Challenges to EPA’s emergent program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act section 111 continue to mount. Recently, the Attorneys General of 19 states sent a joint letter to EPA arguing that because EPA failed to finalize its proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for GHG emissions within one year—as the Clean […]
Are climate gag rules constitutional? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
There have been recent reports about state agencies that forbid employees from discussing climate change. Since this is obviously a restriction on speech, it’s natural to wonder what the First Amendment has to say on the subject. The answer depends in large part on the kind of employee speech at issue. Let’s being with a ban […]
Deforestation went down for a decade. Now it's going up. The reasons aren't clear.
Brazil’s rate of deforestation went down dramatically over the last ten years. It’s not completely clear why that’s happened. The trend now seems to be reversing (or at least encountering an upward blip). But it’s not clear why that’s happening either. I wish I had a clear explanation to give you. A big part of […]
Envisioning greener energy, cleaner air, and reduced consumption in LA by 2035
Perhaps no metropolis is better positioned than Los Angeles to pioneer ground-breaking environmental initiatives. As the second-largest U.S. city, and with the country’s largest municipally owned utility, a world-class research university–UCLA, and the blessings of abundant sunshine and a temperate Mediterranean climate, Los Angeles could serve as a global model for urban sustainability. Today, the […]
Are recent East Bay water troubles a taste of what lies ahead?
What makes a city world-renowned? For New York (according to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection), it’s the quality of its drinking water. Should this be so surprising? After all, what more fundamental connection does a city have to its residents and visitors than the life-sustaining water that it provides? Recent events in San Francisco’s […]
States will only lose out if they refuse to cooperate with the Clean Power Plan.
Mitch McConnell has urged states to refuse to submit plans if the Clean Power Plan is upheld by the Court. He has been accused of inciting lawless behavior on the part of state governments. Let me come to his defense on this. (How often do I get to do that??) The states are under no legal obligation […]
William Nordhaus' New Paper Implies That It Should
Last Thursday, Ethan explained the difficulties with attempting to craft a new international climate treaty, and suggested biting off more snackable chunks to work on the problem piece-by-piece (a recommendation I have also made). Now, hot off the presses, the new American Economic Review features a lead article by William Nordhaus suggesting climate clubs as […]
A scaled-down, step-by-step approach might yield more results
Call it Kyoto Syndrome, but each year for the past few decades we hear hopeful things about the upcoming negotiations for the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” These discussions usually take place in some far-flung world capital, but they seem to always result in a nothing sandwich. In 2009, President Obama embarrassed himself […]
California State Bar Environmental Law Section will hold daylong event on April 16th in Downtown Oakland
The California State Bar Environmental Law Section is holding a conference on April 16th entitled “2030 and Beyond: The Next Phase of Greenhouse Gas Reduction in California.” The event is co-sponsored by Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE). As Legal Planet readers know, AB 32’s 2020 due date is soon approaching […]
New York electricity regulators are working hard on "Reforming the Energy Vision"
It seems to be an undeniable part of human nature. When we consider making changes – whether it has to do with the place where we live, the business we are in, or the partner we choose – we tend to compare the flaws of the thing we know to the ideal version of the […]