In an important decision issued last week, the California Supreme Court forcefully rejected the California State University’s efforts to avoid paying for mitigation measures needed to offset the adverse environmental impacts associated with CSU’s ambitious expansion plans. That’s welcome if predictable news from a court that has in recent years been protective of the state’s bedrock […]
Dump your coal stocks while you still can!
The market’s message is simple: coal’s day is ending. Three major coal companies (Alpha Natural Resources, Walter Energy, and Patriot Coal) have gone into bankruptcy. The two largest publicly traded companies (Peabody and Arch) are now trading for a dollar a share, down from $16 and $33 within the past year. They, too, may well […]
Cross-posted from The Conversation. Even before President Obama announced the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan on August 3 to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, there were a number of legal challenges to block the law at its proposal stage – none of them successful. Earlier this year, the DC Circuit Court told […]
Why DOESN'T global warming just raise the temperature everywhere a little bit?
The amount of global warming that scientists are predicting doesn’t seem like that big a deal — maybe about 4 degrees Fahrenheit if we control emissions, up to maybe 12 if we don’t. But as I’ve said a hundred times — and the experts have said a lot more often than that — we won’t […]
Brown's National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists
California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy. He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive. Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state […]
There are, to say the least, a broad range of views among the candidates.
We’re beginning to have a sense of where the leading candidates stand on climate change. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton announced a goal of 33% renewables by 2030, after saying that the “reality of climate change is unforgiving no matter what the deniers say. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is said to have the strongest record on […]
Tomorrow's Emission Determine Today's Social Cost of Carbon
Here’s the weird thing: the social cost of carbon today, depends significantly on the year-by-year emissions of carbon in the future, which we obviously don’t know. (Because it depends on our own future actions!) It takes some explanation to show why that’s true and how it matters. If you know a bit about climate policy, you know […]
Compliance isn't turning out to be that much of a burden.
Here’s the headline from the Washington Post: “Outrage over EPA emissions regulations fades as states find fixes.” Senator Mitch McConnell has been telling all and sundry the plan will be a disaster and states should refuse to have anything to do with it. But even in his home state, according to the Post, the Clean […]
Political polarization has gotten to the point where there would be immediate denunciations if the President issued a proclamation honoring apple pie. Another intrusion into consumer choice, besmirching those who prefer cherry and pumpkin! Another blatant overreach by an out-of-control, incipient tyrant! Not only is every executive action accompanied by loud resistance, but the same explosion of […]
The Tenth Circuit dispels extraterritoriality attacks on state renewable energy regulations.
Extraterritoriality is a weird, one might almost say alien, incursion into judicial doctrine under the dormant commerce clause doctrine. The DCC, as it’s familiarly called, prohibits discrimination against interstate commerce and undue burdens on that commerce. But industry has been attacking a wide range of state renewable energy laws under a doctrine relating to extraterritoriality. […]