Climate Change

Scott Pruitt, Senator Harris and the California Question

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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 […]

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New Study: California Climate Policies Bringing Over $13 Billion To San Joaquin Valley

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Report commissioned by Next 10 and written by Berkeley Law’s CLEE and UC Berkeley’s labor center

Climate policies are under political attack, both in California and nationally. The common argument is that these policies hurt the economy and destroy jobs, particularly in disadvantaged communities. To assess those claims, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley Law and UC Berkeley’s Donald Vial Center on Employment in the […]

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Betting on Batteries

Energizer battery

Was the Aliso Canyon leak a blessing in disguise?

As reported on the front page of today’s New York Times, 2016 was the third straight year to set a record for highest temperature, the first time the Earth has seen three record-setting years in a row since WWII (1939, 1940, and 1941 each set records, but now 1941 only ranks as the 37th hottest year). […]

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Rex Tillerson Disappoints

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The nominee gave vague, canned answers on climate change

Today’s confirmation hearing of Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, has concluded. During the day, there were two impassioned exchanges about climate change, during which Tillerson revealed how naive environmentalists were that he might be able to sway Trump on the issue. First, Senator Tim Kaine (our almost-VP) excoriated Tillerson on ExxonMobil’s record […]

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Obama’s Final Words on Climate Change

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Final words as President, that is.

In his Farewell Address, President Obama had this to say about climate change: “Take the challenge of climate change.  In just eight years, we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil, doubled our renewable energy, and led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet.  But without bolder action, our children […]

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Guest Blogger David Spence: Another Take on the Tillerson Nomination

Hearings on the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State are scheduled to begin on January 11th.  The nomination puts Tillerson and his company at the vortex of a whirlwind of public grievances about ExxonMobil’s positions on climate science and Russian influence over American politics and policy.  While […]

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Explaining Oil’s Political Clout

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There’s an obvious explanation. But it’s false.

Let me start with two obvious points – only one of which is true. The first is that the oil industry has huge political influence. The second is that its clout reflects the industry’s economic heft. The first point is definitely true. As Political Wire recently observed: “Nearly every to top level appointment in Trump’s cabinet […]

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The Ninth Circuit’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

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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 […]

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

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County (Sherco) Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, near Becker, Minnesota, Tony Webster.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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 […]

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Cheaper, Cleaner Power

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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. […]

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