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Showing 179 results

Alexandra Rogan, James Goodwin | August 18, 2022

With the Inflation Reduction Act, the Clean Energy Revolution Will be Subsidized

With the signature of President Joe Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) now marks the most significant climate policy action the United States has ever taken. The defining feature of this law is that it seeks to wring carbon dioxide emissions out of the U.S. economy by relying heavily on policy "carrots," like subsidies, instead of policy "sticks," such as regulating the fossil fuel industry or attempting to capture the external costs of greenhouse gas emissions through carbon pricing.

James Goodwin | August 10, 2022

Op-Ed: Information Justice Offers Stronger Clean Air Protections to Fenceline Communities

After more than 50 years, the Clean Air Act is due for an upgrade to account for changing circumstances. We can now recognize how the law is insufficiently attentive to the realities of structural racism and systemic disparities in environmental protections. Polluters have exacerbated these problems by weaponizing uncertainty to oppose stronger protections for those who need them most. In speaking to both challenges, the Public Health Air Quality Act would help ensure that the Clean Air Act is well positioned to continue serving the American people for the next 50 years.

Daniel Farber | August 8, 2022

Will the Supreme Court Gut the Clean Water Act?

What wetlands and waterbodies does the Clean Water Act protect? Congress failed to provide a clear answer when it passed the statute, and the issue has been a bone of contention ever since. The Biden administration is in the process of issuing a new regulation on the subject. Normally, you'd expect the Supreme Court to wait to jump in until then. Instead, the Court reached out to grab Sackett v. EPA, where landowners take a really extreme position on the subject. Not a good sign.

Sophie Loeb | August 4, 2022

Duke Energy Carbon Plan Hearing: Authentic Community Engagement Lacking

On July 27, I had the privilege of testifying at the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) public hearing regarding the Duke Energy Carbon Plan. The Asheville hearing was one of six forums designated for public witness testimony on the proposed decarbonization plan. In 2019, North Carolina joined 34 other states investing in solar, wind, and other renewable resources when it passed its Clean Energy Power Plan, and, in 2021, when it passed House Bill 951, which commits to a 70 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. When Duke Energy, a major corporation with outsized influence over the state’s decarbonization plan, submitted its proposal to meet those goals, it failed to account for affordability and equity.

Hannah Klaus | August 3, 2022

Environmental Justice for All Act Would Address Generations of Environmental Racism

Last week, the Center for Progressive Reform joined 90 organizations in expressing strong support for the Environmental Justice for All Act in a letter as the bill went before the House Committee on Natural Resources for markup. The coalition, led by Coming Clean, a collaborative of environmental health and environmental justice experts, and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, urged committee members to advance this important legislation to the House floor. The bill, introduced by Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Donald McEachin of Virginia, is the most significant effort by the federal government to address generations of environmental racism.

Thomas McGarity, Wendy Wagner | July 25, 2022

Do Not Blame Us

Law professors dream of the day when the U.S. Supreme Court will rely on one of their publications for a proposition that is crucial to the outcome of an important case. What better validation of all the blood, sweat, and tears that were poured into the publication? What an existential high to know that they have finally arrived at the pinnacle. We experienced none of those emotions when reading Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion in West Virginia v. EPA. The citations to our work were both minor and innocuous, so that fact helps allay any sense of accomplishment. But equally significant, the Court's analysis bears little relationship to our own understanding of Section 111(a) of the Clean Air Act.

Robert Fischman | June 30, 2022

Supreme Court Swings at Phantoms in West Virginia v. EPA

In West Virginia v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court slayed a phantom, a regulation that does not exist. Why? The justices in the majority could not contain their zeal to hollow out the EPA’s ability to lessen suffering from climate change in ways that impinge the profits of entrenched fossil fuel interests.

Katrina Fischer Kuh, Rebecca Bratspies | June 28, 2022

New Yorkers’ Environmental Rights Are Under Attack

In November 2021, over 70% of New Yorkers voted to amend the state's constitution to explicitly protect New Yorkers' fundamental right to clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment. New York thus joins Montana and Pennsylvania in enshrining robust constitutional environmental rights in the state constitution. Unsurprisingly, corporate defendants argue that the new right doesn't change anything.

Daniel Farber | June 27, 2022

Two FERC Cases and Why They Matter

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been called the most important environmental agency that no one has heard of. Recently, the D.C. Circuit decided two undramatic FERC cases that illustrate the agency's environmental significance. One involved a bailout to coal and nuclear plants, the other involved water quality.