F&ES 847a/Law 20620
Decarbonizing the U.S. Power Sector: Driving U.S. Climate Policy under the Clean Air Act
The Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the centerpiece of its efforts to drive down power-plant emissions of greenhouse gases linked to climate change. Since the final CPP was released in the summer of 2015, this seminar is well-timed to tap into the enormous interest and debate that the CPP has engendered. It unfolds against the backdrop of intensive efforts by policy makers, lawyers, and experts to understand the final rule and its implications, evaluate legal and political options, and begin implementation. Applying a multidisciplinary perspective, the seminar examines the interplay between the legal, economic, and political dimensions of the CPP. Key areas of focus are: how the CPP relates to the larger context of climate science; the relationship between the CPP and historical efforts to address climate change; the strengths and limitations of the Obama Administration’s aggressive reliance on the Clean Air Act; the effectiveness of different emission reduction tools; key criticisms of the CPP proposal and how the final rule addresses them; the energy policy and regulatory choices states must make during implementation; and the timing and likely outcome of legal challenges. The goal is to give students an understanding of the CPP’s role in climate science and policy and a nuts-and-bolts immersion in the practical realities of implementing a complex regulatory framework. Paper required.
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