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 192 results

A family exiting their electric vehicle

Daniel Farber | September 14, 2023

Vehicle Regulations on Trial

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.

A coal power plant emitting carbon emissions into the air

Federico Holm | August 14, 2023

EPA Should Strengthen Proposed Power Plant Emissions Standards to Increase Climate and Environmental Justice Benefits

On May 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that run on fossil fuels. While these proposed standards are a good step forward and a much better approach to cutting climate pollution than the Trump administration’s misnamed "Affordable Clean Energy Rule," the EPA has room to strengthen them and greatly increase their climate and environmental justice benefits.

Daniel Farber | August 2, 2023

Revamping the NEPA Process

Early on July 28, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the proposed Phase II revisions of its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. The CEQ proposal deftly threads the needle, streamlining the NEPA process while protecting the environment and disadvantaged communities.

wind turbines on a grassy plain

Daniel Farber | July 17, 2023

Not Just About the Climate

The main reason to control carbon is to protect the climate. But cleaning up the energy system has plenty of other benefits. Those benefits will flow to people in rural areas as well as urban ones, to national security and international development, and to nature itself.

Brian Gumm | June 28, 2023

Leaning on Unproven Carbon Capture Technologies in Louisiana and Beyond

The federal Inflation Reduction Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent power plant rules are big wins for climate and the environment. However, they both have their shortcomings, and one of them is their reliance on carbon capture and storage technologies to reach ambitious climate emissions goals. As a new Center for Progressive Reform report shows, carbon capture technologies are unproven and pose significant risks, especially to communities in states like Louisiana that are already overburdened by pollution.

Shelley Welton | June 12, 2023

Net-Zero Emissions: Good Climate Science, Bad Climate Policy

The scientific concept of net-zero emissions has quickly become an organizing policy paradigm, enshrined in the Paris Agreement and manifested in thousands of “net-zero” pledges developed by countries, states, cities, and private companies. Collectively, these pledges now purport to cover more than 91 percent of the global economy. If this figure sounds too good to be true, that’s because it likely is. Net zero is anti-democratic, inequitable, and imperial. For related reasons that I focus on in this post, it is also unlikely to work as a strategy to achieve the collective global aim of net-zero carbon emissions.

air pollution

Daniel Farber | May 23, 2023

The Biden Power Plant Rule and the Major Questions Doctrine

We’ve already started to hear claims that the Biden power plant rule falls under the major questions doctrine, which the U.S. Supreme Court used to strike down former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Are those claims plausible?

Wetlands Landscape

Minor Sinclair | May 11, 2023

In Upcoming Fishing Case, High Court Could Reel in Entire Administrative State

On May 1, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether the U.S. Department of Commerce has the authority to require fishermen to allow inspectors on board. At stake is the ability of agencies to write regulations that reasonably interpret laws even when they are ambiguous.   

A family exiting their electric vehicle

Daniel Farber | April 24, 2023

The Car Rule and the Major Questions Doctrine

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.