Air Quality

Searching for Votes in the Senate

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Q: Can the Dems scrounge up the votes to block anti-environment actions? A: Maybe.

Paul Ryan and Donald Trump have vowed to roll back many environmental protections.  The Senate seems to be the one barrier against anti-environmental moves by Congress.  How strong is that barrier? The answer depends in part on whether the filibuster option remains open. If the filibuster rule remains intact, the Democrats’ 48 votes in the Senate […]

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Something Else to Be Thankful For — Inertia!

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Meet your new best friend: gridlock, litigation delays, and red tape.

Inertia isn’t something we think about very often. Still less often is it something we feel grateful for. But it’s what prevents us from being tossed around by every passing wind. At this precise moment, that’s something we should hold precious. It’s ironic that environmentalists should now be grateful for all the features that hold […]

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Obama’s Remarkable Environmental Achievements

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When you look at the whole of his legacy, it’s a stunning record.

When he leaves office in January, President Obama will have compiled a remarkable record of environmental achievements. The record spans everything from climate change to endangered species and ocean protection. We can only hope that next Tuesday’s election doesn’t undo many of these gains. Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of […]

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Celebrating California’s Climate Change Leadership

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shakes hands with Gov. Jerry Brown as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of AB 32. (Sacramento Bee)

State Government Leaders From Both Parties Celebrate AB 32’s Tenth Anniversary

In stark contrast to a dysfunctional national government and an utterly dispiriting presidential campaign, Sacramento, California was today the site of an inspirational, bipartisan celebration.  Current California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and his predecessor, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, joined past and present state legislative leaders to commemorate the 10th anniversary of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, better known as […]

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The Clean Power Plan Oral Arguments

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After marathon hearing, EPA comes out on top

Greetings, Legal Planet readers! As many of you know, I left the UCLA Law community several months ago for a new position in the environmental law world. But today, I emerge from blog-retirement for one very special post: insights from Tuesday’s oral arguments in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals over EPA’s Clean Power Plan. […]

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California Enacts Legislation Targeting Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

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The statute codifies the goals set by the Governor and ARB

On Monday, Governor Brown signed SB 1383 into law, establishing statewide targets for reducing what are known as “short-lived climate pollutants,” which I have discussed in previous posts. The law requires a 40% reduction in both methane and hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs) below 2013 levels, and a 50% reduction in black carbon from 2013 level. Legislators […]

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Idling Cars, Dirty Air

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The pollution isn’t just indoors. It’s also inside the car or bus.

Being stuck in traffic is even worse than you thought. A new study, reported in yesterday’s NY Times, “pollution levels inside cars at red lights or in traffic jams are up to 40 percent higher than when traffic is moving.” But things could be worse: you could be a kid on an older school bus. […]

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The future politics of cap-and-trade in California

It doesn’t look so good for the oil and gas industry

As Ann and Ethan both noted, two major pieces of climate legislation were passed by the California legislature this week, and Governor Brown has promised to sign both bills.  Overall, the legislation extends the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals (which were originally to reach 1990 levels of emissions by 2020) out to a 40% reduction […]

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Red, white, blue and smog

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Fireworks leave behind a lot of pollutants

As a kid on the South Side of Chicago, summertime meant seeing White Sox games at Comiskey Park (technically now called U.S. Cellular Park, but I will never call it that). If the Sox won, there were fireworks. And on Saturdays, there were fireworks even if they didn’t. I have a distinct memory of asking […]

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Major Settlement Announced in Volkswagen Emissions Fraud Litigation

$14.7 Billion Civil Enforcement Settlement is a Victory for Consumers, Environmental Prosecutors

Federal and state environmental prosecutors today announced a proposed settlement of government civil enforcement litigation they’ve pursued against Volkswagen in response to the automaker’s acknowledged efforts to cheat federal and state auto emission standards and defraud consumers.  The complex settlement, lodged with the assigned U.S. district court judge in San Francisco, requires Volkswagen to pay […]

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