President Obama has gotten some high praise lately from the New York Times editorial board, and this op-ed from Prof. David Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice noted for his biography of President Theodore Roosevelt. Brinkley compares Obama favorably to Teddy Roosevelt for his conservation legacy. The specific recent actions by President Obama that prompted […]
As the coal industry weakens economically, it also loses political clout.
Tighter regulation contributes to an environmentally dirty industry’s economic decline, which reduces its political clout, which allows more regulation, further weakening the industry. Coal is prime example. The coal industry’s economic plight is well-known. Coal production is the lowest since a major strike 35 years ago. In fact, my colleagues at the business school report that coal […]
A misguided proposal in Congress
This New York Times article notes that a bill (S. 3205) is pending in Congress to allow mountain bikes in federally-designated wilderness areas. In short, the bill is a terrible idea. First, on the merits, allowing mountain bikes into wilderness areas has the potential for significant impacts both on other humans using wilderness, and on […]
The pollution isn’t just indoors. It’s also inside the car or bus.
Being stuck in traffic is even worse than you thought. A new study, reported in yesterday’s NY Times, “pollution levels inside cars at red lights or in traffic jams are up to 40 percent higher than when traffic is moving.” But things could be worse: you could be a kid on an older school bus. […]
It makes businesses look obstructionist and often gains them nothing. So why do they do it?
It seems like every time EPA makes a move, industry says it’s another job-killing power grab by the government and files court challenges within about an hour of EPA’s action. But why? The rule often survives judicial review, so industry spends millions on lawyers and gets nothing in return. It’s true that industry does often win at […]
…and Other Concluding Thoughts About the National Park System
(This is the final installment in a series of posts celebrating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.) A wag once observed: It’s hell getting old, but it beats the alternative. I can personally attest to the fact that it’s not a lot of fun achieving senior citizen status. I can’t run as far […]
Litigation, AB 197 and Politics May All Have an Influence
Two days ago, I posed a series of questions about what AB 197 might mean for the future of cap and trade in California but never really answered the question of whether we’re likely to see a continuation of the program going forward post-2020. Eric posted his view this afternoon that he is relatively pessimistic […]
It doesn’t look so good for the oil and gas industry
As Ann and Ethan both noted, two major pieces of climate legislation were passed by the California legislature this week, and Governor Brown has promised to sign both bills. Overall, the legislation extends the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals (which were originally to reach 1990 levels of emissions by 2020) out to a 40% reduction […]
(This is the fourth in a series of posts this week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.) I love lists. Whether it’s a compilation of the year’s top movies, the best restaurants in California, or the best rock and roll artists of all time, count me in. I delight […]
There’s a lot of talk about where the money comes from. But where does it go?
We hear a lot about the Clinton Foundation these days, but it’s all about where the money comes from. That’s outside the scope of this blog, but it made me curious about what they do with the money. In particular, I wondered what they did for the environment. Since the only thing I really knew […]
Park Overcrowding, Crumbling Infrastructure, Changing Constituency Top the List
(This is the third in a series of posts this week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.) To be sure, the National Park Service has much to celebrate as it observes its 100th birthday. The Park Service oversees a stunning and diverse set of national parks, monuments, historic and […]