Federal Climate Policy

The GOP’s Climate Views Are Thawing

Significant parts of the GOP seem to be leaving Trump behind on the climate issue.

There were three interesting stories about climate politics in the papers today: one about Trump, one about other Republicans, and one about both. What these stories tell us is that part of the GOP is coming to terms with reality; Trump not surprisingly is not. First, as to Trump. As you may have noticed, Trump […]

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Scoping Out the Green New Deal

How would we go about decarbonizing the most needy U.S. states?

Progressives are calling for a Green New Deal.  The details are still very fuzzy, despite the House resolution introduced by Markey and Ocasio-Cortez. That proposal as a ten-year timetable to eliminate carbon, which is highly unrealistic. Nevertheless, it’s worth thinking about what an all-out effort to decarbonizing the economy would look like.  The Green New […]

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Bottoms-Up! An Emerging New Governance System (4)

We can think of the energy system as a kind of ecosystem, and renewables as an invasive species.

As I’ve discussed the earlier three posts in this series, it is possible to imagine a cycle of positive feedback, in which the history of past climate efforts increases the likelihood of future ones and even draws more jurisdictions into the effort. But it is also possible to imagine that bottom-up efforts might not catch […]

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Bottoms-Up! An Emerging New Governance System (3)

Bottom-up strategies can ultimately pave the road for stronger international agreement.

It is difficult to measure the extent of positive feedback between climate initiatives. But it seems evident that such feedback does exist. A major climate initiative in one jurisdiction seems to encourage climate action elsewhere. This makes climate action a more appealing prospect for any individual jurisdiction, because by acting it can increase climate actions […]

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I’ll Just Be Over Here In My Fallout Shelter

The Green New Deal may be ambitious, but it’s not alarmist.

It would be impossible to react to every piece of misinformation or poor reporting about climate change—let alone every misguided opinion editorial—that lives online today, but Bret Stephens’ February 15 piece in the New York Times strikes me as warranting a response.  That’s not because of the clickbait title (“Is Nancy Pelosi A Climate Skeptic?” […]

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What I Wish The Green New Deal Hadn’t Left Out

Greening our infrastructure is part of the solution, but so’s city planning.

While there’s certainly been no shortage of criticism of last week’s Green New Deal resolution, the common line hasn’t been that the resolution doesn’t try to cover enough ground.  On the contrary, it’s been called an everything-but-the-carbon-sink approach; even Trevor Noah devoted a few minutes of the Daily Show to gaping at the proposal’s efforts […]

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Is the Green New Deal’s Ambition Smart Policy?

Some Lessons from Environmental History

At the the heart of the Green New Deal — which demands slashing U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 by shifting to 100 percent clean energy  — is a major conundrum.  Even the most enthusiastic proponents of ambitious climate policy don’t believe the goals are achievable, technologically let alone politically.  Stanford Professor Marc Z. Jacobsen, for […]

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Emmett Institute Publishes Issue Brief on California’s Clean Air Act Vehicle Authority

Co-Authored by Ann Carlson, Meredith Hankins, and Julia Stein

Cross-posted to the American Constitution Society’s ACSblog As we have previously covered in past Legal Planet posts, in an outright assault on public health and the environment, the Trump Administration recently proposed rolling back national motor vehicle emission standards put in place by the Obama Administration. As part of this proposal, the Trump Administration also […]

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Bottoms-Up! An Emerging New Governance System (2)

Bottom-up appraches aren’t just fallbacks when top-down fails. They have their own strengths.

  There are some obvious advantages to top-down climate police, whereby a uniform global climate policy is adopted at the global level and then seamlessly implemented by nations, or whereby a similar process takes place at the national level.  Of course, this top-down model requires first global agreement on a uniform policy and then effective […]

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John Dingell, 1926-2019

The Surprising Environmental Record of Detroit’s Biggest Congressional Defender

There’s an old story about Rep. John Dingell, the long-running chair of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, who died yesterday at the age of 92, and served in the House longer than anyone in American history. Outside the office of the Committee, there is a huge picture of the Earth, taken from the Apollo […]

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