A Blow to Public Interest Litigation

A Texas judge's award of attorney fees is a threat to all public interest groups, liberal or conservative.

A couple of weeks ago, a federal district judge in Texas awarded over $6 million in attorneys’ fees against the Sierra Club.  Sierra Club had survived motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, only to lose at trial. The court awarded fees on the ground that the suit was frivolous. The combination of rulings — denying summary […]

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A Roadmap for State Comments on the Clean Power Plan

"Dear EPA..."

Considerations for State Regulators Tackling EPA's §111(d) Proposed Rule

Yesterday, EPA announced its decision to extend the comment period on the Clean Power Plan—the agency’s proposed rule to regulate power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(d)—until December 1, 2014. The comment period was originally scheduled to last 120 days, until October 16th. You can find a list of compiled […]

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UCLA / UC Berkeley Law Report On Harvesting Electric Vehicle Batteries For Grid Storage

Reuse and Repower Cover

Joint law school report will be discussed at a webinar on Friday at 10am

As I blogged about last week, California and the nation may have a golden opportunity to harvest used electric vehicle batteries for inexpensive energy storage. These repurposed batteries can be stacked for bulk storage to absorb surplus renewable energy for cloudy and dark windless times. They can save ratepayers money, clean the grid, and potentially […]

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Los Angeles Heat Waves, Electricity Use and Climate Change

Heat-Wave-Hot-Weather---24161103

It is 102 degrees in Los Angeles as I write this.  Not in the San Fernando Valley or in the communities east of Los Angeles whose temperatures are regularly several degrees higher but in downtown Los Angeles.  We’re in record heat territory and way above historical averages.  But temperatures aren’t the only records that are […]

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2014 Senate Races and the Environment: Arkansas and Louisiana

Republican Party

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

obesity image

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

Iowa image

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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