Climate Change

A Clash of Visions

Trump_&_Clinton

The two parties couldn't disagree more about energy policy.

In every election, there are people who claim that both parties are alike. That’s certainly not true about energy policy this year.The distance between the tickets can be expressed numerically: Kaine has a 91% lifetime score of from the League of Conservation Voters, while Pence’s is 4%. And the differences between the presidential candidates are equally […]

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Tim Kaine and the Environment

Tim Kaine

Despite some blemishes, he deserves strong support from environmentalists.

I reported last week on Mike Pence’s environmental record. This week, Tim Kaine is the one in the spotlight. Only a few minutes ago, Clinton announced that he was her choice – pretty much what the press had predicted for the last day or two. Environmentalists have a lot of reason to be happy about […]

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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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Republicans & Climate Change — It’s Not About the Facts

climate denial photo

Giving Republicans more facts just makes them more hostile.

There’s been a lot of work on how to more effectively communicate about climate change with skeptical audiences.  A new study indicates that such efforts may actually backfire: simply hearing about the evidence, regardless of how the issue is framed, makes Republicans even more opposed.  The researcher suggests instead that we focus on persuading Independents and […]

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Do water managers’ perceptions influence innovation?

FIg5

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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Brexit Claims Its First Victim: The Environment

Brexit

The new British government is turning sharply against environmental protection.

The Brexit vote elevated Theresa May to the Prime Minister’s office.  One of her first steps has been an attack on environmental protection. In what the Guardian called the “most radical shakeup in the shape of Whitehall for years.” She abolished the Department for Energy and Climate Change and moved its functions into the Department for Business, Energy […]

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The National Park Service and Climate Change

Does the agency have the legal tools to respond to climate change?

This past weekend President Obama visited Yosemite, helping the National Park Service celebrate its 100th anniversary.  As part of his remarks, the President noted that climate change is already causing major impacts on the resources in National Parks around the country—for instance, causing the disappearance of the glaciers in Yosemite and increasing fire risks in […]

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The Clean Power Plan — Low Cost, High Benefits

coal pollution image

Despite claims by industry and conservatives, the CPP's costs are completely manageable.

The Supreme Court’s stay of EPA’s Clean Power Plan was a surprise, and a questionable action on many grounds.  It now seems clear that the stay — along with much of the political fuss about the CPP — was based on very questionable economics. In terms of the stay, a team of economists at Resources […]

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The End-game for Diablo Canyon?

Diablo Canyon

A landmark agreement supports the closure of a controversial nuclear plant.

Today’s announcement that the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has reached an agreement with several environmental and labor groups to plan for the eventual shutdown of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is a stunning development, when viewed in an historical perspective. PG&E has agreed not to seek new licenses for its power plant that […]

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The Irony of a Developing Nation’s Climate Agenda

AerialViewPhotochemicalSmogMexicoCity_2

The challenge of developing and decarbonizing at the same time

Mexico has been busy. Or at least, its energy and environmental ministers have been. Over the last several years, Mexico has held its first auction for renewable energy contracts, opened its energy market to private competitors, and increased its renewable energy capacity by more than thirty times the level in 2008. At the same time, […]

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