Exam Type: No Exam
This seminar will cover the set of federal laws and regulations that together comprise US policy on climate change, including regulations adopted under the Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks in the transport sector and power plants in the electricity sector; rules adopted under the Federal Power Act to encourage the integration of renewable energy and demand response into the nation's electricity mix; rules governing disclosure to shareholders of climate change-related risks under the Securities and Exchange Act; policies that encourage production of natural gas, such as the favorable regulatory treatment of hydraulic fracturing; and various policies mean to encourage nuclear energy. We will also cover the history of failed Congressional efforts to pass federal climate legislation, and the US commitment to international climate negotiations over the course of several presidential administrations (from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Accord). In addition to traditional legal materials the reading assignments will include some scientific, policy, and technical materials on topics ranging from carbon capture and storage to autonomous vehicles to geoengineering.
Evaluation: Students will be expected to participate regularly in class discussion and write substantive, rigorous weekly comment papers of 750-850 words.