Politics

North Carolina’s New Climate Legislation

A major, bipartisan step forward in an unlikely state.

Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an important piece of climate legislation.  I wrote last month about major, bipartisan climate legislation in Illinois.  Like the Illinois law, the North Carolina law enjoyed broad bipartisan support.  The North Carolina legislature is under firm Republican. Nevertheless, the bill passed the state senate by a 42 …

CONTINUE READING

Delayed harm and the politics of climate change, reconsidered

How much does zero emissions warming commitment matter, and what are its political implications?

The world is gathering soon in Glasgow to debate how to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. But what happens when we achieve the goal of zero carbon dioxide emissions from human actions? Does the climate keep warming, stay the same, or even cool? It turns out this is a critical question for …

CONTINUE READING

Never Give Up. Never Surrender.

Even if we miss our targets, simply shaving or flattening the carbon curve would be worth fighting for.

Although lacking the same eloquence, today’s post is in the spirit of Churchill’s famous speech promising that Britain would “fight on the beaches, … we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” My point is this: No matter how many battles we end up losing in the fight to stop carbon emissions, we …

CONTINUE READING

Greening the Land of Lincoln

Illinois passes pathbreaking energy law.

Last week, Illinois’s governor signed into law a major piece of climate legislation. The law deserves more attention than it has received.  Sadly, however, Illinois seems to be something of a neglected stepchild in the media. That’s a pity, because there are some important lessons in Illinois’s experience, both for the Midwest and the country …

CONTINUE READING

California Enacts Historic Housing Reform Laws

Legislation Promotes New Housing, Infill Development, & Reduced Air Pollution

The California Legislature recently enacted, and Governor Gavin Newsom last week signed into law, two major housing reform measures.  SB 9 and SB 10 represent California’s most transformative new housing laws in decades, and are a belated but welcome legislative response to the state’s longstanding housing crisis. SB 9, authored by California State Senate leader …

CONTINUE READING

The Last Four Years — and the Next Four

How did our predictions about Trump hold up? What should we expect for Biden?

In September 2017, Eric Biber and I published a threat assessment after the first 200 days of the Trump Administration. For those who have buried their memories of that time, those were days of shock and despair about the future of environmental protection (and much else). It seems time to bring our report up to …

CONTINUE READING

Labor and the Environment

Let’s talk about jobs and environmental protection.

Labor Day is a good time to talk about an important topic: the impact of environmental protection on jobs. This is a clearly a fraught issue. In support of his deregulation campaign, President Trump promised to “cancel every needless job-killing regulation and put a moratorium on new regulations until our economy gets back on its …

CONTINUE READING

California’s Recall Election Has Serious Climate and Environmental Implications

A new governor wouldn’t disrupt core mandates but could redirect spending and priorities

(Many thanks to my colleagues Ken Alex, Louise Bedsworth, Jordan Diamond, Nell Green Nylen, and Katie Segal for their contributions.) On September 14, California will hold a gubernatorial recall election to decide two questions: 1) whether to remove Governor Gavin Newsom from office; and if a majority of voters choose removal, 2) who will replace …

CONTINUE READING

Environmentalism and the Supreme Court

Some cases belong to the environmentalist legal canon, others to an anti-canon of reviled precedents.

Every field has its texts that form part of its intellectual canon, and others that form a kind of anti-canon of rejected ideas.  The same is true in environmental law. The issue goes beyond which side wins. From the pro-environmental side of things, some Supreme Court rulings form guideposts to rely on, whereas others represent …

CONTINUE READING

Supervillains of the Enviro-Verse

🏴‍☠️ For your amusement: a rogues gallery of anti-Green villainy. 🏴‍☠️

Movements are defined as much by who and what they oppose as what they favor. To understand environmentalism, you have to know how it defines its opponents.  Reality, of course, is always nuanced, but nuance isn’t much fun. Although I was originally going to provide a more serious treatment, I decided instead to have a …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING