Three big cases in the D.C. Circuit will determine the fate of Biden’s vehicle regulations.
This week, the D.C. Circuit hears three cases challenging use of federal regulations to push adoption of electric vehicles and to allow California to forge path toward zero-emission cars. If all three cases go badly, the regulatory system would be disabled from playing a role in this area. This would be a huge setback, though …CONTINUE READING
New CLEE/Ceres report released today with recommendations for corporate EV fleet managers
The electric vehicle (EV) market is growing rapidly, but with this growth comes public pressure to ensure supply chains for EV batteries are sustainable. The soaring demand for batteries relies heavily on the extraction and refinement of critical minerals, processes that have far-reaching environmental and social impacts. Moreover, the global distribution of these operations leaves …CONTINUE READING
Over the past fifty years, EPA has overseen incredible reductions in auto pollution.
This is part of an occasional series of posts about the evolution of pollution standards. Today’s subject is pollution control for new vehicles, which have been known to cause smog since the 1960s. The history of these pollution standards is quite distinctive. At the high temperatures in internal combustion engines, some of the nitrogen in …CONTINUE READING
You wouldn’t know it from reading the New York Times, but cities and states are innovating to get people out of cars and on e-bikes. Is California falling behind?
After reading the recent (and very dumb) New York Times expose by Matt Richtel on e-bikes, you’d be forgiven for mistaking electric-assist bicycles for the next big threat to human health. But 3 other news stories about the benefits, and growing pains, of e-bikes show there’s real interest in them as a climate solution. Rather …CONTINUE READING
News stories that frame the rise of e-bikes as one big safety risk are not only short-sighted, they could lead to bad policy.
There’s a dangerous new mobility trend on American streets that’s captured the attention of the New York Times: e-bikes. Or so the Times, and some other media outlets, are suggesting with their editorial choices. “The e-bike industry is booming, but the summer of 2023 has brought sharp questions about how safe e-bikes are, especially for …CONTINUE READING
Will the major questions doctrine block EPA’s proposed rules?
Biden v. Nebraska, the student loan case, provided a new opportunity for the Court to apply the major question doctrine. Does this decision increase the threat that EPA’s proposed new regulations will be struck down under this doctrine? A careful reading of the majority opinion is at least somewhat reassuring. The Court painted a picture …CONTINUE READING
The benefits of the energy transition transcend climate.
The main reason to control carbon is to protect the climate. But cleaning up the energy system has plenty of other benefits. Those benefits will flow to people in rural areas as well as urban ones, to national security and international development, and to nature itself. To begin with, there are the health benefits of …CONTINUE READING
Surveying the legal problems of the biggest NEPA changes in the past fifty years.
On June 5, President Biden signed the debt ceiling bill, which provides the first significant rewrite of NEPA since it was passed over fifty years ago. In a series of blog posts, I’ve explored some of the legal issues raised by the amendments. My goal has been highlighting problem areas rather than providing anything like …CONTINUE READING
How well are cities planning for the transition, and how can we track readiness?
A recent report from ACEEE reinforces California’s leadership in vehicle electrification–at the state level, California’s EV policies, incentives, and supporting strategies outpace the closest competitors by a significant margin (and most pro-electrification states’ programs owe their design and federal authorization to California): Source: ACEEE, 2023 Transportation Electrification Scorecard. But with …CONTINUE READING
Will the new NEPA provisions speed approval of urgently needed projects?
In terms of the energy transition, the most important question about the recent NEPA amendments is whether they streamline permitting for transmission projects. The answer is complicated. We can divide transmission projects into two groups. The first group consists of transmission projects where federal involvement is limited to specific segments, such as stream crossings requiring …CONTINUE READING