Michigan Law professor writes sustainability blueprint for Obama's second term

By John Masson

Michigan Law Communications

Now comes the hard part.

Matching the soaring rhetoric of the president's second inaugural address with the political realities of his upcoming term is going to call for tough choices. David Uhlmann, a professor at Michigan Law and director of its Environmental Law & Policy Program, has some ideas about how best to move forward.

Like using a carbon tax to drive down both greenhouse gas emissions AND the deficit. Like a national renewable portfolio standard. Like combining smart regulation of greenhouse gases with broader sustainability efforts.

Perhaps even more important, Uhlmann said, is the president's willingness to actively campaign for the required changes.

''Building a sustainable future is going to depend on the president being willing to take his case directly to the American people,'' he said. ''He needs to make climate change, energy policy, and environmental protection top priorities for his second term.''

Prof. Uhlmann, the former top environmental prosecutor at the Justice Department, laid out his blueprint in a policy brief published last week by the American Constitution Society (ACS). ''Toward A Sustainable Future: An Environmental Agenda for the Second Term of the Obama Administration,'' outlines major ways the Obama administration can make the United States a world leader in ameliorating climate change.

It's one of a series of briefs gathered by ACS under the heading ''Toward a More Perfect Union,'' featuring short papers by top academics and practitioners around the country on topics such as immigration reform, criminal justice reform, judicial nominations, and campaign finance.

Published: Thu, Feb 7, 2013


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