Climate Change

Solar Tariff Wars Heat Up


States that have helped boost rooftop solar installations through so-called net metering policies are beginning to scale back their subsidies under pressure from utilities.   As ClimateWire reported today (here’s the link but it’s behind a paid subscription wall), Hawaii’s largest utility has just proposed rolling back the state’s net metering policy, joining Arizona, California, […]

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Expanding Access To Energy Information To Boost The Clean Technology Sector

Knowledge Is Power Cover

Joint UC Berkeley / UCLA Law Report Released Today

California is poised for a major energy transformation in the coming decades, with Governor Brown pledging to put the state on a path to 50% renewables and 50% less petroleum usage by 2030. Achieving this transformation will require a robust and thriving clean technology sector, including renewable energy and energy storage developers, energy efficiency contractors, […]

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Don’t Know Much ‘Bout Climatology

muppet scientists

Why should we believe the scientists about climate change?  Nobody — not even any individual scientist — understand all the details of the IPCC’s recent 1552 page “summary” of climate science.  So why buy into the idea that tiny amounts of gases from beneficial energy production can cause devastating global harm? Part of the reason […]

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The Hottest Year (So Far)

climate change

Scientists at NOAA and NASA announced the 2014 was the hottest year since systematic record keeping began in 1880.  This is all the more striking because 2014 wasn’t a strong El Nino year, when you expect especially warm global temperatures. If you leave on the East Coast or in the Midwest, you may not have […]

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Governor Brown Calls For California To Achieve 50% Renewables By 2030

AP Photo by Rich Pedroncelli

Inaugural address has specifics for climate and energy policies

Jerry Brown was inaugurated today for his record fourth term as governor of California, and his address offered refreshing specifics on his environmental and climate goals: In fact, we are well on our way to meeting our AB 32 goal of reducing carbon pollution and limiting the emissions of heat-trapping gases to 431 million tons […]

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The (Mostly Happy) Effects of Falling Oil Prices

The rapid fall in oil prices seems to have taken everyone by surprise.  I’ve noted before that it puts the viability of the Keystone XL project in doubt.  But its other effects are worth considering. Overall, the fall in prices should have a beneficial effect on the U.S. economy.  Since gasoline is cheaper, people can […]

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2014: Happy Endings & Promising Starts


In most ways, 2014 was a good year for environmental protection, with progress on several fronts.  True, there are warning signs for 2015 — primarily the Republican sweep of the mid-terms and the Supreme Court’s puzzling decision to review toxics regulations for coal-fired power plants.  And of course, there were losses as well as victories, […]

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The GOP’s Puzzling Obsession with Keystone XL: A Case of Perseveration?

A Big Pipeline Deserves a Big EIS

Republicans remain focused on a project that no longer makes much sense.

Perseveration is a psychological syndrome where you can’t stop doing something even if the original reason for doing it has vanished.  I’m beginning to wonder if the continuing fervor of Republican support for the project reflects an institutional equivalent of this syndrome.  The economic and political case for the project is fading, but Republicans just can’t […]

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Can We Control Climate Change and Still Have Economic Growth? (Part II)

economic growth

It's all in the timing.

Yesterday’s post discussed economic growth and how it relates in principle to carbon emissions.  Basically, economic growth just means that people will be getting goods and services they prefer over today’s goods and service.  There’s no intrinsic reason why the “better” bundle necessarily has to involve more carbon.  In fact, it could involve a lot less carbon. […]

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