Federal Climate Policy

The Rhetoric of Cap and Trade

Different ways of framing the concept of cap and trade help drive the public debate.

Discussions of cap and trade tend to frame it in various ways, which often skews the debate.  These different frameworks guide the thoughts of both supporters and critics, sometimes in surprising ways.  There are four different ways to talk about cap and trade, and they tend to lead the debate in very different directions. The …

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The Olympics of Climate Change: Warsaw 2013

What to know, where to watch

It’s that time again! The United Nations’ COP19/CMP9 Climate Change Conference kicked off this week in Warsaw, the start of two weeks of international discussion on climate change.  The conference hosts the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, as a yearly update and check-in on these treaties, …

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Standing for Coal?

In a previous post I questioned whether anyone would have standing to challenge EPA’s new plant regulations for coal plants, considering that coal plants are current uneconomical anyway due to low natural gas prices.  I was pleased that Inside EPA  wrote a story about my argument, and even more pleased that the story reported on …

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Will Anyone Have Standing to Challenge EPA’s Rules for New Coal Plants?

EPA has issued rules that will essentially require new coal plants to use carbon capture and sequestration, a technology that has not been implemented at full scale yet.  No doubt that coal industry and utilities will try to challenge the rules in court.  But they probably lack standing to do so for a simple reason: …

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Executive Order calls for climate adaptation

Presidential directive holds potential to move federal adaptation efforts forward, but implementation will be the key.

Cross-posted at The Berkeley Blog. Today, President Obama issued an Executive Order intended “to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience.” In some respects, this order simply continues ongoing efforts. Under this administration, the executive branch has already been doing a great deal of …

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Who Does the Public Trust: Bureaucrats or Congress?

Voters would prefer EPA to make climate policy, not Congress. Is that a good thing? Yes and no.

Voters in swing states would prefer that EPA rather than Congress decide on U.S. climate policy.  According to a poll commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters, “The voters are much more inclined to trust the Environmental Protection Agency than they are to trust members of Congress” — by a 66-12 margin.  Here are my reactions …

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New Standing Barriers Erected for Federal Court Climate Change Litigation

Recent Ninth Circuit Decision Likely to Spell the End of Much Citizen Suit Litigation Over Climate Change in Federal Courts

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court’s famously ruled in Massachusetts v. USEPA that petitioners in that case had standing to sue the Environmental Protection Agency in federal court to challenge EPA’s failure to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Observers then could have been forgiven for thinking that this ruling flung open …

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More Musings on the Cert Petition Grant in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Case

Does Regulating Greenhouse Gases Lead to Absurd Results and What Happens Once the Court Rules?

In follow up to my early morning post of this morning, here are a couple of additional points. 1)  A related but different argument petitioners are making about why the PSD provisions don’t apply to the regulation of greenhouse gases is that the application of the provisions would lead to absurd results.  The absurd results …

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Still Waiting For Supreme Court Decision on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cert Petition

We May Learn This Week Whether Court Takes Up Important Climate Change Case

Court watchers are still waiting to learn whether  the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the  second most important federal case involving greenhouse gas emissions,  Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA.   The Court is closed today for a federal holiday (not because of the shutdown) but any day we should hear about whether it will take …

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The New IPCC Assessment, Carbon Budgets and the Role of the U.S.

National Academy Study Used the Carbon Budget Approach Taken in New IPCC Report to Show How the U.S. Could Limit Emissions

Today’s major environmental news is, of course, the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report addressing the physical science basis for climate change.  The findings are strong and alarming:  warming of the climate system is unequivocal and unprecedented; atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions “have increased to …

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