Global Warming and Changing Weather

Why DOESN'T global warming just raise the temperature everywhere a little bit?

The amount of global warming that scientists are predicting doesn’t seem like that big a deal — maybe about 4 degrees Fahrenheit if we control emissions, up to maybe 12 if we don’t.  But as I’ve said a hundred times — and the experts have said a lot more often than that — we won’t […]

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California Governor Jerry Brown: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

Gov. Brown in Rome, July 2015, Associated Press

Brown's National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists

California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy.  He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive.  Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state […]

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The Climate Issue & the 2016 Election

2016 election

There are, to say the least, a broad range of views among the candidates.

We’re beginning to have a sense of where the leading candidates stand on climate change. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton announced a goal of 33% renewables by 2030, after saying that the “reality of climate change is unforgiving no matter what the deniers say.  Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is said to have the strongest record on […]

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A Case of Reverse Causation?

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Tomorrow's Emission Determine Today's Social Cost of Carbon

Here’s the weird thing: the social cost of carbon today, depends significantly on the year-by-year emissions of carbon in the future, which we obviously don’t know. (Because it depends on our own future actions!)  It takes some explanation to show why that’s true and how it matters. If you know a bit about climate policy, you know […]

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Guess What? The Clean Power Plan Isn’t Going to Destroy America After All.

Let's Destroy the Environment!

Compliance isn't turning out to be that much of a burden.

Here’s the headline from the Washington Post: “Outrage over EPA emissions regulations fades as states find fixes.”  Senator Mitch McConnell has been telling all and sundry the plan will be a disaster and states should refuse to have anything to do with it.  But even in his home state, according to the Post, the Clean […]

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The Coal Mining Stream Buffer Rule Evokes Firestorm of Protest. #getagrip

mountainrunoff

Political polarization has gotten to the point where there would be immediate denunciations if the President issued a proclamation honoring apple pie. Another intrusion into consumer choice, besmirching those who prefer cherry and pumpkin!  Another blatant overreach by an out-of-control, incipient tyrant!  Not only is every executive action accompanied by loud resistance, but the same explosion of […]

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Departure of E.T. (the ExtraTerritorial)

ET says goodbye

The Tenth Circuit dispels extraterritoriality attacks on state renewable energy regulations.

Extraterritoriality is a weird, one might almost say alien, incursion into judicial doctrine under the dormant commerce clause doctrine.  The DCC, as it’s familiarly called, prohibits discrimination against interstate commerce and undue burdens on that commerce. But industry has been attacking a wide range of state renewable energy laws under a doctrine relating to extraterritoriality. […]

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Tragedy of the Commons–California Drought-Style

Garrett_Hardin

State Farmers Planting New Almond Orchards Despite Critical Water Shortages

Traveling through California’s drought-striken San Joaquin Valley repeatedly over the past year, I’ve been surprised and disheartened to see that Valley farmers continue to convert their agricultural fields to newly-planted almond orchards.  (My anecdotal observations have been confirmed by various recent press accounts.)  This development is a striking, current example of Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of […]

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Petroglyphs? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Petroglyphs!

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So says the House Natural Resources chairman.

Henry Ford famously said “history is bunk.” A House committee chair went him one better today, dismissing prehistoric art with the term “bull crap.” Now that I’ve got your attention, here’s a little background. President Obama today designated a new 704,000 acre Basin and Range National Monument under the Antiquities Act. This immediately set off a […]

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Sacramento Judge Halts California Regulator’s Efforts to Impose Water Cutbacks

Court Rules Water Board's Administrative Process Violates Water Users' Due Process Rights

A Sacramento judge has thrown a wrench into the California State Water Resources Control Board’s efforts to impose water cutbacks on several of the state’s senior water rights holders.  In a July 10th order, Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ruled that the Water Board’s administrative process, designed to implement drought-based water reductions, violates the due […]

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Clem Shute to be honored by California bar

Clem Shute (photo by Liza Heider

Boalt alum will follow Joe Sax as second recipient of environmental law lifetime achievement award

This just in, courtesy of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger — Clem Shute (Boalt ’64) will be honored this fall with the second Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Environmental Law. (The first Award, of course, went to the late Joe Sax.) Clem richly deserves this prestigious award. He has been a major player […]

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