Showing 15 results
Hannah Wiseman | November 16, 2023
A recent Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decision has thrown Pennsylvania’s actions on climate change into further disarray. In 2021, through regulatory action by its Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania became a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a collection of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that have agreed to cap emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from electric power plants with 25 megawatts or more of generating capacity. The cap includes an overall regional limit and a cap for each state. Power plants must purchase allowances or offset their emissions (or pursue other options noted below) to collectively meet the state cap. But lawsuits have challenged Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI, and on November 1, a memorandum opinion of the Commonwealth Court declared that Pennsylvania’s scheme for auctioning CO2 allowances under the state’s RGGI cap was an unconstitutional tax. The court voided the rulemaking.
Catalina Gonzalez | November 15, 2023
On November 15, I joined Member Scholar and University of San Francisco School of Law professor Alice Kaswan in releasing an in-depth analysis of California’s climate and clean energy funding programs for the state’s historically marginalized and underserved communities. The set of reports and fact sheets, "Funding a Clean and Equitable Energy Transition: Lessons from California," follows the recent publication of the Center’s California Climate Justice Index, which details the laws, executive orders, agencies, funding processes, and funding programs that shape climate policy for the nation’s most populous state.
Daniel Farber | September 14, 2023
This week, the D.C. Circuit hears three cases challenging the use of federal regulations to push adoption of electric vehicles and to allow California to forge a 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 there are reasons to think that it would only delay, rather than prevent, the transition to clean cars.
Michael C. Duff | July 11, 2023
Nero fiddled, and I really don’t know how white powder made its way into the White House. But I do know that the California Supreme Court just issued an opinion in Kuciemba v. Victory Woodworks that will be incredibly hurtful to the working class during the next pandemic. I wonder how the California legislature will react.
Daniel Farber | May 15, 2023
Although the U.S. Constitution does not say so directly, the U.S. Supreme Court has said there are implied limits on state regulations that interfere with interstate commerce. This is known as the dormant commerce clause doctrine. State clean energy laws have been bedeviled by challenges based on this doctrine. The Supreme Court has just made it easier for states to fend off those claims.
Daniel Farber | April 24, 2023
Ever since the Supreme Court decided West Virginia v. EPA, conservatives and industry interests have claimed that just about every new regulation violates the major question doctrine. When the Biden administration ramped up fuel efficiency requirements through 2026, ideologues such as the Heritage Foundation and states like Texas were quick to wheel out this attack. No doubt the same attack will be made on the administration's ambitious proposed post-2026 standard. Maybe Judge Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, crusader against abortion pills and all things liberal, would buy that argument. But opponents won’t be able to handpick their judge this time, and the chances that this argument will win in the D.C. Circuit are slim to none.
Alice Kaswan, Catalina Gonzalez | April 20, 2023
The landmark Inflation Reduction Act gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $3 billion to fund a wide range of pollution reduction, clean energy, and climate resilience measures in the nation’s most marginalized communities. At issue now is how the agency will allocate the funds to eligible communities and projects.
Catalina Gonzalez | December 13, 2022
After a year and a half of work, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is poised to vote on an updated statewide climate plan. The final draft of the plan incorporates ambitious targets for achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, which were updated in September to reflect new legislation and Governor Gavin Newsom’s push for stronger action.
Catalina Gonzalez | October 12, 2022
This is the third post in a three-part series on recent efforts to place justice and equity at the center of California’s climate plans. Read the first and second posts. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and champions of environmental justice in the state legislature and advocacy community are cheering the recent passage of a series of new laws that […]