California

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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Major Challenges Face the National Park Service in Its Next Century

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Park Overcrowding, Crumbling Infrastructure, Changing Constituency Top the List

(This is the third in a series of posts this week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.) To be sure, the National Park Service has much to celebrate as it observes its 100th birthday.  The Park Service oversees a stunning and diverse set of national parks, monuments, historic and […]

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BREAKING NEWS: California Assembly Passes SB 32, the 2030 Climate Bill

With governor’s signature, the state will retain its international leadership position on reducing greenhouse gas emissions

It was a rough year in 2015 for SB 32 (Pavley), California’s major climate bill to extend our greenhouse gas reduction efforts to 2030. The bill went down without a vote on the Assembly floor, due to opposition from “moderate” Democrats. But today, the Assembly passed the bill with 42 votes in favor, 29 opposed: […]

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California Supreme Court Holds Unanimously that the State May Restrict Mining Methods on Federal Lands

Court in People v. Rinehart Upholds State Moratorium on Suction-Dredge Mining

Last year, as I discussed in a prior post, the California Supreme Court granted the State of California’s petition for review in the case of People v. Rinehart.  I’m pleased to say that today, the Supreme Court has issued a unanimous opinion, authored by Justice Werdegar, in favor of the state’s moratorium on suction-dredge mining on federal lands. […]

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National Park Service Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

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It’s Time to Celebrate–and Re-Commit to–“America’s Best Idea”

This week the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday.  On August 25, 1916, Congress enacted legislation proposed by President Woodrow Wilson to create the Park Service.  To this date, creation of the Service remains one of the nation’s most important actions to protect America’s environment.  (Documentarian Ken Burns–himself a national treasure–famously called the national […]

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California’s Cap-and-Trade Program After 2020

ARB publishes draft climate regulations that would extend the program

Against a backdrop of complex Sacramento politics on the future of California’s climate regulation, the state’s Air Resources Board last week issued an initial draft of regulations that would, among other things, extend the cap-and-trade program beyond 2020.  Does ARB currently have the authority to do that? Yes, probably.  But it’s complicated enough to leave room for disagreement. Here’s one version […]

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Do water managers’ perceptions influence innovation?

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New survey probes the innovation deficit

Climate change and population growth are rapidly increasing stress on our water systems, challenging their ability to deliver critical services.  To respond to this, we need more than simple course adjustments in how we manage our water – we need entirely new paradigms that will improve resource efficiency and support more sustainable urban water systems. Considerable […]

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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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