Header graphic for print
Science, Law & the Environment Emerging Topics in Environmental Law

Category Archives: Legislation

Subscribe to Legislation RSS Feed

Ecology Amends State Air Permit Rules to Mirror Federal Rule for Greenhouse Gases

Posted in Climate Change, Legislation

If comprehensive climate legislation is not likely to have much to do with greenhouse gases any time soon, regulation keeps inching forward under existing regulatory authority. Most recently in Washington State, Washington’s Department of Ecology (DOE) published notice of intent to adopt, and has requested comment on a rule establishing the thresholds for greenhouse gas… Continue Reading

King County’s 2010 Energy Plan – The Glass Half Full

Posted in Legislation, Regulatory, Renewable Energy

Following adoption of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, for more than a decade discussion of response to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions focused on sweeping national and international programs. The Obama Administration made responding to global climate change one of the key issues it intended to address. More than a year ago the U.S. House… Continue Reading

Western Climate Initiative Steps Back Into the Federal Vacuum on Cap-and-Trade

Posted in Climate Change, Entrepreneurs, Legislation, Regulatory

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) is a collaboration of seven Western states (Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington) and four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec), dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Two years ago there was a major push in each… Continue Reading

Must “Bi-Partisan Climate Legislation” Be an Oxymoron?

Posted in Climate Change, Legislation

  oxymoron: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly” Rarely has there been such anticipatory buzz as existed for the unveiling of the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate bill.  In December of last year, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and… Continue Reading

Kerry-Boxer Bill – Part Two of a Many-Part Series: The Personal Transportation Sector

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment

The simple fact is that America’s love affair with the automobile has a whole lot to do with making us not only the largest producer of greenhouse gases but also the largest per capita producer of greenhouse gases in the world. [China’s race to become the second largest producer of greenhouse gases is fueled in… Continue Reading

Kerry-Boxer Bill – Part One of a Many-Part Series: Promoting Nuclear Power

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment

The pundits seem to be lost in an endless game of “how many ways can we say that governing is harder than it looked when President Obama was elected?” As any teenager would tell us, “well, duh!” It is clear that the President will not be able to march through nearly as much of his… Continue Reading

Kerry-Boxer Climate Change Bill Includes Forest and Ag Provisions that May Reward Existing Carbon Sequestration

Posted in Green Building, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment

No one should hold their breath, but climate change legislation is beginning to move in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a comprehensive climate change bill last July, but it has been “resting” in the Senate, while the Senate grapples with health care reform. President Obama’s hope for a bill to be… Continue Reading

Washington Proposes State Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements Independent of National Reporting

Posted in Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment, Regulatory

This won’t be the last time that someone shrieks, “Don’t these guys talk to each other!?!” On September 22, 2009 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final greenhouse gas reporting rule, requiring annual reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by a wide range of manufacturers, electricity generators, municipal solid waste landfills, manure management… Continue Reading

Would a Feed-In Tariff for Solar Energy Make Distributed Energy Work?

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment, Renewable Energy

Most of the discussion about substituting renewable energy for fossil fuels in the production of electricity focuses on major projects – the wind farm that can light Vancouver, or the co-generation plant that can supply all the electricity for Bellevue. It may be that such projects will be necessary, but they are at the very… Continue Reading

Illuminating Ideas: New Energy-Efficient Light Sources and the (Premature?) Death of the Incandescent Light Bulb

Posted in Green Building, Intellectual Property, Legislation, Renewable Energy, Technology

  Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the practical incandescent light bulb. The incandescent bulb that most of use today to light our homes hasn’t had many technology upgrades from Edison’s day. In its most basic form, an incandescent light bulb is a (carbon) filament, encased in glass, where the filament heated with an electric… Continue Reading

Are the UW And WSU Ready To Lead the Puget Sound Region In Becoming an Energy Innovation Hub?

Posted in Legislation, Renewable Energy

If you heard about the cap-and-trade energy bill that the U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate, you may have asked, “How can any bill take 1000 pages?” The answer, as it turns out, is that only a small part of the bill creates a carbon cap-and-trade program. The remainder is consumed… Continue Reading

2009 Legislature Tackles Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Posted in Green Building, Legislation

The Department of Ecology’s Climate Action Plan (January 2009) projects that energy efficiency and green building strategies applied to buildings could result in a reduction of 5.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (MMtCO2e) by 2020. SB 5854, adopted by the 2009 Legislature and signed by Governor Gregoire, attempts to set the state on… Continue Reading