Climate Change

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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The Clinton Foundation and the Environment

Clinton Foundation

There’s a lot of talk about where the money comes from. But where does it go?

We hear a lot about the Clinton Foundation these days, but it’s all about where the money comes from.  That’s outside the scope of this blog, but it made me curious about what they do with the money.  In particular, I wondered what they did for the environment. Since the only thing I really knew […]

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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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Libertarian Candidate Endorses a Carbon Fee

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson has put his weight behind

In an interview in Alaska, Gary Johnson endorsed the idea of a fee on carbon emissions. Here’s what he had to say, according to E&E News: “Johnson described his “free market approach” to global warming to the Juneau Empire in an interview published this weekend. He said his plan would include a fee, “not a […]

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A Small-Government Approach to Pricing Carbon

CO2_smoke

We can impose a price on carbon without a tax or emissions trading. Here’s how.

Cap and dividend is a politically appealing idea; put a price on carbon, then refund the money to consumers in equal shares.  But conservatives and libertarians object to this idea on two grounds. First, cap-and-trade systems are complex and require a lot of regulatory oversight.  Second, if the government collects the money, despite its current […]

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What Threatens Biodiversity?

Silverback mountain gorilla in Rwanda (2007)

Are we too worried about climate change to focus on the other problems we know about?

Yesterday, Nature published a noteworthy comment on the biodiversity crisis, written by researchers at the University of Queensland and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The piece is based on a study of 8,688 species that are classified on the IUCN’s Red List either as threatened (vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered) or near-threatened. The main […]

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A Darker Shade of Green

green party

Jill Stein and her party call for a 40% cut in U.S. carbon emissions in the next four years.

Although the Green Party  doesn’t seem to be pulling a lot of voters at this point, it seems only fair to include them in the roundup of the parties’ environmental positions.  As you could infer from the name, the Green Party puts a very high priority on environmental quality. Interestingly, the current party platform is dated […]

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California Governor Jerry Brown Launches Initiative Effort to Achieve Climate Change Goals

Governor Brown Decides to Play Offense in High Stakes Political Battle Over Next Stage of State Climate Change Mitigation Efforts

One of 2016’s biggest political battles in California is over whether and how the state will pursue its ambitious climate change mitigation goals past the year 2020.  California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act–better known as AB 32–committed California to roll back aggregate state greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels no later than 2020.  Through the […]

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The New NEPA Guidance

white house

The new guidance on climate change is a step forward, though it could have been stronger.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued new guidance today on considering climate change in environmental impact statements.  Here are the key points: Quantification.  The guidance recommends that agencies quantify projected direct and indirect emissions, using the amount of emissions as a proxy for the eventual impact on climate change.  The EIS should also […]

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