A shake-up of California’s struggling Drinking Water Program is in the works. What follows is a little history, context, and a few thoughts on what it will likely mean for drinking-water stakeholders—in particular those who have the hardest time accessing safe drinking water. A history of problems for the Drinking Water Program Last April, Jonathan […]
Can inherently safer technology save us from chemical accidents and terrorists?
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Franklin’s comment, originally made in reference to home fire safety, is characteristically timeless. Today, many are looking to the principle of prevention as a way to reduce the incidence and severity of chemical plant disasters. The threat of chemical disaster […]
Cookstoves are a major threat to health in developing countries, while also wreaking environmental damage.
Cooking dinner, as it turns out, is one of the most serious public health and environmental problems in the world. There’s a common misperception that environmental concerns are just a First World luxury. But the cookstove example shows that the global poor, too, are in need of better, more efficient, less polluting energy sources. Here […]
CA Senate Hearing at UCLA Focuses on Ways to Spend Auction Revenue
Today, UCLA’s Emmett Center and IOES hosted a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation with Senators Pavley, Correa, de Leon, deSaulnier, Lieu, and Assemblymember Bloom attending. The hearing featured testimony on climate science, on AB 32 implementation, and on opportunities to invest revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions in ways that […]
If you’re an environmental group and you find yourself in front of today’s Supreme Court, in some sense you’ve already lost. Nothwithstanding the 2007 Mass v EPA victory for climate change regulation, the Supremes tend not to look kindly, lately, on environmental interests. (Richard Lazarus has argued that the record of NEPA losses at the […]
The State Senate recently passed its version of CEQA reform. Having looked over the bill, it’s much better than I feared. What seems to be the most important change is a move towards adopting standard setting in CEQA – i.e., making generalized determinations about what levels of certain kinds of impacts are “significant” such that […]
In an important victory for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — and in my view for renewable energy more generally — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has upheld a FERC order that helps finance transmission lines to carry renewable energy from rural areas to urban centers in the midwest and […]
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) recently released its annual ParkScore index, which ranks the park systems of the fifty largest U.S. cities. As with all scorecards, the methodology is imperfect and the metrics are somewhat crude; but seeing how U.S. cities compare across uniform parameters is a good starting point for a larger conversation […]
The Jewish festival of Shavuot, which begins at sundown this evening, commemorates the Israelites’ receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Shavuot is thus the paradigmatic lawyers’ holiday given its focus on law and justice. This connects nicely with the other two great pilgrimage holidays found in the Jewish Bible, giving us a trinity (so […]
This week the California Environmental Protection Agency issued a disturbing but worthwhile report on environmental justice issues in California. That report confirms what many environmental justice advocates and state residents already assumed: that the San Joaquin Valley is–far and away–the most environmentally-challenged region of the state. According to the CalEPA press release accompanying the report, […]