Energy

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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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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Fukushima + 3

fukushima

Three years after the meltdowns, the cleanup is still underway and the safety of the nuclear fleet is still unclear.

It’s been a little more than three years since the Fukushima accident began.  Where do things stand? At Fukushima itself, the reactor owner is still struggling to get conditions under control.  For instance, Asahi Shimbun reported last month, Treatment of radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has been suspended indefinitely after a […]

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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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Biofuels and Food Prices

hunger + corn

A recent economics paper suggests strongly that biofuels have raised food prices for the world's poor.

Berkeley economist Brian Wright has a disquieting article in the Winter 2014 issues of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, which just crossed my desk.  JEP is published by the American Economic Association and is a great resource for those of us who are interested in economics but aren’t professional economists.  This article is a case in […]

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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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Upcoming Climate Practitioners’ Workshop at UCLA

790px-Big_Bend_Power_Station

Explore recent legal developments in Federal and California greenhouse gas regulation for CLE credit

Why not earn your continuing legal education (CLE) credits while learning about recent developments in climate change law? Next Friday, March 14, 2014, the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law is co-hosting an all-day practitioners’ workshop that will explore cutting-edge developments in greenhouse gas regulation. “Navigating Climate Regulation on Dual […]

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Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA: Another Take on the SCOTUS Oral Argument

Supreme_Court_US_2010

Decision favoring EPA seems likely

The venerable pastime of U.S. Supreme Court-watching always involves divergent opinions that, as Rick Frank noted, all should be taken with a grain (or even a pound) of salt. The outcome of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is decidedly uncertain, but I left the oral argument yesterday more optimistic than my Legal Planet colleague. […]

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Plain Language, Climate Change, and the Supreme Court

supreme-court

The language of the statute relating to next week's argument is clear -- but there's a fly in the ointment.

The Supreme Court will be hearing argument next week in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA.  It’s basically a very simple statutory interpretation case, except for two things.  First, it’s about climate change, and nothing about climate change ever seems to be simple and straightforward.  Second, although the language of the statute, prior Supreme Court precedent, […]

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Wyoming Wind Power and California Electricity

Wind Farm

Supporting renewable energy in Wyoming makes political sense

A company wants to build a lot of wind power in Wyoming.  A lot.  3,000 megawatts.  The size of three nuclear reactors.  And ship all of the power to California.  None of it will be used in Wyoming, where electricity primarily comes from coal, and where the state has been strongly resistant to various policies […]

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