Deep Dive Episode 92 – The Constitutionality of California’s Cap and Trade Agreement with Quebec

Regulatory Transparency Project's Fourth Branch Podcast

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The state of California and the Canadian province of Quebec have agreed to link their cap-and-trade systems for carbon emissions – these systems require polluters to pay for a permit when they emit greenhouse gases.

Now the federal government is suing California. The lawsuit alleges that this agreement violates the Constitution, which says states can’t make international treaties or enter into compacts with foreign powers without the consent of Congress. And it also alleges that California’s agreement discriminates against foreign commerce and interferes with the federal government’s exclusive authority over foreign affairs.

The lawsuit raises important issues about federal and state power that are as old as America but have rarely been tested in Court. Listen to expert law professors talk about how the Courts might look at these provocative and urgent questions and the challenge of climate regulation.


  • James W. Coleman, Associate Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  • Sharmila L. Murthy, Associate Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School

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