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 119 results

Karen Sokol | March 2, 2020

The Problem with the Climate Leadership Council’s Carbon Tax Plan

Earlier this year, on the heels of the Earth's hottest decade on record, a coalition of former government officials, fossil fuel companies, car manufacturers, financial companies, and nonprofit organizations renewed their endorsement of a national carbon tax as "the most effective climate solution" (emphasis added). And by "the," it appears that they mean "the only." The catch is that the coalition's legislative plan also calls for preventing the federal government from regulating carbon emissions and from taking any other protective measures "that are no longer necessary upon the enactment of a rising carbon fee." Given the scale and complexity of the planetary emergency that we face, it would certainly be nice if the solution were that simple. But that, of course, is too good to be true.

Noah Sachs | February 26, 2020

Argument Analysis: The Trail, the Pipeline, and a Journey to the Center of the Earth

Environmental groups faced a skeptical bench during Monday's argument in two consolidated cases, U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association and Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, as they fought to preserve a 2018 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that had halted an $8 billion, 600-mile natural gas pipeline. At the heart of the dispute is a 2017 permit granted by the U.S. Forest Service to allow the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the George Washington National Forest.

Daniel Farber | January 13, 2020

Misunderstanding the Law of Causation

Last week's NEPA proposal bars agencies from considering many of the harms their actions will produce, such as climate change. These restrictions profoundly misunderstand the nature of environmental problems and are based on the flimsiest of legal foundations.

Daniel Farber | January 10, 2020

Pride Goeth Before a Fall

The White House just released its proposed revisions to the rules about environmental impact statements. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) simply does not have the kind of power that it is trying to arrogate to itself. Its proposal is marked by hubris about the government's ability to control how the courts apply the law.

Dave Owen | December 18, 2019

Exxon’s $75 Million Methane Leak

This morning E&E News reported that researchers from the Netherlands and Environmental Defense had quantified a massive natural gas leak at an Exxon-subsidiary-owned well in Ohio. According to the study, the well leaked around 60,000 tons of methane. That made me wonder: what might the carbon tax bill for a leak like that be? The answer, of course, is $0.

Daniel Farber | December 9, 2019

2019 in Renewable Energy

Originally published on Legal Planet. Reprinted with permission. Despite the efforts of the Trump administration, renewable energy has continued to thrive. Key states are imposing rigorous deadlines for reducing power generation from fossil fuels. Economic trends are also supporting renewables. In the first half of 2019, Texas produced more power from renewables than coal. Texas may […]

Emily Hammond | June 18, 2019

Opinion Analysis: Virginia’s Moratorium on Uranium Mining Is Not Pre-empted, but the Role of Legislative Purpose Remains Open for Debate

This post was originally published on SCOTUSblog. It is republished here under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US). The Supreme Court has concluded that Virginia's decades-old moratorium on uranium mining is not pre-empted by the Atomic Energy Act. But there is no clear answer to the question that pervaded the briefing and oral argument: […]

Daniel Farber | October 23, 2018

Jumping the Fence Line, Embracing the Grid

Cross-posted from Legal Planet. Click here for the follow-up post. If you've been reading this blog or otherwise keeping up with environmental law, you've probably heard this a hundred times: In rolling back Obama's signature climate regulation, the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration is relying on the idea that EPA's jurisdiction stops at the fence line. That is, according to the Trump folks, EPA can impose measures on each plant, but not measures that go beyond the fence line like requiring more use of renewable energy of a coal or natural gas generator. I've blogged previously about why this argument might not even apply because reducing your operating hours is something you can accomplish without getting close to the fence, let alone crossing it.

Joseph Tomain | October 8, 2018

The EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule: Putting Money on ACE Is a Bad Bet — Part I

This post is the second of a pair on the Trump administration's so-called "Affordable Clean Energy" (ACE) rule. You can read the first post here on CPRBlog.