Energy

Hydrogen “Fool” Cells Vs. Electric Vehicles

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The debate over the best clean vehicle technology

California recently committed to spending $50 million on 28 public hydrogen fuel cell charging stations, throwing gasoline (bad pun) on the fire of a growing debate: electric vehicles vs, hydrogen fuel cells as the carbon-free vehicle technology of the future. California policy makers seem to think it may be both, based on their spending to […]

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Congressman Waxman Tells FERC: Read UC Berkeley’s Climate Change Study

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Henry Waxman urges FERC to act on greenhouse gas emissions.

In a Congressional hearing this morning, Congressman Henry Waxman had a rare chance to face all five sitting members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at the same time to talk about climate change. He took the opportunity to point out UC Berkeley’s recent report on FERC’s authority under existing law to reduce greenhouse […]

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Can Do a Lot to Reduce Greenhouse Gas

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A new report shows that FERC has extensive power to address climate change.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has captured the attention of the energy world with its proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants – and for good reason. The EPA’s authority is broad and its resolve to address climate change is evident. But other federal agencies are in a position to […]

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North Dallas Forty

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A North Dallas Representative sponsored the House bill to save inefficient light bulbs -- but he also advocates energy efficiency.

Yet again, House Republicans have passed a ban on enforcing efficiency regulations for light bulbs, taking a brave stance in favor of energy wastage. The amendment bans DOE from spending any money to enforce the restrictions.  They’ve done this repeatedly, for reasons that seem to have more to do with talk radio than with any actual […]

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Solar power in North Carolina

How the solar industry became successful in North Carolina

When it comes to politics, North Carolina is not California.  California is regularly and consistently Democratic at the state and national level.  North Carolina is a swing state in presidential elections, has a Republican majority in its delegation to the House of Representatives, and has a state government currently dominated by Republicans. And when it […]

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Update: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review in California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Case

Justices Decline to Address Constitutionality of LCFS

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in closely-watched cases in which the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) was being challenged.  The LCFS is, in turn, an integral part of the state’s multifaceted strategy to reduce California’s aggregate greenhouse gas emissions as required under AB 32, the state’s landmark 2006 climate change […]

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California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Before the Supreme Court

Will the Justices Choose to Decide the LCFS's Constitutionality?

You might think that the U.S. Supreme Court, having decided the Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA Clean Air Act case on Monday, was done for the current Term when it comes to environmental law and policy. Think again. Today the justices met in conference to decide whether to grant review in a large number of pending […]

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Oil By Rail: Nine Things California Can Do to Increase Safety

While FRA Considers New Federal Regulations, States Can Ramp Up Prevention and Emergency Response

At a joint Senate and Assembly hearing last week on oil by rail safety in California, some lawmakers expressed frustration at slow federal action, and asked what California can do to increase public safety. My testimony focused on federal preemption issues, defining areas where the state can regulate, and those where it is preempted by […]

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Standing, Settlement, and Mass Torts

BP is trying to use standing law to wiggle out of its own settlement agreement. The courts have been right to say no.

BP entered into a settlement in a massive class action against it arising out of the BP oil spill.  Now it’s trying to get out of part of the settlement while keeping the rest of the deal in place.  BP’s argument involves three areas of confusion in  standing doctrine: how does it apply to class actions, […]

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Not My Default

With California's AB 2145, legislators try to keep cities and counties from buying green power.

It is well-understood that people don’t change easily. I hold myself out as Exhibit A. When I signed up for landline phone and internet service, the phone charge was $35 per month, and the internet another $30. Over the years, although the phone company never announced a rate increase, I experienced rate creep. What once […]

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