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Expand chart
Adapted from a Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law; Chart: Axios Visuals

Federal courts have not yet upheld any Trump administration efforts to delay or unwind climate regulations, a new analysis from Columbia University's Sabin Center on Climate Change Law shows.

Why it matters: Courts are a key policy venue at a time when legislation is frozen, Trump is rolling back Obama-era rules, and advocates are pushing for consideration of greenhouses gases to be woven into various federal decisions.

The big picture: The analysis, which updates an early 2018 study, looks at 129 cases in this busy area.

  • Far more cases in federal courts support climate-related protections and policies than oppose them.
  • EPA and the Interior Department were by far the most frequently sued federal agencies.

The intrigue: Lawsuits defending Obama-era policies are just a relatively small share of total climate cases.

  • Instead, many backing protections address trends that pre-date Trump, such as lawsuits pushing agencies to consider emissions when conducting reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
"They also indicate new developments, such as a surge of municipalities suing fossil fuel companies for damages related to their GHG emissions under different tort law claims and a suite of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits seeking transparency from the Trump Administration."
— writes the Sabin Center's Dena P. Adler

What's next: Several big Trump initiatives will be litigated in coming years, including looming regulations to weaken Obama-era auto mileage rules.

Go deeper: Trump's courtroom battles over global warming

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Shutdown Plan B

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate will hold a futile vote Monday night — just 72 hours before a potential shutdown — on a House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: The bill is going to fail. Period. But then comes Plan B: A "clean" continuing resolution — stripped of language about raising the debt limit — that Democrats spent the past week preparing, Axios is told.

Glenn Youngkin's play: Forever- and Never-Trumpers

Glenn Youngkin in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Friday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Standing on a flatbed hitched to a John Deere tractor in red Rockingham County, Virginia, Glenn Youngkin decried California liberalism and bashed his rival, Terry McAuliffe. He also encouraged early voting. Two words he avoided: Donald Trump.

Driving the news: Youngkin, the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee, is mounting a serious challenge to McAuliffe — a former governor and veteran of Democratic politics. Axios caught up with him on Friday in Harrisonburg, Virginia.