Climate Change

The Social Cost of Carbon – Revisited

The case for using global rather than simply U.S. impacts.

The estimated harm done by a single ton of carbon in the atmosphere – the “social cost of carbon” — is a key factor in setting climate policy. The Trump Administration is trying to get its estimate as close to zero as possible. A key part of this effort is to exclude from consideration the […]

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Scott Pruitt’s Faulty Logic

There’s a gaping hole in Pruitt’s argument for repealing the Obama’s climate change rule.

An earlier blog post pointed to a logical gap in the current EPA’s justification for repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Obama Administration effort to cut emissions from electrical power plants. He makes an argument that EPA can only base rules on actions that polluters can take within a facility, and jumps from there […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Working and Natural Lands, From Sources to Sinks

Post #6 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the sixth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] Roughly 80% of California land is protected or agricultural.  That includes deserts, forests, wetlands, foothills, and multiple vegetative types, […]

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Scott Pruitt: “What, me worry?”

The right question about greenhouse gas emissions is not whether there is an “ideal” global temperature regime, but what problems rapid regime shifts produce

(Readers of a certain age will understand the reference, and see the resemblance. If that’s not you, never mind. But read on for a little less snark and a little more analysis.) According to the Washington Post, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wondered in a television interview Tuesday whether global warming “necessarily is a bad thing,” […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Methane, Black Carbon, and HFCs

Post #5 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the fifth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] One of the most important actions we can take to combat climate change is to halt the emission of […]

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Canada and Mexico Aren’t Waiting for Us

Like the rest of the world, they’re moving ahead on the climate change issue even without us.

[for unknown reasons, this didn’t post correctly earlier, though it did go out to email subscribers] Our national government is trying to beat a hurried retreat from addressing climate change. But our neighbors in Canada and Mexico are pressing forward. Both of them need to do more, but nevertheless they contrast very favorably with our […]

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Commemorating the California Air Resources Board’s 50th Anniversary

Celebrating CARB’s Past Achievements; Charting Its Future Course

Recently, the U.C. Davis School of Law’s California Environmental Law & Policy Center hosted a major conference on the UCD campus commemorating the California Air Resources Board’s 50th anniversary.  The event, which drew nearly 400 attendees, was the result of a terrific, three-way collaboration between CELPC, UC Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies and CARB.  (Here’s […]

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California Legislature Contemplates Banning Internal Combustion Engines By 2040

AB 1745 by Assm. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) would follow similar policies in Norway and the United Kingdom

Countries like China, Norway and the U.K. have made headlines recently with plans to ban the sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2040 or soon thereafter. Is California next? Governor Brown expressed interest in the state following suit, to maintain its mantle as a global electric vehicle leader. And now Assemblymember Phil Ting […]

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Wildfires and the Cost of Electric Service

It turns out, electric transmission is not as cheap as we thought it was.

Economists detest externalities – those nasty hidden costs that businesses don’t face when they sell polluting or dangerous products and services, but that are instead imposed on the public or the environment. And economists are right to be concerned. A polluter that does not pay the cost for its pollution is likely to keep polluting. […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Oil and Transportation in California

Post #4 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the fourth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] In 2015, Jerry Brown challenged the State to reduce oil usage in the transportation sector by 50% by 2030.  […]

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