All Eyes on the Subnationals

the future

After the election of Trump, state and local leaders have to step up

As my colleague Ethan Elkind pointed out in a blog post the other day, the most viable path forward in the fight to slow (cause we’re kind of past the ability to prevent) climate change after the election of Donald Trump as President on Tuesday will be at the sub-federal level. As Ethan pointed out, […]

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Possible EPA Picks


Here are some of the names floating around in the media — from horrible to less bad.

Who will head EPA? Various lists of possible candidates have been circulating in the media. I’ve put together the names that have been mentioned in places like Politico and the Washington Post, along with the results of some very quick research. I’d appreciate  hearing from readers who may be familiar with some of these possible nominees.  Take this […]

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The U.S. Goes Right, California Goes Left


Significant progressive wins in the Left Coast on election night

We all know election night took a turn to the right at the national level. But here in California, the results were all about the progressives. The California legislature saw Democrats get major pickups to move forward on a progressive agenda, although as KPCC radio reported, they may have just failed to achieve a 2/3 […]

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What Will Trump Do? Maybe Not What We Expect.

Donald Trump

If he cares about 2020, he’ll have to do some recalibrating.

To be honest, no one really knows what Trump will do. Maybe not even Trump. The obvious is often the safest best. In this post, I’m going to speculate about another, slightly less dire, possibility. He may take the most obvious path – which would mean ripping the heart out of our environmental laws. For instance, he […]

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What Does a Trump Presidency Portend for California’s Environmental Policies?


Constitutional Issues Loom Large in Future, Likely Federal-California Legal Confrontations

Sensing political storm clouds ahead, California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday issued a statement on the presidential election results that concludes: “We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time–devastating climate change.” Several of my Legal Planet colleagues have recently posted thoughtful commentary on what Donald Trump’s […]

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Could A Trump Presidency Actually Slow Climate Change?


A Trump-induced recession could temporarily slow global emissions

This might sound crazy, but Donald Trump’s presidency could actually have a temporarily positive impact on climate change. How? Nothing reduces emissions like a recession, and according to economists, Trump’s stated policies are likely to cause one. Specifically, if Trump follows through on his promise to start a trade war with countries like China, he […]

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Another Job For California: Energy & Climate Research


If Trump guts research funding, California should step into the breach.

During the campaign, Trump said he would save $100 billion by cutting climate programs.  His campaign staff referred as support to a report, which said that 75% of the funding was energy related and included  “about 68 percent for energy technology, 23 percent for science, 8 percent for international assistance and 1 percent for adaptation […]

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Trump and Climate Change


There’s Nothing Good to Be Said About It

A Trump Presidency is a disaster for U.S. leadership on climate change. There’s no other way to spin this election.  Myron Ebell, the head of Trump’s EPA transition team, thinks that President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is illegal, the Paris Agreement unconstitutional and that climate change “is nothing to worry about.”  Though most of the […]

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The Way Forward On Climate Change

State coalitions and global subnational action represent the best hope

After last night’s presidential election results, it’s easy to despair that we’ve lost the fight against climate change.  Trump will likely kill the federal Clean Power Plan and pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. He’ll also probably pull back regulations that make it harder to permit coal-fired power plants and conduct other business […]

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Defending the Environment in Dark Times

Where do we go from here?

Yesterday’s election didn’t turn out the way many of us hoped. The results may put in danger much of the progress made over the past eight years in addressing environmental issues and even risk some earlier accomplishments. What’s done is done, however, and we need to think about how to move forward. The Bush years […]

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