The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is no doubt generating significant conflict, including claims of undue industry influence, competing bills from prominent members of the same party, consternation among states, and divisions among health and environmental groups. And it may also be the closest we have gotten to TSCA reform—ever. […]
Ann’s excellent post concerning Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus’ evisceration of Laurence Tribe raises an important question: why on earth would Tribe make such patently absurd arguments? Ann delicately suggests that the money Tribe is getting from fossil fuel interests may have “addled his judgment.” I’m not so sure. Obviously, we can’t put the man […]
Argument that Clean Power Plant an "Unconstitutional Power Grab" Ridiculed
Famed constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe is serving red meat to opponents of climate change regulation. Not only is he representing Peabody Coal in a pending court challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, but this week he testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that EPA, in adopting the plan, is […]
The Emerging Sub-Field of "Envirodevonomics" Seeks to Find Out
It’s hardly news that environmental quality in the Global South is often disastrous. Even middle income countries such as China and India face enormous pollution problems and destruction of ecosystems. But why? Do people in the Global South not care? Or is something else going on? A new paper in the Journal of Economic Literature […]
We need research to feed a larger population without plowing the whole planet.
Who’s coming for dinner? The answer, in case you’re wondering, is “two billion more people.” That’s the population increase predicted for 2050. How are we going to feed those people? One method is to cut down a lot of the world’s remaining forests and plow the world’s remaining grasslands. That’s a bad approach environmentally: it will […]
Reform of the federal chemicals statute, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is in the news again. It got me wondering, are we are better off with the devil we know? In a legislative era characterized by harsh partisanship and excruciating deadlocks, there are signs that TSCA reform could be a rare example of cooperation […]
Attack on academic freedom? Or misunderstood management effort?
Both the NY Times and the Washington Post have reported on a recommendation that the North Carolina Board of Governors close several university centers. [Update: the recommendations were adopted by the Board a week later.] There are strong allegations that this is part of a conservative attack on the university system. There are certainly grounds to suspect […]
How California & the Commission Launched Their Acclaimed Energy Policy--& the Challenges That Lie Ahead
This month marks the 40th anniversary of California’s landmark Warren-Alquist Act, which created the state Energy Commission and triggered a transformation of energy policy in California, across the U.S., and abroad. This week an impressive group of energy policymakers, political leaders, energy scholars and Energy Commission alumni gathered at events in Sacramento and at the U.C. Davis […]
Students From Six Northern California Law Schools Collaborate in a Big and Unconventional Way
The 11th Annual Water Law Symposium was held last weekend at Golden Gate University Law School in San Francisco. The event drew a standing-room-only crowd of water law scholars, practitioners and policymakers, who devoted the day to a thoughtful and lively examination of how California’s constitutional law doctrine of reasonable use affects all facets of […]
Coal and oil have found legal spokesmen in state houses and law schools.
The NY Times has a disturbing story this morning about the secret alliance between some state attorney generals and the fossil fuel industry. Perhaps the most shocking is an example in which the Attorney General of Oklahoma had a draft by a coal company retyped on letterhead and submitted as his own opinion. The industry […]