Fighting Climate Change
Preventing the Worst, Mitigating the Harm
Progress on preventing climate change has been slow and sporadic. The Clinton Administration mostly missed its chance; the Bush Administration actively fought progress; and legislation during President Obama's first term died in the Senate at the hands of solid Republican opposition and Democratic division. In the wake of that failure, the best remaining hope for action is by means of regulation, chiefly from the Environmental Protection Agency. Although a strong climate change bill would be a better fit for the scope of the problem, the EPA could cover considerable ground with regulations under the Clean Air Act, and has begun to do so. But it faces a roadblock in the White House: The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Read more about CPR Member Scholars work on how to prevent and mitigate climate change:
- Climate Change and Regulation. Read President has authority to act on regulatory issues, by David Driesen, published in the January 28, 2013 Syracuse Post-Standard.
- Energy Efficiency. Read States Can Lead the Way to Improved Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards, CPR White Paper 1210, August 2012, by CPR Member Scholars Alexandra B. Klass and Lesley K. McAllister, and CPR Policy Analyst Wayland Radin. Read the introductory blog post.
- The 'Economy vs. Environment' Myth. Read "Healthy Environment, Strong Economy Can Co-Exist," by Robert Adler, published in the September 24, 2011 Salt Lake Tribune, debunking the argument that strengthening the economy requires weakening environmental protections.
- Myths About CAA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases. For years, the Bush Administration resisted regulating the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, asserting (among other things) that it lacked the authority under the Clean Air Act to do so. The Supreme Court finally instructed the Administration otherwise, a ruling the Bush White House all but ignored. The Obama Administration, however, has sought to discharge its legal obligation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Somehow, the right wing argument that the Clean Air Act doesn't cover planet-threatening greenhouse gases persists, however. In April 2011, CPR Member Scholars Amy Sinden and Dan Farber released a short white paper, correcting the record on Six Myths About Climate Change and the Clean Air Act (CPR White Paper 1105).
- LA Times Op-Ed on Prop 23 in California. Read "Proposition 23 and the damage it would do to California: Setting aside the state's climate change law would damage the state's green economy and imperil California's commitment to fighting greenhouse gas emissions," by CPR Member Scholar Daniel Farber and Richard Frank, October 4, 2010 in the Los Angeles Times.
- The Kerry-Lieberman Bill:
- The Boxer-Kerry Bill:
- The Waxman-Markey Bill:
- Op-Ed on Waxman-Markey. Read "Climate bill good first step in long and arduous trip," an op-ed by CPR Member Scholars Victor Flatt and William Buzbee, in the April 25, 2009 Houston Chronicle, on improving the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. Also in the May 5, 2009 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Tough caps would likely curb pollution and cool warming."
- CPRBlog on Waxman-Markey's Journey Through Congress. Read Handing Primary Control of Offsets to USDA: What This Might Mean, June 24, 2009 by Victor Flatt; The Waxman-Markey Bill's Federal-State Partnership, June 17, 2009 by Alice Kaswan; What Does the CBO Report on Waxman-Markey Actually Tell Us? (Not Much), June 16, 2009 by Dan Farber; Big Trouble on Climate Change: President Obama and the Loss of Momentum, June 12, 2009 by Rena Steinzor; The Misleading Economic Criticism of Waxman-Markey, June 9 by Dan Farber; On Offsets, New Waxman-Markey Bill is a Mixed Bag, May 19, 2009 by Victor Flatt; In Debate on Waxman-Markey, a Question on Avoiding Liability for Violating the Law, April 29, 2009 by David Driesen; Proposed Amendments to Waxman-Markey Could Diminish Integrity of Offset Provisions, April 27, 2009 by Victor Flatt; A Day at the Waxman-Markey Hearings, April 23, 2009 by Frank Ackerman; Climate Change Legislation: Is the Train (Finally) Leaving the Station?, April 21, 2009 by Dan Farber; An Attack on Waxman-Markey that's a False Alarm, April 16, 2009 by Nina Mendelson; Waxman-Markey Federalism Battles, April 10, 2009 by William Buzbee.
