The Machine at the Center of the Clean Power Plan

By William Boyd, Ann Carlson and Cara Horowitz

As attention shifts from last night’s debate to today’s oral argument on the Clean Power Plan, we thought it worth focusing on the machine at the heart of the President’s plan to cut greenhouse gases from the electric power sector: the electricity grid.  You might think that the largest machine in the United States is one […]

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Trump Embraces His Inner Denialist

Donald Trump

Nobody loves coal, oil and gas more than Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has pledged to wipe out Obama’s climate change efforts, including the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement.  His choice to head the transition team for EPA shows how little his view of climate change has evolved since he tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to […]

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Will EPA Finally Ban Asbestos?

outside-asbestos

A look at the risks the substance presents, efforts to ban its continued use in the United States, and the role of TSCA reforms

Today millions of people will tune in to watch the first 2016 Presidential Debate.  I’m popping the popcorn for what promises to be quite the spectacle!  But while the debate takes center stage, other events make today significant as well.  Most important for me, September 26th marks the 12th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the […]

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Obama Administration Takes On Local Barriers To New Housing

nimby

Restrictions on housing supply in high-wage cities have created a national economic and environmental crisis

The White House Council of Economic Advisers has been making noise in the past year about how local restrictions on housing across the country has created a national economic drag. But now the council has come out swinging against these “not-in-my-backyard” local policies. In a new “Housing Development Toolkit” [PDF], the White House summarizes how […]

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Battle for the Senate: Nevada

CatherineAndJoe

A tight race with sharply contrasting candidates. Want to gamble on the outcome?

The two major party candidates in the Nevada race agree on the desirability of renewable power, but that’s about all they agree on.  Joe Heck, a Republican doctor with extensive military experience, favors streamlined permitting for renewable project on federal lands and wants state governments to get a share of the benefits.  But he also […]

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Energy Policies Worthy of Debate

Trump_&_Clinton

Ten questions to ask Clinton and Trump about energy policy.

As we enter the brief debate season prior to the presidential elections, it is easy to anticipate that we won’t see much time set aside for discussing energy policy. That’s not the case for the graduate students in an energy policy class I am currently teaching at the Goldman School of Public Policy. Last week, […]

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The Past, Present and Future of Payments for Ecosystem Services – Biodiversity

Last week, I reported on a workshop at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center on the future of Payments for Ecosystem Services, summarizing the key findings for watershed PES programs.  Today’s post describes biodiversity. The central idea of PES is straightforward. Many of the benefits provided by the environment are not captured by markets. If landowners […]

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Reproductive Rights Meet . . . Waste Disposal Law?

Texas aims to limit abortion via environmental regulation

All know that by a 5-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down as “undue burdens” on the exercise of reproductive rights the State of Texas’s 2013 restrictions on abortion facilities.  Those rules required facilities to meet illogical physical premises requirements and to have physicians with local hospital admitting privileges – privileges the […]

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Reviewing the REVIEW Act

jimmy-breslin

This bill is in the running for the all-time “lame legislation” prize.

You can tell right away that this bill — passed by the House only yesterday — is a really clunker.  The title is Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists Act of 2016.  Really, that’s the best they could come up with?  But it only gets worse. The bill provides that no “high-impact rule” can go […]

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Why Doesn’t the GOP Offer Alternative Solutions to Environmental Problems?

Republicans hate conventional regulations. But they’ve given up on offering alternatives. Here’s why.

There’s one thing we all know: the Republican Party hates regulation.  Republicans want to roll back some  key regulations and make it a lot harder to pass new ones.  But there’s a curious silence about alternatives to regulation.  For decades, conservative Republicans have denounced “command and control” regulations by EPA and other agencies.  So why don’t they […]

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California Enacts Legislation Targeting Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

Confined-animal-feeding-operation

The statute codifies the goals set by the Governor and ARB

On Monday, Governor Brown signed SB 1383 into law, establishing statewide targets for reducing what are known as “short-lived climate pollutants,” which I have discussed in previous posts. The law requires a 40% reduction in both methane and hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs) below 2013 levels, and a 50% reduction in black carbon from 2013 level. Legislators […]

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