Climate Change

Fracking and the Environment

Source: The Pilot, http://www.thepilot.com/news/2011/aug/08/fracking-promise-and-perils/

A new RFF report sheds light on the critical issues.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about natural gas and fracking.  A recent report by Resources for the Future sheds light on some of the answers.  RFF is unusual among Washington think tanks — an honest broker that uses expertise to try to answer hard questions.  The report reaches three important conclusions. The first […]

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IPCC Report Highlights Need for Rapid Shift to Renewable Energy; Delay Will be Costly

Chicago City Hall Green Roof

Meanwhile, EPA Considers Methane Regulations for Oil and Gas Production

According to the newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report, only a few decades remain to halt the worst effects of global climate change. To meet climate goals, globally we will need to reduce emissions to 40 to 70 percent below today’s levels, by mid-century. Delaying action will be enormously costly from an […]

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The Missing of Summer Lawns*

lawn photo

It's Time to End the Wasteful Practice of Irrigating California's Residential Landscaping With Fresh Water

What a difference a drought makes. Once upon a time, a fundamental attribute of home ownership in California and the American West was an expansive, verdant lawn surrounding private homes, townhouses and apartment complexes. Indeed, some communities have historically imposed permit conditions or adopted local ordinances mandating the inclusion and maintenance of lush, healthy lawns […]

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Does Keystone Matter?

Project XL

A recent analysis suggests that the pipeline could result in production of a billion extra barrels between now and 2030.

Many people who have studied the issue tell me that the Keystone XL issue is mostly symbolic, because the Alberta oil sands are going to be used one way or another.  But I’m having some second thoughts because of arguments made (here) by Berkeley economist Max Aufhammer. He’s a pretty hard-headed analyst, not given to […]

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A New Low for Fictional News Network

Guess which cable news network misleads on climate?

Well, what a shock: To gauge how accurately [cable news] networks inform their audiences about climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed the networks’ climate science coverage in 2013 and found that each network treated climate science very differently. Fox News was the least accurate; 72 percent of its 2013 climate science-related segments contained […]

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As Oil by Rail Gains Momentum, Is California On Track to Protect Human Health and the Environment?

oil cars

A closer look at the data and key legal issues

California will soon see a surge in the number of trains carrying crude oil into the state, as oil production in North Dakota’s Bakken region and Canada continues to increase, sending more crude to California refineries. Last week, the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the safety of […]

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Reduced VMT from Millennials: Good News From an Unlikely Source

Younger people are driving less, even controlling for the flat economy

Last week I reported on the Caltrans survey findings showing that Californians seem to be driving less. Too good to be true?  Perhaps.  My always-pessimistic colleague Brian Taylor suspects that this is more about the Great Recession than about real changes in driving habits. Brian and his colleagues at the University of California Transportation Center recently […]

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California’s Path to 2050

seal-of-california

Recent research shows that California can meet its 2050 climate goals at an affordable cost.

Could California make deep cuts in carbon by 2050 (80% below 1990 levels)?  Are the economics feasible?  Those are important questions for California, but they also have a lot to say about what’s feasible for the U.S. and other developing countries as a whole. Last December, UC Davis hosted a forum on the models that […]

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Two good recent articles on environmental law

Regulating diffuse harms is a key future challenge for environmental law

JOTWELL is a blog dedicated to highlighting some of the best, recent legal scholarship.  I recently posted a review there of two excellent recent articles in environmental law — I think they’re both terrific because they both highlight what I think will be an increasingly important issue in the future of environmental law: How we […]

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