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Slowly Warming to Climate Change

Patrick Michaels, a former professor at the University of Virginia, has built a second career at the libertarian Cato Institute issuing data-laden reports against mainstream climate change science. In his latest book, Lukewarming: The New Climate Science that Changes Everything, Michaels joins Paul Knappenberger, the assistant director for the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science, to introduce new arguments updating Michaels’ long-held thesis that man-made warming is a reality but that “[t]he atmosphere isn’t warming nearly as fast as is predicted in the forecasts . . . .”

Mar 26, 2020
John Hannon

Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Uncertainties in Project-Level Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB 32”) set statewide goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. On November 30, 2015, the Supreme Court of California held in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) could use AB 32 to set the standard for GHG emissions in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Newhall Ranch Project. However, the court held that the administrative record lacked substantial evidence to support its finding that emission would not be "significant."

Mar 26, 2020
Danqing Bai

Union Neighbors United, Inc. v. Jewell: A Hard Look at Procedural Compliance under NEPA

In August 2016, the D.C. Circuit held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) met its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it issued an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for the endangered Indiana bat. On the one hand, the D.C. Circuit concluded that FWS did not need to ensure that the proposed project’s minimization and mitigation efforts were “the maximum that can be practically implemented” in order to satisfy the ESA. On the other hand, the D.C. Circuit held that FWS violated NEPA by failing to consider a reasonable range of alternatives.

Mar 26, 2020
Amy Collier

Interpreting “Appropriate and Necessary” Reasonably under the Clean Air Act: Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency

Under the administrative law principle of Chevron deference, if the language of a statute is ambiguous, a court must defer to the agency’s interpretation of that language if the agency’s interpretation is reasonable. In Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Supreme Court evaluated an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to ignore costs when deciding whether regulation of power plants under the Clean Air Act (CAA) is “appropriate and necessary.”

Mar 26, 2020
Maribeth Hunsinger