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Showing 26 results

Joseph Tomain | July 26, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: Environmental Policymaker

This post is part of a series on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. When Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated for the open U.S. Supreme Court seat, I was interested in his energy law opinions and began reading them together with some of his environmental law decisions. They seem to be written by two […]

Joseph Tomain | March 21, 2017

Trumping Innovation

Yale economist William Baumol has written extensively on the connection between innovation and economic productivity. He has demonstrated that the United States has long been committed to promoting innovation, and through innovation, virtuous circles of economic growth are created. Unfortunately, the current administration appears committed to curtailing, even stopping, that growth. The president’s first budget […]

Joseph Tomain | March 13, 2017

Attacking Regulation Using Slogans, Not Analysis

The Trump administration’s fundamental hostility to government is by now plainly apparent. The President issued an executive order requiring agencies to get rid of two regulations for each new one that is adopted. He appointed administrators who have been extraordinarily hostile to the missions of the departments and agencies that they now head, such as […]

Joseph Tomain | December 15, 2016

The Trump Troika and Regressive Energy Policy

As President-elect Donald Trump continues to shape his cabinet, we are seeing plenty of indications of how agencies like the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and even the State Department will approach energy and environmental policy. Trump’s stated policy preferences and those of his nominees threaten to upend decades of progress toward […]

Joseph Tomain | December 12, 2016

An Uncertain Anniversary

This blog post is based on the Introduction to my forthcoming book, Clean Power Politics: The Democratization of Energy (Cambridge University Press, 2017). One year ago, 195 nations met in Paris and signed what has been hailed as an historic climate agreement.1 To date, 116 parties have ratified the convention, and it went into force […]

Joseph Tomain | October 1, 2015

Nudging Utilities Into the Future

Two of the most important aspects of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) are the flexibility afforded states as they design compliance strategies and the plan’s openness to all energy resources. A state can satisfy its emission-reduction targets through the use of cleaner or more efficient coal-fired generation, natural gas or nuclear power as well as […]

Joseph Tomain | September 2, 2015

From Energy Consumerism to Democratic Energy Participation

The essence of the argument that a new energy and environmental politics is needed is based on the idea that our traditional energy path (as well as its underlying assumptions) has outlived its useful life; the traditional energy narrative is stale. Cheap, but dirty, fossil fuel energy has played a significant role in contributing to […]

Joseph Tomain | August 28, 2015

Katrina and the Democratization of Energy

Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina,1 Superstorm Sandy,2 and the typhoon that devastated Fukushima,3 as well as technical weaknesses that caused the Northeast blackout in October 2003,4 and regulatory failures that ended California electric industry restructuring efforts5 share two commonalities.  First, they all affect the energy system at enormous costs in economic losses and in disrupted lives.6 Indeed, severe weather events […]

Joseph Tomain | June 9, 2014

Clean Energy Politics

The EPA’s June 2, 2014 announcement of a Clean Power Plan is momentous. On the surface, its scope, complexity, potential for myriad legal challenges and, not to mention, the difficulty of gathering reliable cost and benefit data, make it so. Mothers should advise their children to grow up to be energy lawyers, not cowboys.  However, what […]