Public Lands Watch: HR 2936

Resilient Federal Forests Act would reduce or eliminate environmental protections for logging projects on National Forests

The House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017,” out of committee on June 27th and the bill is now waiting in the House for debate. The bill would expedite National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) review for U.S. Forest Service projects in order to improve forest management on federal […]

Continue Reading

Escalating the War on Science

Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a piece by a scientist who was helping villages in Alaska prepare for climate change, until the Trump Administration abruptly transferred him to an accounting job.  Here’s another sign of the Administration’s contempt for science: Pruitt’s idea for a televised debate on the reality of climate change between climate scientists […]

Continue Reading

Cap-And-Trade Extension A Lifeline For High Speed Rail

Auction proceeds will continue to fund the train and other transit, housing and energy programs

As Cara posted, the California Legislature scored a super-majority victory last night to extend the state’s signature cap-and-trade program through 2030. It was a rare bipartisan vote, although it leaned mostly on Democrats. Lost in the politics is what this means for high speed rail. The system has a fixed and dwindling amount of federal […]

Continue Reading

California Extends its Cap-and-Trade Program Through 2030

It wasn’t pretty, but it passed

What tools will California regulators be able to use to reach the state’s ambitious 2030 climate emissions goal?  That commitment, enshrined into law last year, says that California will reduce its statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in the ten years between 2020 and 2030, and forms the core of California’s climate leadership. But important […]

Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Upholds Regional Planning Agency’s Greenhouse Gas CEQA Analysis, and Sets Out Principles to Ensure Better Analysis in the Future

Decision Will Help Ensure Development and Transportation Planning in California Supports GHG Reduction Efforts

In May, Rick Frank posted his reflections on the oral argument in the California Supreme Court on Cleveland National Forest Association v. San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and predicted that SANDAG would win the case.  His prediction has proved correct with the release of the Court’s opinion last week – but SANDAG’s narrow win provides a […]

Continue Reading

There Once Was a Man From Trump Tower . . .

Some commentary of a lighter sort.

Here are a few diversions for a warm summer morning.  I hope you enjoy them.   A Man Called Scott Pruitt There once was a man called Scott Pruitt, Who said, “Why, there’s nothing to it! “You undo all the regs, “Cut them off at the legs, And tell all the polluters, ‘go to it!’”   […]

Continue Reading

Thoughts on AB 398

New bill to extend state’s cap-and-trade program is a compromise worth making

The Governor and state legislative leaders announced a deal on a bill to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to control greenhouse gas emissions through 2030, along with companion legislation to increase emissions reductions for conventional pollutants from major stationary industrial sources (a key point for environmental justice groups).  Some leading business groups have endorsed the […]

Continue Reading

A Victory for Renewables

The Second Circuit has carved out some safe space for state renewable energy programs.

An important Second Circuit ruling in June should help clarify some of the lingering legal issues about state efforts to expand renewable energy. Judge Calabresi’s opinion in Allco Finance v. Dykes rejected claims that Connecticut’s policies interfered with interstate commerce and invaded an area of exclusive federal regulation. This will be a useful precedent for […]

Continue Reading

New Research Shows California’s Cap-And-Trade Program Is Net Economic Benefit For San Joaquin Valley & Inland Empire

Results from forthcoming economic study included in new op-ed

The California Legislature may vote on reauthorizing California’s cap-and-trade program as soon as Monday. The program needs a two-thirds vote to inoculate the auction mechanism to distribute allowances from legal challenges, which is a heavy political lift that has required a lot of compromise and concession. But in the midst of the debate, state legislators […]

Continue Reading

Energy & Climate Are Hot News

Some of it is bad news — but despite Trump, there are many positive signs.

Climate and energy issues have been hot topics in the news. Consider yesterday’s issues of the NY Times and the Washington Post. Of course, both papers have featured coverage of the G20 conference. They emphasized that the U.S. is isolated internationally by its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Trump was unable to get […]

Continue Reading

Did Trump Just Accidentally Endorse Climate Action?

There’s a hidden zinger in the G-20 statement about curtailing greenhouse gases.

It escaped everyone’s notice, possibly including the U.S. delegation, but buried in the G-20 Declaration is an endorsement of the need to cut greenhouse gases.  This paragraph precedes the two reflecting disagreements about the Paris Agreement, and this particular paragraph purports to reflect the views of all twenty leaders, including Trump. There are three paragraphs […]

Continue Reading