Federal Climate Policy

“The Gaffe”

Will Democrats pay a price for Biden’s “inconvenient truth” about the future of oil?

Although no one seemed to notice it while the debate was underway, political commentators are now abuzz about a “gaffe” by Biden about the future of gas and oil. Other aspects of the final presidential debate were covered in Cara Horowitz’s insightful post on Friday.  I want to hone in on “the gaffe” in this …

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Trump and Fossil Fuels

How much has Trump helped fossil fuel production? Not as much as he probably thinks. But enough to make climate change worse.

Trump has a single energy policy: expand production and use of fossil fuels. That also dictates his environmental policy, which is to eliminate any regulation that might get in the way.  How much effect has his love affair of fossil fuels had?  Short answer: not as much he thinks, but more than environmentalists would like. …

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What’s At Stake

Here’s a quick crib sheet on the climate change and the election

Here’s a quick reminder about the environmental stakes in the election.  I’ve tried to stick with the facts here — you’re free to decide which way the cut. ISSUE TRUMP BIDEN Problem of climate change ” I don’t know that it’s man-made… I don’t wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars.” Biden “has long appreciated …

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Trump’s ACE Rule Hits a Judicial Speed Bump

The judges seemed skeptical of Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule last week

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about  Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule last week. The ACE rule is a feeble substitute for Obama’s Clean Power Rule, which was Obama’s signature climate action regulating power plants. The argument went badly for the Trump folks. Even Judge Justin Walker, a 38-year-old whose main …

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For U.S. Climate Policy, It’s Oct. 2016 All Over Again

Trump digs coal. Public domain image via Wikicommons.

We knew Trump would wreck U.S. climate policy. He told us so.

Four years ago this week, I wrote about environmental stakes in the presidential election. The environmental stakes are equally high this time. If anything, Trump’s rollbacks of environmental regulations have been more thorough and severe than anticipated.  He has also worked hard to open up federal lands and waters to more drilling and mining.   One …

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What They Said About Climate Last Night

It was late in the debate and hard to follow. But the exchange about climate change was important.

There was actually a substantive discussion of climate change at the debate last night. Many people had literally tuned out by then. Others were too distracted by Trump’s interruptions.  Here are the key things that were actually said, culled from a transcript of the debate. Wallace:  . . . Mr. President, you said, I don’t …

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Fighting Global Warming in a Chilly Judicial Climate

A 6-3 conservative court is bad news for climate action. Here’s a threat assessment.

With Romney’s announcement this morning that he would support consideration of a nominee before the election, it now seems virtually certain that Trump will be able to appoint a sixth conservative Justice. How will that affect future climate policy?  Here is a preliminary threat assessment. The answer varies, depending on what policies we’re talking about. …

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The Kavanaugh Court and the Environment

A new appointment would make Justice Kavanaugh the swing voter.  Here’s what that would mean for environmental law.

A new appointment by Trump would shift the Supreme Court well to the right, making Brett Kavanaugh the swing voter in many cases. Kavanaugh has clear views about the powers of agencies like EPA. With him as the swing voter, the main strategy used by Obama to make environmental progress would be off limits for …

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When Republicans Supported the Environment: Bush 41

The GOP wasn’t always the sworn enemy of environmental protection.

Younger people today probably know about George Herbert Walker Bush (R) as the father of George W. Bush and (perhaps) as the architect of the first Iraq War. But he also had some notable environmental achievements to his credit. Here are some of his accomplishments: Air Pollution Law. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments were …

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Rebuilding Environmental Protection

It will take years to fully recover from the damage of the Trump era. We will need some new ideas.

After almost four years of Trump, federal environmental protection is in about the same shape as Western Europe at the end of World War II, filled with bomb craters and destruction.  If the election turns out in Biden’s favor, he will be faced with the task of rebuilding from the smoking ruins. Here are some …

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