Making the States Full Partners in a National Climate Change Effort: A Necessary Element for Sustainable Economic Development
John C. Dernbach
Widener University - Commonwealth Law School
Robert B. McKinstry Jr.
Ballard Spahr LLP
Thomas D. Peterson
Center for Climate Strategies
March 12, 2010
Environmental Law Reporter, 2010
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-08
This article explains why states and localities need to be full partners in a national climate change effort based on federal legislation or the existing Clean Air Act. A large share of reductions with the lowest cost and the greatest co-benefits (e.g., job creation, technology development, reduction of other pollutants) are in areas that a federal cap-and-trade program or other purely federal measures will not easily reach. These are also areas where the states have traditionally exercised their powers - including land use, building construction, transportation, and recycling. The economic recovery and expansion will require direct state and local management of climate and energy actions to reach full potential and efficiency.
This article also describes in detail a proposed state climate action planning process that would help make the states full partners. This state planning process - based on a proven template from actions taken by many states - provides an opportunity to achieve cheaper, faster, and greater emissions reductions than federal legislation or regulation alone would achieve. It would also realize macroeconomic benefits and non-economic co-benefits, and would mean that the national program is more economically and environmentally sustainable.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: climate change, Clean Air Act, federalism, legislation, Massachusetts v. EPA, greenhouse gas emissions, states, sustainable development, sustainability
JEL Classification: K32, Q01, Q20, Q25, Q28, Q30, Q38, Q48, Q54
Date posted: March 17, 2010 ; Last revised: July 23, 2015