2014 Senate Races and the Environment: Arkansas and Louisiana

Moderate Democratic Senators are at risk from GOP challengers.

Arkansas and Louisiana are neighboring states in which Republicans have good chances of picking up Senate seats.  But the GOP candidates in the two states have somewhat different stances on the environment. Though, needless to say, neither of them will be getting awards from the Sierra Club anytime soon, one of them has some environmental positives, […]

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Groundwater Management Lite for California

New State Groundwater Legislation a Key Step Forward, But No Immediate Fix or Long-Term Panacea

The California Legislature, in the waning hours of its 2014 session, enacted legislation creating a first-ever  statewide system of groundwater management.  The three-bill package (SB 1168 [Pavley]; SB 1319 [Pavley]; and AB 1719 [Dickinson]) is expected to be signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown before the end of this month, and will take […]

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Cleaning The Grid With “Second Life” Electric Vehicle Batteries

UCSD "second life" EV battery demonstration project.  Courtesy of UC Regents/Rhett S. Miller.

Register now for a webinar on the forthcoming UCLA/UC Berkeley Law report, next Friday from 10-11am

As California faces an increasing need for more energy storage to integrate variable renewables and provide other grid services, used electric vehicle batteries could be a critical – and inexpensive – part of the solution. Sales of electric vehicles in the United States are heading toward a quarter million, with 100,000 of those purchases in […]

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The State(s) of Obesity

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There are big differences between states, but this really is a national epidemic.

State of Obesity, a joint project of the Trust for America’s Future and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has released a fascinating report about adult obesity.  There are large national disparities.  The obesity rate is over 35% in West Virginia and Mississippi, but only 21% in Colorado. Despite these disparities, obesity rates have grown everywhere since 1990, […]

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Good News from the Middle East!

Just Another Environmental Hearing

Israel Tells Dick Cheney: Get Your Paws Off Our Energy Policy

You’re checking your calendar: is it April Fool’s Day already? Alas, no. But there is some genuine good news our of the Middle East — at least for those who care about the Middle East’s natural environment. Terminating a several-year saga that has pitted claims of energy independence against environmental risk, the Jerusalem District Committee […]

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Some lessons from l’affaire Tesla

There has been a lot of commentary over the decision by Tesla to make its multi-billion dollar investment in a new battery factory in Nevada, rather than California. There have been some criticisms that California did not do enough to lure Tesla here, and/or that its business climate is not supportive enough for investment, including […]

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The Iowa Senate Race and the Environment

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The environmental stakes are high in the Hawkeye State.

Iowa is a state where the Republican and Democratic candidates have starkly different views about the environment. Joni Ernst, the Republican Senatorial candidate in Iowa, is staunchly anti-environmental.  In one of the Republican debates, she had this to say: Another area that we need to look at is the Environmental Protection Agency. When we talk […]

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Why Does Mitch McConnell Hate the Environment?

Let's Destroy the Environment!

McConnell's environmental record is terrible -- worse than Rand Paul or Jim Inhofe.

Mitch McConnell hates the environment. When I say McConnell hates the environment,  I mean that he’s an environmental disaster.  The environment would be in better hands if he were replaced as the Senate Republican leader by Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Here’s a fun fact: Mitch McConnell’s environmental record is twice as bad as Ted […]

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Kashkari’s Unworkable Environmental Review “Reform” Plan

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari

Net zero buildings for everyone?

In last night’s California gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Neel Kashkari proposed a major reform to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires environmental review of new projects. But rather than gutting CEQA completely, a la State-Senator-turned-Chevron-lobbyist Michael Rubio, Kashkari proposed to give all projects the same breaks that the Sacramento Kings received in last […]

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Greg Orman ♥ Cleantech

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Was a Clean Energy Entrepreneur, Now Has a Serious Shot at the U.S. Senate

Yesterday, we got some surprising news from Kansas.  The Democratic candidate withdrew and threw his support to Independent candidate Greg Orman, who might now be considered the front-runner against the incumbent Republican Senator.  Orman’s website has a refreshing take on energy and environmental issues: In Washington today, one side says we must protect our environment […]

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Why Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory Could Be Bad For The Environment, Compared To A California Site

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Electric vehicle pioneer to announce its siting decision today

Some California environmentalists may be celebrating now that Tesla has apparently decided to build its $5 billion “gigafactory” in Nevada instead of California. Lawmakers here had toyed with the idea of weakening the state’s signature environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to help expedite review on the factory and therefore encourage Tesla to […]

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