Energy

Think Globally, Act Municipally

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Cities can help fight climate change — and they’re forums where ordinary people can have a voice.

Fierce battles will be fought to stem the federal government’s retreat on climate policy. Meanwhile, states like California are mobilizing to pursue their own policies. But not everyone lives in a progressive state, and even progressive state governments can’t do everything. We need to consider other channels to make progress, especially in states that aren’t […]

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This Wolf Came as Dressed as a Wolf

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Trump’s views on energy & environment were clear before the election. He’s doing what he said.

In terms of energy and environmental issues, Trump has turned out to be as advertised. Last June, I did a post contrasting Clinton and Trump’s views about the environment. Below, I revisit the June post in order to compare what Trump said before Election Day and what he’s done since. In case you’ve forgotten, Clinton’s position […]

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Guest Blogger Ben Levitan: The Tenth Anniversary of Massachusetts v. EPA

The opinion stands for EPA’s responsibility to address climate change based on law and science, and to safeguard public health and the environment under adverse political conditions

If it feels like we’re being inundated with bad news about federal climate policy, here’s a cause for hope: this month marks the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, one of the most important environmental cases in our nation’s history. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Massachusetts came when the […]

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Trump’s Executive Order: Bad Policy and More Uncertainty

EO

President Trump’s Executive Order on climate policy is an invitation to bad policymaking and legal uncertainty. The big-ticket item targeted by the Order, of course, is the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and related rules on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The EO has limited immediate legal impact: none of the major rules can […]

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Some Resources for Non-Experts (and for Experts Too!) on the Executive Order Rolling Back Federal Climate Change Regulations

Cutting Through the Information Overload

The President’s Executive Order rolling back climate change-related initiatives, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” just came out today, and there’s already plenty of analysis to help people to understand its likely impact.  While the short answer is that it is terrible for our country, the long answers tend to make people’s eyes glaze over if […]

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The Future Of Energy In 2030

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Register now for the California State Bar Environmental Law Conference in Los Angeles on April 12th

How we generate, distribute and use electricity is key to meeting California’s environmental and greenhouse gas reduction goals. We need to be much more efficient with the electricity we use, while ensuring that it comes from greenhouse gas-free sources, like solar, wind, and geothermal, coupled with energy storage technologies. We also will need to electrify […]

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The Trump Administration’s False Stories About the Environmental Protection Agency Are Meant to Take the Agency Down

Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt Distort the Facts About EPA’s Mission, History, and Success

The Trump Administration has made clear its plans to systematically dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.  Destroying the EPA will be a key element of the administration’s fight, in the words of White House policy advisor Steve Bannon, to achieve the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”  Republicans in Congress appear to support this effort.  EPA Administrator Scott […]

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What is the “Left Coast” Doing About Climate Change?

Pacific States

Quite a lot, as it turns out. But stronger coordination is needed.

The three West Coast states have a lot in common, including strong commitments to address climate change. They are all taking action on this front, but so far coordination efforts seem weak. Given the situation in D.C., it would make sense for these states to go further in terms of making a collective effort. It […]

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“States’ Rights” and Environmental Law: California on the Front Lines

EPA’s Assault on Air Quality Protection Will Aim at California’s Standards, While Other States Have Given Up Their Authority to Protect Public Health and the Environment More Strictly

This article just published in the Atlantic explains well one of the many ways that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt may attempt to deeply harm our environment for decades to come: through declining to grant, or revoking, the waivers that allow California to regulate air pollution from new motor vehicle engines more strictly than the federal government does. […]

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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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