Where Does Air Pollution Come From?

When we think about pollution sources, we tend to picture factories.  As it turns out, that’s wrong.  At least, that’s the finding in a very carefully conducted study by UT’s David Adelman. He found that industry is not a leading source of air pollution, with two major exceptions.  One exception consists of   coal-fired power plants (and […]

Continue Reading

The ESA and the Commerce Clause

The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is widely known for being the primary law in the United States that focuses on protecting biodiversity, and also for being a “pit bull” of environmental laws that has few exceptions and broad sweep. (For instance, the ESA was a major component of the litigation strategy by environmental groups […]

Continue Reading

Reaching Across the Aisle?

Washington D.C.

The safest prediction is that our Democratic President and Republican Congress will not in fact be able to work together.  Their present gestures toward cooperation may mean nothing more than a willingness to accept the other side’s surrender.  But hope springs eternal.  Are there areas where common ground exists?  That seems nearly impossible on some […]

Continue Reading

U.S.-China Climate Pact and Domestic Politics

ObamaXi

Alex Wang and I Consider the Domestic Ramifications in Both the U.S. and China

The news from Beijing this week that the U.S. and China are committing to ambitious goals on climate change is, we think, monumental. No two countries are more important to tackling the problem than the largest carbon emitter over the past two centuries, the U.S., and the largest current emitter, China. While many observers are […]

Continue Reading

Some Unsolicited Advice for Tom Steyer

There were a number of efforts by wealthy individuals and/or Super PACs to affect the midterm election results. Most relevant to this blog, Tom Steyer used tens of millions of his own funds to support candidates that he felt would be more supportive of efforts to address climate change. After the election, the media portrayed […]

Continue Reading

A Ray of Hope [Breaking News]

CHINA-US-DIPLOMACY

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a major deal on climate change this morning.  As summarized by the Washington Post, China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, pledged in the far-reaching agreement to cap its rapidly growing carbon emissions by 2030, or earlier if possible. It also set a daunting goal of […]

Continue Reading

“You’re Just Not My Type (of error)”

normal curve

Most people find statistics off-putting — who wants to look at a bunch of numbers?  And Statistics courses, which are required for students in many majors, are usually viewed as a painful box to check.  But when you put aside the numbers and the technicalities, statisticians also have some simple yet powerful concepts.  One of […]

Continue Reading

Using Textualism Against Itself

Nuclear_Power_Plant_Cattenom

Industry has come up with a Scalia-like argument to fight  the proposed climate regulations for existing power plants.  The problem arises because Congress passed two different versions of section 111(d) without realizing it.  The Senate version clearly gives EPA the authority to regulate CO2 under this provision.  But opponents of regulation argue that the House version […]

Continue Reading

The Future of Conservation

Earlier this year I wrote critically about a New York Times op-ed that proposed making the restrictions on development in wilderness areas more flexible in order to allow for adaptation to climate change. This week the Times published what I think is a much more helpful op-ed on the topic of how we should address […]

Continue Reading

Five Governor Races to Watch

(Photos: Courtesy GOP.org, Democrats.org)

The Senate races are getting a lot of attention this year. But what happens in statehouses also matters. Most directly, it matters for the folks who live there. But governorships are often proving grounds for politicians who later emerge on the national scene. Today, I’ll focus on a handful of races that look like they […]

Continue Reading