Join us.

We’re working to create a just society and preserve a healthy environment for future generations. Donate today to help.

Donate

Blog

Showing 326 results

Robin Kundis Craig | July 1, 2024

What’s Next After Supreme Court Curbs Regulatory Power: More Focus on Laws’ Wording, Less on their Goals

The Supreme Court's decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce means that federal courts will have the final say on what an ambiguous federal statute means. What’s not clear is whether most courts will still listen to expert federal agencies in determining which interpretations make the most sense.

James Goodwin | July 1, 2024

With Decision in Corner Post, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Assault on the Administrative State This Term Is Now Comprehensive and Complete

The U.S. administrative state does not merely protect Americans against those threats that we are unable to protect ourselves from on our own. It is essential to a healthy economy, it provides a crucial platform for democratic self-government, and it functions as a great social equalizer. All of this is now at risk after the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservatives issued four separate decisions largely along ideological lines aimed at eviscerating this crucial institution. The administrative state has been built over the course of nearly 250 years, slowly and pragmatically, since the founding; it has taken just three decision days for the Court to undo much of that work.

James Goodwin | June 28, 2024

Unprincipled Supreme Court Decision on Agency Deference Harmful but Not Fatal to Public Protections, Administrative State

The American public is lucky to have the federal administrative state. Every day, it protects all of us from harms like heavily polluted air, consistently contaminated drinking water, and dangerous workplaces. It strengthens our democracy. And it ensures a fairer, healthier, and more inclusive economy. The good news is that the self-aggrandizing U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce does not change that. And that is because it cannot change that.

Daniel Farber | June 25, 2024

The 2023 NEPA Rewrite and the Supreme Court’s New Climate Case

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed June 24 to hear a case about whether environmental impact statements need to address climate change. To read the arguments made about the case, you’d think that this was a common law area where courts establish the rules. But as I discuss in a forthcoming article, recent amendments have put a lot of flesh on the previously barebones law. The bottom line: The Supreme Court shouldn’t give advocates of narrowing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) a victory that they were unable to get through the legislative process.

Sophie Loeb | June 20, 2024

How Gas Plants Are Leading to Rising Bills

Duke Energy, North Carolina’s monopoly electricity provider, is currently undergoing one of the largest utility-led fossil fuel expansions in the entire country. Though the corporation publicly touts its carbon reduction climate goals, its investments in natural gas are leading to burning a “super pollutant” gas – methane – that is 86 times more harmful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat and warming the environment.

Alice Kaswan | June 13, 2024

Planning for Deep Decarbonization

Deep in the heart of state and regional environmental and energy agencies, engineers, economists, scientists, and lawyers are working hard to develop comprehensive climate action plans (CCAPs). Created by the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program is funding a range of state and subnational planning and implementation measures, including the CCAPs, which are due in 2025. In our recent issue brief, Comprehensive Climate Action Plans: What’s a Greenhouse Gas Reduction “Measure”?, we explore a key question: What is the nature of the “actions” that planners should include in their climate action plans? Or, to use the program’s term, what’s a climate “measure?”

Alice Kaswan, Catalina Gonzalez | May 21, 2024

Defending and Influencing State Climate Justice Investments

States like California face sobering budget shortfalls, and their governors and legislatures are grappling with how and where to make cuts. These debates cast a spotlight on the critical importance of state budgets to an equitable clean energy future.

Federico Holm | May 1, 2024

Permitting Reform and the Incidence of NEPA as a Source of “Delays”

Since the passage of landmark legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law during the Biden administration, we’ve repeatedly heard that we’re at a critical junction: There is a need to expand and accelerate environmental, climate, and clean energy policy implementation and opportunities to do so, but the pathway toward this goal will be plagued by significant delays. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has become a common scapegoat in this fight, with critics charging that the sometimes lengthy and complicated environmental review process NEPA requires is the main thing holding up decarbonization and the clean energy transition. This has led to calls from across the political spectrum for “reforming” the statute. This assumption, however, misrepresents what happens on the ground.

Climate Change Protest showing a sign that says "there is not planet B"

Daniel Farber | April 29, 2024

Climate Policy and the Audacity of Hope

The bad news is that we’re not yet on track to avoid dangerous climate change. But there’s also good news: We’ve taken important steps that will ease further progress. We should resist the allure of easy optimism, given the scale of the challenges. Neither should we wallow in despair. There’s a good basis for hope.