If you read Legal Planet, you know why the work we do matters.
There couldn’t be a more important time for the work we do, given the urgency of the climate crisis and the ongoing policy disaster in D.C. Like everyone else, I’m sure you find fundraising appeals annoying. That’s why we hardly ever do them on Legal Planet. But twice a year doesn’t seem like too much …CONTINUE READING
Will Kavanaugh Use the Major Questions Doctrine or the Non-Delegation Doctrine to Scrap Them?
The Democratic candidates all have bold plans to attack climate change but face an obvious problem: Congress. Unless the Democrats take the Senate and the Presidency while retaining the House, and unless the Democrats abolish the filibuster, it’s hard to imagine Congress passing comprehensive climate legislation (and even then getting legislation through will be a …CONTINUE READING
The Court refused to hear two cases, but with noteworthy separate opinions.
The Supreme Court declined to hear two cases today. Neither case was earthshaking, but conservative Justices wrote revealing separate opinions. The case with the greatest import for environmental law was Paul v. U.S. The facts of the case had nothing to do with environmental law, but the issue involved has large implications for environmental statutes. …CONTINUE READING
Some issues are perennial, like property rights v. public rights in water.
I suppose most of you, like me, have never heard of the Watuppa Ponds. But in 1888, a battle broke out over the legality of their use to supply drinking water for a nearby city. The issue closely divided Massachusetts’s highest court, and led to a heated debate in the recently launched Harvard Law Review …CONTINUE READING
A powerful metaphor can be illuminating, but it can also be highly misleading.
The idea of long-hanging fruit is ubiquitous in environmental policy — sometimes in the form of a simple metaphor, other times expressed in more sophisticated terms as an assumption of rising marginal costs of pollution reduction. It’s an arresting metaphor, and one that can often be illuminating. But like many powerful metaphors, it can also …CONTINUE READING
EPA Cites an Inapplicable “Housekeeping Statute” to Justify Its Rule to Limit the Use of Science In Important Regulatory Decisions
Over a year ago, EPA issued a proposed rule , ostensibly to promote transparency in the use of science to inform regulation. The proposal, which mirrors failed legislation introduced multiple times in the House, has the potential to dramatically restrict EPA’s ability to rely on key scientific studies that underpin public health regulations. The rule, …CONTINUE READING
It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s time to move on.
Dear Denialist, I’ve addressed you from time to time on this blog, in the hope of persuading you to consider the evidence. To tell the truth, I have no way of knowing whether you are a hack fronting for an oil company, an operative somewhere in Russia or Eastern Europe, or even some kind of …CONTINUE READING
Automakers might get a federal “one national standard”…just not the one they seem interested in.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that the Trump administration will move to finalize its rollback of federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards by the end of the year, and that, unlike the freeze previously proposed by the administration, the rule will require annual fuel economy improvements of 1.5 percent. That’s still much …CONTINUE READING
Toyota’s Defense of Its Choice to Support the Trump Administration’s Auto Standards Rollback Rings Hollow
Sadly, Toyota Has Ceded Its Place As the Industry’s Environmental Leader
My colleagues Ann, Cara, Julia, and Rick have all written about various aspects of the decision by General Motors, Toyota, and other automobile manufacturers to side with the Trump administration as it tries to prevent California from setting its own greenhouse gas emission standards. The administration is implementing this rollback in tandem with a federal …CONTINUE READING
Influencing Public Policy Through Individual & Collective Purchasing Decisions
At the risk of piling on, let me offer my own thoughts–and a specific proposal–regarding yesterday’s decision by General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and the automakers’ trade organization to intervene in support of the Trump Administration in California’s recently-filed litigation challenging the feds’ attempted revocation of California’s Clean Air Act waiver. Legal Planet colleagues Ann …CONTINUE READING