Air Quality

Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 36

A proposal to revoke an Obama Administration rule on methane flaring on public lands

Additional Update:  It is being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 36. Update:  The resolution passed the House on the morning of Saturday, Feb 4.  It will next go to the Senate. House Joint Resolution 36 (now being considered as part of House Resolution 74) “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives […]

Continue Reading

Scott Pruitt, Senator Harris and the California Question

California leadership in peril?

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, elided many questions yesterday and made some somewhat surprising commitments to appease Senate Democrats in response to others (acknowledging that humans are at least partially responsible for climate change; saying he’ll use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases).  But his response to […]

Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket

In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law.  That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]

Continue Reading

Update on the Litigation Over EPA’s Rule Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Power Plants

UCLA Faculty File Amicus Brief on Behalf of Technological Innovation Experts

Late in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued New Source Performance Standards to control greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. This regulation is a companion to the more-often-discussed Clean Power Plan rule, which addresses greenhouse gas emissions from existing sources in the power generation sector. Last […]

Continue Reading

Cheaper, Cleaner Power

The cheapest new power today: gas, wind, solar. Almost never coal.

What’s the cheapest way to add power to the grid where you live?  Unless you live near Lake Superior, the answer isn’t coal — not even in West Virginia or Kentucky. Beyond that, the exact answer depends on just what you means by cheap. A major study from UT Austin digs deep into this question. […]

Continue Reading

Gone, Baby, Gone: The Death of Appalachian Coal

It’s not just cheap natural gas. Even a coal industry revival wouldn’t help Appalachia.

Trump has promised to end the “war on coal” and bring the industry roaring back. The NY Times appropriately called this a “cruel promise,” because cheap natural gas has driven coal to its knees economically.  That won’t change under Trump, who has promised even more fracking and gas production.  But, as it turns out, even […]

Continue Reading

Searching for Votes in the Senate

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 […]

Continue Reading

Something Else to Be Thankful For — Inertia!

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 […]

Continue Reading

Obama’s Remarkable Environmental Achievements

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 […]

Continue Reading

Celebrating California’s Climate Change Leadership

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 […]

Continue Reading