Air Quality

California’s Path to 2050

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Recent research shows that California can meet its 2050 climate goals at an affordable cost.

Could California make deep cuts in carbon by 2050 (80% below 1990 levels)?  Are the economics feasible?  Those are important questions for California, but they also have a lot to say about what’s feasible for the U.S. and other developing countries as a whole. Last December, UC Davis hosted a forum on the models that […]

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Upcoming Climate Practitioners’ Workshop at UCLA

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Explore recent legal developments in Federal and California greenhouse gas regulation for CLE credit

Why not earn your continuing legal education (CLE) credits while learning about recent developments in climate change law? Next Friday, March 14, 2014, the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law is co-hosting an all-day practitioners’ workshop that will explore cutting-edge developments in greenhouse gas regulation. “Navigating Climate Regulation on Dual […]

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How Responsible Are Americans for China’s Pollution Problem?

An online conversation from several perspectives

Yesterday, I participated in an online conversation at Chinafile.com on the question of “How Responsible Are Americans For China’s Pollution Problem?”  I post the lead comment by David Vance Wagner of the International Council on Clean Transportation along with my response.  Elizabeth Economy from the Council on Foreign Relations and Isabel Hilton of Chinadialogue.net (among […]

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Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA: Another Take on the SCOTUS Oral Argument

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Decision favoring EPA seems likely

The venerable pastime of U.S. Supreme Court-watching always involves divergent opinions that, as Rick Frank noted, all should be taken with a grain (or even a pound) of salt. The outcome of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is decidedly uncertain, but I left the oral argument yesterday more optimistic than my Legal Planet colleague. […]

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Deconstructing Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group

scotus

The EPA Could Well Lose This Challenge to Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the most important environmental law case of the current Term: Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. Based on those arguments–and, more importantly, the justices’ questions and comments–it appears that EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s […]

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Railtown — A Different LA Story

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Railtown tells the story of how rail transit came to

Ethan Elkind‘s new book, Railtown, tells the story of LA’s rail system.  It’s a fascinating account of LA’s move away from an almost religious attachment to the automobile.  The LA story has some important implications for other cities. It took several decades to get the current rail system built.  There were many detours and delays […]

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Previewing Next Week’s Climate Change Arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court

Big Stakes and Big Players in This Year's Biggest Environmental Case

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the biggest environmental law case of its current Term, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. Legal Planet colleagues Ann Carlson and Dan Farber have already posted their thoughts on the case. Let me add mine. Utility Air Regulatory Group involves EPA’s authority to regulate stationary […]

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Plain Language, Climate Change, and the Supreme Court

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The language of the statute relating to next week's argument is clear -- but there's a fly in the ointment.

The Supreme Court will be hearing argument next week in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA.  It’s basically a very simple statutory interpretation case, except for two things.  First, it’s about climate change, and nothing about climate change ever seems to be simple and straightforward.  Second, although the language of the statute, prior Supreme Court precedent, […]

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Lightbulb Wars : The Saga Continues

Edison lightbulb

Republicans win a largely symbolic victory for an obsolete technology.

Among the sleeper provisions of the new budget deal is a ban on enforcing federal lightbulb standards.  This is a great example of symbolic politics — it makes Tea Party Republicans happy, has limited practical effect, and makes little policy sense. Or to put it another way, the enforcement ban is a dumb thing to […]

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When Cooking Can Kill

Cookstove  Use in Darfur

Cookstoves are a major threat to health in developing countries, while also wreaking environmental damage.

Cooking dinner, as it turns out, is one of the most serious public health and environmental problems in the world. There’s a common misperception that environmental concerns are just a First World luxury.  But the cookstove example shows that the global poor, too, are in need of better, more efficient, less polluting energy sources. Here […]

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