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 […]
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). […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
According to reports this morning, the EPA pick will be Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. We’ll hear more about him in the coming days. For me, the story that sticks out most about him is this one – revealing his history of copying and pasting letters written by fossil fuel lobbyists and sending them under […]
It’s not just cheap natural gas. Even a coal industry revival wouldn’t help Appalachia.
Trump has promised to end the “war on coal” and bring the industry roaring back. The NY Times appropriately called this a “cruel promise,” because cheap natural gas has driven coal to its knees economically. That won’t change under Trump, who has promised even more fracking and gas production. But, as it turns out, even […]
The Media Need to Take Trump’s Advisors, and Their Policy Proposals, More Seriously Than They Take Trump’s Off-the-Cuff Comments
The media need to get their act together when they report and editorialize about President-elect Donald Trump’s public statements. Chief among many failures in reporting on the campaign was the tendency of major newspapers and television outlets to focus on candidates’ rhetoric, symbolism, and character, to the virtual exclusion of governance and policy. This contributed […]