Skip to main content

Carbon vouchers: A small-government approach to climate action

Dan Farber, professor of law | April 22, 2015

What I’m going to sketch here isn’t a zero government approach. But the government’s role is very limited: federal agencies don’t do any enforcement and the government doesn’t touch any revenue from the scheme. So this approach deals with the concern that a carbon tax or something similar would either expand EPA’s ability to abuse … Continue reading »

Justice Thomas declares war on rulemaking

Dan Farber, professor of law | March 23, 2015

It didn’t get much attention, but Justice Thomas’s dissent two weeks ago in the Amtrak case was extraordinarily radical, even for him. The case involved a relatively obscure issue about the legal status of Amtrak. Justice Thomas used the occasion for a frontal attack on administrative law, including most of environmental law. The heart of … Continue reading »

Happy endings and promising starts on the environment

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 2, 2015

In most ways, 2014 was a good year for environmental protection, with progress on several fronts. True, there are warning signs for 2015 — primarily the Republican sweep of the mid-terms and the Supreme Court’s puzzling decision to review toxics regulations for coal-fired power plants. And of course, there were losses as well as victories, … Continue reading »

The ‘Yoga Theorem’ and the EPA’s new carbon-emissions policy

Maximilian Auffhammer, professor, international sustainable development | June 5, 2014

With the historical release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon emissions policy, I took an extra day to comb through and digest the news. I have organized my intermediate microeconomics class around something called the “Yoga Theorem.” This almost universal truth states that the less flexible you are, the more you will suffer.  It holds … Continue reading »

Lightbulb wars: the saga continues

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 21, 2014

Republicans have won a largely symbolic victory for an obsolete technology. Among the sleeper provisions of the new budget deal is a ban on enforcing federal lightbulb standards.  This is a great example of symbolic politics — it makes Tea Party Republicans happy, has limited practical effect, and makes little policy sense. Or to put it … Continue reading »

The quiet failure of climate denial in 2013

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 6, 2014

The latest IPCC report proves that scientists are unwavering in their view that human carbon emissions are causing dangerous climate change.  In the scientific world, climate denial has no traction.  It isn’t gaining traction in the judicial or congressional worlds either. First, the judiciary.  A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit, headed by a conservative … Continue reading »

Europe is banning bee-harmful pesticides; the US should take a lead.

Claire Kremen, professor, environmental sciences; co-director, Berkeley Food Institute | December 1, 2013

Like the European Union – which today (Dec. 1) boldly begins a two-year ban on selected pesticides thought to be harmful to honeybees and other pollinators – the United States should help protect pollinators by banning these pesticides. But the United States should do far more, and become a world leader in championing sustainable alternatives … Continue reading »

Gina McCarthy to be nominated as EPA head

Holly Doremus, professor of law | March 4, 2013

As predicted by Cara Horowitz recently, it’s being widely reported (for example here) this morning (March 4) that Gina McCarthy, currently EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, is Obama’s pick to succeed Lisa Jackson as EPA Administrator. Cara sees this appointment as a good thing for EPA’s climate policy efforts and … Continue reading »

Gingrich and the environment

Dan Farber, professor of law | November 21, 2011

Given Newt Gingrich’s current spurt in the polls, it’s worth taking a bit of a closer look at his environmental views.  He favors dismantling EPA, which should make him popular with the tea party.  But apparently he has problems in that quarter: The reaction from some conservative commentators was swift and harsh. “Intellectually incoherent,” said … Continue reading »

No (or at least little) net loss of jobs from regulation

Holly Doremus, professor of law | November 15, 2011

We keep hearing the phrase “job-killing regulations” from the Republican side of the aisle, with environmental regulations generally at the top of their lists. Yet there has never been much evidence for the claim that government regulation is systematically bad for employment or the economy. To the contrary, scholars, this blog, think tanks (notably the … Continue reading »

The ozone rule: What Sunstein didn’t say

Dan Farber, professor of law | September 19, 2011

On September 2, Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,” wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson about the ozone rule, “requesting” that EPA withdraw the regulation.  Beyond the fact that it was written at all, the letter is remarkable for its significant silences: Although the letter notes … Continue reading »