Federal Climate Policy

Safeguarding Climate Policies

There are several strategies for insulating climate policy from leaders like Trump.

Trump’s election was a surprise. What should not be a surprise is the inevitability of political setbacks for climate policy. We saw that in the U.S. with the shift from Clinton to Bush and then from Obama to Trump. We also saw that in Australia where it meant the repeal of a promising emissions trading […]

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My Two Cents About the Pruitt Resignation/Firing

Good Riddance Even if He Was a Potent Symbol of the Swamp

Dan and Sean have already expressed their views about today’s announcement that Scott Pruitt is out as EPA Administrator. I thought I’d add mine as well.  Scott Pruitt was a  potent symbol of corruption, the ultimate swamp creature who made laughable his boss’s claim that he would come to Washington and drain the swamp. And […]

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Quick Thoughts on Scott Pruitt resignation as EPA Administrator

Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Former Coal Lobbyist, to Serve as Acting Administrator

As Dan Farber just pointed out, President Trump announced minutes ago via Twitter that Scott Pruitt is (finally) stepping down as Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, will serve as Acting Administrator pending confirmation of a new Administrator.  I have a few quick […]

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NEWSFLASH: Pruitt Resigns

Under pressure, Pruitt finally exits EPA.

President Trump tweeted today that he had accepted Scott Pruitt’s resignation and appointed Robert Wheeler as Acting Administrator of EPA.  Wheeler is likely to be just as bad on policy and could well be more competent and effective than Pruitt. But Pruitt was a disgrace to the office, and it is good to see him […]

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What Does Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Mean for Environmental Protection?

Short Answer: It’s Not Good

The news that Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring has ramifications for many important areas in constitutional law, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and abortion.  His vote was also pivotal in many environmental cases.  Justice Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced by a more conservative justice. If that justice votes with the conservative wing of the […]

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Memo to Staff: Eliminating Cl***** Ch****

Also, please delete all references to global w***ing.

MEMORANDUM To: All Department Staff From: The Secretary Re: Eliminating Cl***** Ch****   As you know, it is this Administration’s policy to eliminate all references to Cl***** Ch**** from government documents. This policy has been unevenly implemented, but I have informed the President that we are adopting a zero-tolerance approach. All use of the “double-c […]

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CARB Seeks to Maintain Stringency of California’s Vehicle Standards

Emmett Institute submits public comment in support of CARB’s efforts

Back in the halcyon days of 2012 when EPA, NHTSA, California, and the automakers crafted a grand bargain to adopt national vehicle emission standards, California agreed that compliance with vehicle emission standards adopted at the federal level would be “deemed to comply” with California’s standards. Now, as it becomes clear that the federal government intends […]

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Guest Blogger Cliff Villa: Es FEMA El Problema? Hurricane Maria and the Slow Road to Recovery in Puerto Rico

Strolling west on Calle Loiza from the Ocean Park neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico, you could miss the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria last September.  Here in early May 2018, runners and walkers lap the track at Parque Barbosa while middle-aged men try to keep pace with younger guys on the sheltered basketball court.  […]

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Emergency Powers: A Two-Edged Sword

Trump is considering using emergency powers to save coal plants. Turnabout would be fair play.

The Trump Administration is considering using emergency powers to keep coal-fired power plants in operation even though they’re not economically viable. That would require an extraordinary stretch of the statutes in question. And if the statutes are interpreted that broadly, a future president could easily use them for the opposing purpose — forcing utilities to […]

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EPA Should Not Repeal the Clean Power Plan

The writing may be on the wall, but it’s still a terrible idea

Coauthored with Nat Logar Today is the close of EPA’s public comment period on its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan. Though EPA’s decision to backtrack from the rule hardly seems in doubt, it is still important to state that repealing the Clean Power Plan is a terrible idea. My colleagues Ann Carlson, Nat […]

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