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  • SCOTUS Ruling in West Virginia v. EPA Threatens All Regulation

    The Supreme Court’s enshrinement in West Virginia v. EPA of the major questions doctrine as a key technique of statutory interpretation is a threat to regulation in general, contends Richard Revesz.

  • It’s Time for OMB to Refashion Its Guidance on Analytical Time Frames

    Federal agencies often fail to justify the analytical time frames they use in their cost-benefit analyses, even when their chosen time frame clearly truncates a policy’s costs and benefits. Lance Bowman summarizes his recent report's recommendations for how the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) can address this problem through standardized guidance to agencies.

  • Why the Supreme Court Climate Decision is a Canary in the Coal Mine

    The real wrecking ball in West Virginia v. EPA is how the court unnecessarily tied our societal hands from most effectively tackling a major problem. This case could be a canary in the coal mine for a wider attack on regulatory safeguards.

  • 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.