International Court of Justice recognizes and values ecosystem services (sort of)

In a judgment announced on February 2nd, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the very first time decided a compensation claim for environmental damage. Equally important, it took a close look at whether ecosystem goods and services are compensable under international law. The decision is both carefully considered and deeply frustrating. There have, of […]

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The politics of Trump’s offshore leasing proposal

Widespread political opposition at the state level poses major obstacles to federal plans

This post is the second in a three-part series looking at the Trump Administration’s announcement of plans to vastly increase offshore oil and gas drilling.  The first post, here, focused on the legal context for those announcements.  In this post, I’ll discuss the political context.  In my last post, I’ll conclude with an analysis of […]

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The Administration’s offshore oil and gas leasing proposal

Offshore leasing system requires long, complex legal process before drilling can occur

A few weeks ago the Trump Administration announced a new proposed plan to drastically increase the amount of offshore areas available for leasing for oil and gas development – essentially opening up almost all of the waters off of the lower 48 states.  The announcement at the time attracted a lot of media attention, but […]

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The Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is bad for public health, bad for the environment. What can be done?

[There was a technical problem with the version of this posted earlier.] Obesity is an issue that gets sporadic media attention. But it’s a serious problem, and it’s getting worse. An ever-increasing proportion of the population suffers from obesity. If present trends continue, over half the U.S. population will be obese in another twenty years […]

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Canada and Mexico Aren’t Waiting for Us

Like the rest of the world, they’re moving ahead on the climate change issue even without us.

[for unknown reasons, this didn’t post correctly earlier, though it did go out to email subscribers] Our national government is trying to beat a hurried retreat from addressing climate change. But our neighbors in Canada and Mexico are pressing forward. Both of them need to do more, but nevertheless they contrast very favorably with our […]

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Commemorating the California Air Resources Board’s 50th Anniversary

Celebrating CARB’s Past Achievements; Charting Its Future Course

Recently, the U.C. Davis School of Law’s California Environmental Law & Policy Center hosted a major conference on the UCD campus commemorating the California Air Resources Board’s 50th anniversary.  The event, which drew nearly 400 attendees, was the result of a terrific, three-way collaboration between CELPC, UC Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies and CARB.  (Here’s […]

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California Legislature Contemplates Banning Internal Combustion Engines By 2040

AB 1745 by Assm. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) would follow similar policies in Norway and the United Kingdom

Countries like China, Norway and the U.K. have made headlines recently with plans to ban the sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2040 or soon thereafter. Is California next? Governor Brown expressed interest in the state following suit, to maintain its mantle as a global electric vehicle leader. And now Assemblymember Phil Ting […]

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Renewable New England

The New England states include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, with a total population of 8 million. These states are all small in acreage but have larger populations than many western states  – for instance, tiny Rhode Island has a larger population than the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, or Alaska. In terms […]

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Wildfires and the Cost of Electric Service

It turns out, electric transmission is not as cheap as we thought it was.

Economists detest externalities – those nasty hidden costs that businesses don’t face when they sell polluting or dangerous products and services, but that are instead imposed on the public or the environment. And economists are right to be concerned. A polluter that does not pay the cost for its pollution is likely to keep polluting. […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Oil and Transportation in California

Post #4 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the fourth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] In 2015, Jerry Brown challenged the State to reduce oil usage in the transportation sector by 50% by 2030.  […]

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