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Sustainability

Deep Decarbonization of New Buildings

New buildings constructed today can be expected to remain in use well beyond 2050. As a result, thoughtful decisions now can have a significant impact on reducing the carbon footprint of buildings for decades to come. Buildings use...

Decentralization and Deference: How Different Conceptions of Federalism Matter for Deference and Why That Matters for Renewable Energy

This Article poses a question about deference that remains surprisingly unresolved: when Congress delegates to both state and federal agencies under a “cooperative federalism” scheme, who gets deference when interpreting that law, the...

Expanding the U.S. Electric Transmission and Distribution Grid to Meet Deep Decarbonization Goals

This Article, excerpted from Michael B. Gerrard & John Dernbach, eds., Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (forthcoming in 2018 from ELI), addresses the critical role of the electric transmission and...

Legal Pathways for a Massive Increase in Utility-Scale Renewable Generating Capacity

Decarbonizing the U.S. energy system will require a program of building onshore wind, offshore wind, utility-scale solar, and associated transmission that will exceed what has been done before in the United States by many times, every...

Legal Challenges for “Leaving It in the Ground”: Touchstone Developments and Holdings

As renewable energy becomes more cost-effective, there are increasing calls to leave traditional fossil fuel resources “in the ground.” But our ability to do so is constrained both by current technology and by the existing legal and...

Should the United States Create Trading Markets for Energy Efficiency?

For over 30 years, the United States has deployed an effective set of policies to promote energy efficiency, including appliance standards, information disclosure requirements, auto fuel economy standards, building codes, and tax...

Public Utility and the Low-Carbon Future

Substantial reductions in global power sector emissions will be needed by midcentury to avoid significant disruption of the climate system. Achieving these reductions will require greatly increased levels of financing, technological...

Energy in the Ecopolis

Climate change, resource scarcity, and environmental degradation demand a paradigm shift in urban development. Currently, too many of our cities exacerbate these problems: they pollute, consume, and process resources in ways that...

Legal After-Shocks on the Energy Seismograph: Judicial Prohibition of Recent State Regulation and Promotion of Power

Notwithstanding the technical merits of distributed generation, state incentives for and regulation of the power sector have come under significant legal attack during the past five years. In 23 constitutional challenges to state...

Prospects for Public Power and Distributed Renewable Energy

Recent growth in rooftop solar energy has caught the attention of utilities. Every customer who generates her own electricity is a customer who is not buying it (or at least as much of it) from the power company. Indeed, if she lives in...