Energy

The GOP’s stealth carbon tax?

Republican proposals for border adjustment tax are equivalent to a carbon tax on oil

One of the leading proposals being floated by Republicans for tax reform is what is called a border adjustment tax. Put simply, it would tax corporate income on imports into the U.S. and leave income from exports tax exempt. The policy argument for it is that it would simplify tax administration for large, multinational companies […]

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Is Texas Cleaning Up Its Act?

renewables in texas

Carbon emissions are set in decline in Texas, with less coal and more renewables.

At a national meeting of state utility regulators, the head of the group recently said that the Clean Power Plan was basically dead, BUT this might not matter because “arguably, you’re seeing market-based decarbonization” due to technological changes.  Case in point: Texas. Market trends are pushing Republican-stronghold Texas toward a cleaner grid. ERCOT, which operates nearly all […]

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A Coalition of the Willing

2016-election-map

States need to work together to make progress happen in the age of Trump.

In the short time since the election, it’s already become a truism that state governments will have to keep the flame alive for environmental protection. But it’s not just individual state governments. It’s also crucial for states to work together. There’s been a lot of loose talk about “Calexit” out here. Secession is unconstitutional. (As […]

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New Study: California Climate Policies Bringing Over $13 Billion To San Joaquin Valley

SJV Impacts Cover_Page_01

Report commissioned by Next 10 and written by Berkeley Law’s CLEE and UC Berkeley’s labor center

Climate policies are under political attack, both in California and nationally. The common argument is that these policies hurt the economy and destroy jobs, particularly in disadvantaged communities. To assess those claims, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley Law and UC Berkeley’s Donald Vial Center on Employment in the […]

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Betting on Batteries

Energizer battery

Was the Aliso Canyon leak a blessing in disguise?

As reported on the front page of today’s New York Times, 2016 was the third straight year to set a record for highest temperature, the first time the Earth has seen three record-setting years in a row since WWII (1939, 1940, and 1941 each set records, but now 1941 only ranks as the 37th hottest year). […]

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A Win-Win Energy Law in Illinois

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Illinois’s Future Energy Jobs bill shows that cooperation across party lines is possible.

It went pretty much unheralded by the national media, but in December Illinois adopted a major new energy lawl — and with strong bipartisan support.  Each side had some things to celebrate. The Republican Governor touted the impact of the bill on utility bills.  According to the Governor, the “contains a guaranteed cap that energy […]

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Explaining Oil’s Political Clout

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There’s an obvious explanation. But it’s false.

Let me start with two obvious points – only one of which is true. The first is that the oil industry has huge political influence. The second is that its clout reflects the industry’s economic heft. The first point is definitely true. As Political Wire recently observed: “Nearly every to top level appointment in Trump’s cabinet […]

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Update on the Litigation Over EPA’s Rule Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Power Plants

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County (Sherco) Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, near Becker, Minnesota, Tony Webster.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

UCLA Faculty File Amicus Brief on Behalf of Technological Innovation Experts

Late in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued New Source Performance Standards to control greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. This regulation is a companion to the more-often-discussed Clean Power Plan rule, which addresses greenhouse gas emissions from existing sources in the power generation sector. Last […]

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Cheaper, Cleaner Power

lowest-cost-electricity

The cheapest new power today: gas, wind, solar. Almost never coal.

What’s the cheapest way to add power to the grid where you live?  Unless you live near Lake Superior, the answer isn’t coal — not even in West Virginia or Kentucky. Beyond that, the exact answer depends on just what you means by cheap. A major study from UT Austin digs deep into this question. […]

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Tillerson and Perry – It’s Complicated

Donald Trump

They’re not as bad as you might think. Relatively speaking.

The immediate environmentalist reaction to Rex Tillerson and Rick Perry — Trump’s choices to run the Departments of State and Energy — is that these are disastrous choices, like Trump’s selection of climate change denier Scott Pruitt to run EPA.  That’s understandable.  After all, Tillerson is the CEO of Exxon. As to Perry, the Washington Post headline says […]

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