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.

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