number of previous Legal Planet posts. Today’s hearing started out with NHTSA’s chief counsel accidentally referring to EPA as the “Energy Protection Agency,” but has […]

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