You might remember correspondent Sarah Chayes from NPR in the 1990’s, filing reports from Paris. In the early 2000’s, she took up a far less glamourous posting: Kandahar, in Afghanistan, and has just completed her second book about it. The book, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, contains an important lesson for those interested […]
States will only lose out if they refuse to cooperate with the Clean Power Plan.
Mitch McConnell has urged states to refuse to submit plans if the Clean Power Plan is upheld by the Court. He has been accused of inciting lawless behavior on the part of state governments. Let me come to his defense on this. (How often do I get to do that??) The states are under no legal obligation […]
The Executive Order misses some golden opportunities for the Golden State to get a handle on agricultural water use
As you no doubt know by now, on April Fools’ Day Governor Brown issued an executive order relying on his emergency powers to impose new statewide restrictions on water use. As has been widely noted in the media (for example by the L.A. Times and Sacramento Bee) and by our own Jonathan Zasloff, Executive Order […]
It's Time to Pressure Alfalfa Growers to Stop Wasting Water
Now that Governor Brown has ordered the state’s first mandatory water restrictions, it’s important to keep one number in mind: one-sixth. That is the amount of California water that goes to one crop: alfalfa. It’s a pretty low value crop. And it is not even for human consumption directly; it is used for cattle feed. It […]
William Nordhaus' New Paper Implies That It Should
Last Thursday, Ethan explained the difficulties with attempting to craft a new international climate treaty, and suggested biting off more snackable chunks to work on the problem piece-by-piece (a recommendation I have also made). Now, hot off the presses, the new American Economic Review features a lead article by William Nordhaus suggesting climate clubs as […]
Coal versus wind power; China's air; poll results; Ted Cruz; arctic ice.
There’s been a lot of interesting environmental news recently, much of which seems to have gotten little notice. The topics range from U.S. wind power (growing) to U.S. coal power and Arctic sea ice (both shrinking), with a bit of Ted Cruz to spice things up. Here’s the round-up: Out with coal, in with wind. The […]
A scaled-down, step-by-step approach might yield more results
Call it Kyoto Syndrome, but each year for the past few decades we hear hopeful things about the upcoming negotiations for the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” These discussions usually take place in some far-flung world capital, but they seem to always result in a nothing sandwich. In 2009, President Obama embarrassed himself […]
California State Bar Environmental Law Section will hold daylong event on April 16th in Downtown Oakland
The California State Bar Environmental Law Section is holding a conference on April 16th entitled “2030 and Beyond: The Next Phase of Greenhouse Gas Reduction in California.” The event is co-sponsored by Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE). As Legal Planet readers know, AB 32’s 2020 due date is soon approaching […]
New York electricity regulators are working hard on "Reforming the Energy Vision"
It seems to be an undeniable part of human nature. When we consider making changes – whether it has to do with the place where we live, the business we are in, or the partner we choose – we tend to compare the flaws of the thing we know to the ideal version of the […]
Environmental Factors Smack Down Another Right-Wing Meme
If like me you are tired of Texans gloating about their supposed “miracle,” today’s post from Kevin Drum brings some good news: For years, business lobbyists complained about what they derided as “job killer” laws that drive employers out of California. Rival state governors, notably former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, made highly publicized visits to […]