Whither Subnational Climate Change Initiatives in the Wake of Federal Climate Legislation?

Posted: 18 Aug 2009  

Kirsten H. Engel

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

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Abstract

The imminent prospect of federal climate change legislation raises two questions: will state and local governments continue to press forward with climate change initiatives in the wake of congressional action and, if so, what is the likelihood these initiatives will survive the threat of federal preemption? The article concludes that state and local action on climate change is motivated only in part by the federal government's failure to adopt a national climate regulatory program and hence is likely to continue and perhaps even intensify. While a cap and trade program is likely to preempt state regulation of emissions allowances, it is unlikely to preempt many of the climate initiatives being pursued. However, the effect upon existing regional cap and trade regimes remains the biggest question mark.

Suggested Citation

Engel, Kirsten H., Whither Subnational Climate Change Initiatives in the Wake of Federal Climate Legislation?. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol. 39, Issue 3, pp. 432-454, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1456184 or http://dx.doi.org/pjp008

Kirsten H. Engel (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-621-5444 (Phone)

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