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  • Climate Denialism and a Transparent About-Face on Presidential Power

    Over the past two weeks, plaintiffs and their amici have filed merits briefs in the social cost of greenhouse gases litigation in the Fifth Circuit. These briefs leave much to unpack — and much to be desired. The lawsuit, filed by Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry and nine other Republican state attorneys general, seeks to shut down the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and prohibit government agencies from using the best available science to weigh the economic costs of climate change.

  • Six Ways the Next NEPA Rule Can Improve Climate Analysis

    In its Phase 2 rulemaking, CEQ can better clarify agencies’ existing responsibilities under NEPA to consider climate change impacts. The six recommendations in our “Ensuring Robust Consideration of Climate Change Under NEPA” policy brief are summarized in this post.

  • Remembering Our Nation’s Fallen Workers

    Too long neglected, occupational health and safety may be at a turning point.  Workers Memorial Day on April 28 offers an opportunity to reflect on what each of us—as scientists, public health professionals, engineers, economists, policymakers, activists, community members, and voting constituents—can bring to the fight for science-based protections that will make our workplaces safer.

  • Thirty Legal Scholars Agree: Opponents of FERC’s Climate Consideration Ignore a Mountain of Decisive Precedent

    Criticisms of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s draft policy read the Natural Gas Act far too narrowly, ignoring both statutory design and the Commission’s longstanding consideration of environmental impacts in pipeline certification. As thirty legal scholars, including the author, detail in a comment letter filed with FERC yesterday, the Commission has broad authority to consider climate effects in pipeline certificate proceedings.

  • How Can Community Campaigns Leverage Regulatory Comments & Complaints?

    Carefully orchestrated comment and complaint campaigns can be a powerful, low-risk tool at communities’ disposal, and the organizers and lawyers convened by the Critical Legal Empowerment conference provide important insight into how to get the most out of them.

  • Another Court Ruling Calls for Robust Consideration of Climate Impacts

    Because the mining project’s [GHG] emissions comprised 0.44% of the annual global total, Interior concluded that the project would have “no significant impact” on the climate. In doing so, Interior rejected established methodologies such as the social cost of greenhouse gases that would allow for a more precise assessment of climate damage from the mine expansion. This week, the Ninth Circuit held that Interior’s analysis was insufficient.

  • Let’s Make This Clean Energy Marriage (and Fossil Fuel Divorce) Work

    When states adopt commitments to use clean energy it often has the celebratory air of a new marriage. But making good on those commitments and leaving fossil fuels behind also requires a messy divorce from longstanding legal frameworks. In all of the states that have committed to transitioning to clean energy — and away from fossil fuels — the laws embodying the new commitment generally don’t repeal other, older laws that enable or even encourage consumers to continue getting their energy from fossil fuels.

  • Nuclear Power, Climate Change Adaptation, and Good Governance

    Considering additional information about interactions with climate change means that some reactors’ licenses might not be extended. But this reversal supports the viability and social license of the U.S.’s nuclear fleet, thereby helping to preserve a crucial zero-emissions resource for the power sector.

  • How a Proposed Department of Labor Rule Would Help Protect Retirement Savings From Climate Risk

    Should retirement plan managers be able to consider climate change and other financially relevant environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their decisions? A recent analysis of public comments found overwhelming support for a proposed rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) affirming their ability to consider these factors. ESG factors, including climate change, can affect risk and return for all types of investments, not just ESG-labeled funds. 

  • Fast and Furious: Understanding the Rush of Vehicle Pollution News

    You may have noticed quite a few headlines recently about EPA, NHTSA, cars, trucks, waivers, model years, and lawsuits. It’s worth breaking down this flurry of activity, all of which seeks to address vehicle emissions. Here, I’ll clarify the current status of the five separate proceedings happening right now, and offer a preview of what’s to come.