How “Leakage” Will Undermine Trump’s War Against Renewables

Trying to stop renewables is like playing whack-a-mole.

When you try to reduce use of fossil fuels in one place, you can actually increase emissions elsewhere, because some of the same fuels may just move to another country.  In a sense, the carbon that used to be emitted in your country has “leaked” outside your borders.  This is a well-known headache for climate […]

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Rebuilding: Lessons from Katrina and Sandy

Recent experience shows that rebuilding is a slow, frustrating process.

We’ve had experience with the rebuilding process twice in the past dozen years, after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The storm destruction takes place in a matter of days, but rebuilding takes years — just like the difference between the instant it takes to break a leg and the subsequent weeks of wearing a cast. Houston […]

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Politicizing Science

The Trump Administration is doubling down on its efforts to silence politically inconvenient science.

We knew about the Administration’s disdain for scientific evidence from the beginning but the situation has only continued to deteriorate.  The campaign against objective science is now becoming embedded within the government.  Far more than its predecessors, the Administration has embarked on a campaign to impose political control on science within the government and in […]

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Is CEQA the problem?

Developing a better understanding of how land-use law and housing production interact in California

On Friday, the Governor signed a package of housing bills intended to help address the soaring costs of housing in many metro areas in California. Follow-up coverage of that bill package has (rightly) indicated that those bills are a drop in the bucket in terms of addressing California’s housing crisis. One theme that emerges in […]

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The Green Backlash Against Trump

Trump has sparked resistance in many forms from many directions.

There are clear signs of a strong backlash against Trump. Consider support for environmental organizations. A report in February indicated that giving to the Sierra Club was up 700% over the same period of the preceding year, as part of a major trend across environmental NGOs. According to the same report, other environmental groups were […]

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Ryan Zinke’s Troubling Remarks Undercut Dept. of Interior’s Core Mission

Comments to Oil Trade Association Attack Agency Staff, Dismiss Environmental Safeguards

At a recent meeting of the American Petroleum Institute (the national oil company trade association), Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made clear some of his plans for the Department of the Interior.  According to AP reporting, he called almost 1/3 of employees disloyal, said he plans to speed up oil and logging permits, and revealed a […]

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Under the Radar: What States are Doing About Energy and Climate

Despite Trump, renewable energy is firmly rooted and growing across the nation.

What happens in Washington gets a lot of attention. You probably also follow what’s going on in your own state. But it’s very hard to know what’s happening at states across the country. In an effort to get a better sense of that, I’ve explored state activity on climate change and energy in a series […]

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A Mighty Wind

The Great Plains are wind power’s firewall of Republican support in Congress.

You might find this a bit surprising, but wind power has a solid political base in key Republican states. It’s a case of economics outweighing politics. Here are the top five states for wind power: Rank    State            Installed Capacity* 1          Texas             20,320 2          Iowa                […]

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Renewables and Republicans in the Rustbelt

Republican Governors in Ohio and Michigan have given support to renewables. Indiana, not so much.

When people think of the rustbelt, they think of places like Cleveland, Gary, and Detroit.  Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan form a cluster of states under solid Republican control, Republicans controlling the governor’s mansion and both houses of the legislature. All three states went for Trump, with varying margins. The three states also have commonalities in […]

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Zinke’s Report Recommends Downsizing or Loosening Restrictions in 10 National Monuments

Report Lacks Details on Boundaries but Recommends Management Changes to Permit Wider Range of Uses

Late last night, the Washington Post reported that Secretary Ryan Zinke had recommended making changes–by downsizing and/or by loosening restrictions–to a total of 10 national monuments. The list of monuments goes beyond what had been reported last month. The Post released a leaked copy of Zinke’s recommendations that were submitted to President Trump on August […]

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