Understanding Environmental Laws: The Role Of Federalism In Developing A National Climate Change Mitigation Strategy For Greenhouse Gas Emission. A Case Study Of The Clean Power Plan Proposal
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractDefined as a “system of state and national government [where] each level has some degree of autonomy” (Farber, 2013 page 12), federalism is one of the most important characteristics of the American political system. Although the word federalism never appears in the U.S. Constitution, the Supremacy Clause establishes that the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties constitute "the supreme law of the land" (U.S. Const. art. VII, § 2). In other words, federal laws take precedence over any other forms of law on U.S. soil. Naturally, federalism has a major importance in environmental laws. The goal of this paper is to analyze whether overlapping jurisdiction of the federal system facilitates or obstructs an efficient implementation of a national climate change mitigation strategy for U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The importance of the environmental theme in recent news places this paper in the center of international debate on environmental regulation. Indeed, although there is a common scientific agreement that climate change and environmental degradations are happening at an alarming rate, national and international legislators have failed to take significant actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, the Paris Climate Change Conference agreement recently ratified by 193 countries, gives new hopes in the fight against climate change. It suggests an imperative that policymakers must take imminent actions to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions, at the local and international level. The Clean Power Plan proposed by President Obama’s administration is a direct effort to comply with the Paris agreement commitment, in order to reduce U.S carbon dioxide emissions.
Degree ProgramHonors College