Archive for the ‘Congress’ category

By Philip S. Barnett and Gregory Dotson* Most people think of Congress as a legislative body.  That’s of course understandable.  But our experience has taught us that oversight can be as important as legislation.  Simply by holding hearings, asking questions, and releasing information, Congress can have a major impact on national policy. In fact, oversight […]

by Justin Gundlach Hurricanes like Harvey and Irma do not wipe clean the slate of prior plans, designs, and construction choices in the communities they afflict, but they do require officials, planners, and home and business owners to decide whether and how to alter those plans as they rebuild. As Governor Abbott of Texas said […]

by Justin Gundlach A new working paper from the Sabin Center adds to discussions currently swirling around the prospect of a federal carbon tax. The paper–part of a larger project underway at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy–shines light on a set of practical considerations that other analyses have ignored, namely how existing […]

Last month, we announced the launch of our Climate Deregulation Tracker to monitor efforts undertaken by the Trump administration and Congress to scale back or wholly eliminate federal climate mitigation and adaptation measures. We are pleased to announce that the tracker website has been overhauled since the initial launch to make it easier for users […]

Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) is continuing his campaign for internal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documents, including new claims from an unnamed whistleblower that NOAA scientists “potentially violat[ed] NOAA’s scientific integrity policies.” Rep. Smith has also now threatened to use an unspecified “compulsory process” to obtain the desired documents (as explained below, this very […]

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has refused to produce documents subpoenaed by Congressional Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science Committee, who sought internal NOAA communications relating to a recent climate change study. The study by NOAA scientists, published in Science in June 2015, found that global temperatures have increased faster […]

A climate scientist who was the lead signatory on a letter to President Obama, supporting a proposed RICO investigation of some corporate opponents to action on climate change, has himself been threatened with a Congressional investigation by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).  Rep. Smith – chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology – […]

Matt Sienkiewicz, recent graduate of Columbia Law School. Flooding is the most common and costly form of nature’s wrath, and its costs are likely to rise as the climate changes and sea levels rise. The federal government has attempted to address flooding through an insurance program aimed at effectively providing relief to those whose property is damaged […]

Dane Warren Sabin Center Summer Intern & Rising 2L at Columbia Law School On Wednesday, June 10, two Democratic Senators (Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii) introduced a bill that would impose a carbon tax of $45 per ton of carbon emissions. For other greenhouse gases, the bill imposes a carbon dioxide […]

On numerous occasions Senator Mitchell McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has attacked the upcoming Clean Power Plan regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to issue in June of this year. Most notably, on March 19, 2015, he sent a letter to the National Governors Association urging the governors of all fifty states […]

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