Counting the Climate Costs of Warfare

There are calls for nations to disclose their military-related greenhouse gas emissions as researchers try to tally the climate impacts of war in Ukraine and Gaza.

What if I told you that nations around the world were ignoring a significant amount of their greenhouse gas emissions by omitting an entire dirty sector from their tally? Would you be horrified? Would you want to close that loophole so that parties to international agreements are required to report these hidden emissions as part of their national climate targets? That is, of course, the case with the climate costs of warfare. Parties to the Paris Agreement are not...


Reforming California’s Financial Penalties for Water Theft Will Create an Effective Deterrent

Overdue State Water Reform Legislation Likely Be Enacted in 2024--Finally

In a Legal Planet Post earlier this week, I recounted the saga of how federal prosecutors recently secured the criminal conviction of Dennis Falaschi, the former San Joaquin Valley water district general manager who oversaw the decades-long theft of millions of gallons of publicly-owned water from California's Central Valley Project.  That successful prosecution certainly qualifies as a good news story on the environmental enforcement front. But it's rare indeed ...


Why are the Dodgers Sullying Their Brand With Big Oil?

Photo of the Dodgers Stadium scoreboard showing the 76 ball advertised prominently

As fossil fuel advertising increasingly comes under fire, it's time for the ball club to call 'strike three' on 76.

On a recent trip to the Ravine, a friend and I couldn't help but be struck by the prominence of advertisements for 76, a gas station company owned by the Big Oil conglomerate Phillips 66.  A couple of giant 76 signs sit atop the two main Dodgers scoreboards; their placement is such that they dominate any view of the outfield and provide the backdrop for every photograph the Dodgers project of the team's beloved boys in blue.  (See, for example, the photo above.) ...


Hypothetically Speaking: What if Trump Had Won in 2020?

In terms of climate policy, the short answer is "nearly total destruction."

Elections do matter. We need to look no further back than the last presidential election to confirm this. If Trump, rather than Biden had won, the impact on climate and energy policy would have been profound. We know a lot about Trump’s views because he had already had four years to implement them. Among other things, he rolled back nearly all of Obama's climate regulations, and he did his best to promote fossil fuel production and use. Trump’s approach is based o...


Will Biden and Trump Debate Climate Change?

Here are 22 climate-related questions that moderators could ask Biden and Trump in the presidential debates, as well as the one question they should avoid.

President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are tentatively set to square off on a stage in Atlanta on June 27 in the first of two presidential debates and there are plenty of climate-related questions that CNN moderators should consider—especially since parts of the country may be sweltering under a heat wave, Georgia’s neighbors will be preparing for an abnormally intense hurricane season, and Earth just recorded its 12th consecutive month of record-b...


How are California’s New Climate Adaptation and Resilience Grant Programs Performing?

CLEE reports analyze state’s highly in-demand adaptation and resilience grants for crucial local climate action

California is rapidly experiencing the impacts of a changing climate, from devastating wildfires and persistent droughts to rising sea levels, extreme heat, and erratic precipitation patterns. Climate adaptation is crucial for building resilience to these and other risks, thereby protecting California's communities, economy, environment, and public health. However, effective adaptation requires significant investment, particularly in comprehensive, integrated, and equity...


Can the IRA Trump-Proof Itself?

Building A Political Firewall Against IRA Repeal

Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, is squarely in Donald Trump’s sights.  There is certainly a risk that a GOP sweep in November would result in repeal, as I’ve written before.  Yet there are increasing signs that the IRA has created a powerful political constituency deep in Republican domains.  This will make repealing or neutering the IRA politically difficult. It may also broaden support for future expansion of clean energy. Subsid...


A Brazen California Water Heist Revealed, Prosecuted & Punished

San Joaquin Valley Water District Manager Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Steal Public Water for 20+ Years

Recently, former Panoche Drainage District general manager Dennis Falaschi pled guilty in federal district court in Fresno to having conspired to steal  millions of gallons of publicly-owned water from California's Central Valley Project (CVP) for private gain.  This surreptitious water theft apparently had been going on for well over two decades before Falaschi was finally brought to justice. The story of this water scandal was originally reported by former Sac...


Finalists to be Trump’s Veep Pick

Not surprisingly, none of them augurs well for the environment, but some are worse than others.

According to NBC News, Trump’s search for a Vice Presidential candidate is focusing on three Senators (J.D. Vance, Marco Rubio & Tim Scott) and one governor (Doug Burgham).  Trump has never been one to stick religiously to a set process, and he likes to surprise. So there’s a fair chance the choice will be someone else. The odds for the candidates on this list are high enough, however, to make their environmental views worth a serious look.  I’ll discuss them...


Big Oil Runs to the Supreme Court

Oil and gas companies want the justices to take up Honolulu’s climate liability case because this type of litigation is starting to gain strength.

The oil industry and its allies are attempting a full-court press to convince the Supreme Court justices they should shield them from climate liability lawsuits brought by cities and states throughout the U.S—and that they should do so now, before they face any court trials over climate-related damages. This unusual full-court press comes in the case of City & County of Honolulu v. Sunoco LP, which is the public nuisance lawsuit filed by Honolulu in 2020 aga...