- Instant CPRBlog Analysis of Waxman-Markey as Originally Introduced. CPR Member Scholars blogged extensively and quickly in response to the introduction of the "Discussion Draft" of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. Read Nina Mendelson on Citizen Suits, Victor Flatt on Carbon Offsets, Kirsten Engel on State and Regional Cap-and-Trade Regimes, Alice Kaswan on Environmental Justice as well as Renewables, Transportation, and EPA and State Regulation, William Buzbee on Federalism Issues, and Holly Doremus and Alex Camacho on Adaptation..
- EPA Regulation Under the Clean Air Act:
- NYT Room for Debate. Read Nina Mendelson's New York Times Room for Debate articles on EPA and Clean Air Act regulation of greenhouse gases: her February 2009 column, or her January 2009 column.
- CPRBlog Entries. Read Member Scholar and staff blog entries on Clean Air Act regulation of climate change. A Long Overdue Step: EPA Addresses Climate Change, April 17, 2009 by Dan Farber; EPA Finding on Greenhouse Gases Puts Change in Motion, March 25, 2009 by Matt Freeman; CO2 and the Clean Air Act, February 19, 2009 by Holly Doremus;
- California Waiver Op-Ed. Read William W. Buzbee's December 28, 2007 op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Bush EPA's denial of California's request for a Clean Air Act waiver that would allow it and 16 "piggybacking" states to fight global warming with stricter automobile emissions standards.
- The Court, Clean Air, and Global Warming. Read CPR Member Scholar Joseph Feller's op-ed on why the Supreme "Court must conclude that global warming gases are a real danger," published in the December 26, 2006 Arizona Daily Star.
- Proposed Executive Orders for the Obama Administration. In November 2008, the Center for Progressive Reform transmitted to the Obama Transition Team a slate of seven Executive Orders addressing a series of critical issues, including climate change, transparency in government, environmental justice, children's exposure to toxics, citizens' right to sue corporations whose products cause them harm, and stewardship of public lands. Read a web article about the proposals, and read the white paper itself, Protecting Public Health and the Environment by the Stroke of a Presidential Pen. Or read the news release.
- Op-Ed on Allocation of International Carbon Credits. Read "Adam Smith Meets Climate Change," a proposal for allotting international carbon credits, by CPR Member Scholar Doug Kysar and Ian Ayres, published in Slate Magazine, September 25, 2008.
- Op-Ed on Conservative Opposition to Cap and Trade. Read "Conservatives Flip-Flopped on Cap and Trade," by CPR Member Scholar Robert L. Glicksman, in the June 28, 2008 Wichita Eagle.
- Climate Change Conference. See the media advisory and agenda for "Facts, Ideas, and U.S. Climate Change Policy: A Conference on Climate Change," an October 20, 2007 conference sponsored jointly by CPR, the University of Kansas School of Law, and the Commons at the University of Kansas. Watch a brief video clip from the conference of Member Scholar David Driesen.
- Preemption and Adaptation. Read about CPR Member Scholars' work on two other critical aspects of climate change: Adaptation and Preemption of state and local climate change laws and policies.
- A CPR Perspective. Read the CPR Perspective, International Justice and Climate Change.
- Responding to Lomborg. Read "Hot Air," Eban Goodstein's review of Bjorn Lomborg's Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming, published on Slate.com, August 29, 2007. For another look at the quality of Lomborg's scholarship, read Joel Mintz's review, published in The Environmental Lawyer, in 2002, of Lomborg's earlier book, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. (Reprinted by permission of the American Bar Association.) Or read Frank Ackerman's 2002 review in the March 25, 2002 edition of The Nation. Or read Doug Kysar's 2002 review.
- Global Warming Publications. Read CPR Member Scholars' various publications on global warming topics, including Adaptation, Book Reviews, Boxer-Kerry, Cap and Trade, Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Coal-fired Power Plants, the Copenhagen Conference, Costs, Economics, Effects on Trade, Environmental Justice, Federalism Issues, Global Warming in general, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Legislation, Liquefied Natural Gas, Litigation, Modeling Issues, Natural Resources/Conservation Issues, the Obama Administration, Offset Programs, Preemption, Regulation, Technology, Testimony, Water Law, and Waxman-Markey.