General

About that carbon tax idea….

Eric Biber posted last week about the proposal from several heavyweight Republicans for a carbon tax, outlined in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Much has been said about the merits and problems of a carbon tax, including on this blog, so I will try not to repeat those points here. However, I wanted to expand […]

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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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Making America Great Again for Dirty Energy

Smokestack

Connecting the Dots on Congressional Action, Trump Appointments

It is hard to imagine a better start to a Presidential Administration for the fossil fuel industry than this one.  Three of Trump’s appointees to cabinet positions — Scott Pruitt as Administrator of  the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy and Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State — are deeply intertwined with […]

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If At First You’re Blocked by Congress, Try, Try Again.

mr-burns-deregulation

How much does the Congressional Review Act preclude follow-up regulation?

Most people probably never heard of the Congressional Review Act before now.  This law — “CRA” to Beltway folks — is an obscure statute — previously used only once — that allows Congress to strike down an agency rule with an expedited procedure (no filibuster). The GOP is gleefully taking advantage of its control of the […]

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How States Can Defend Themselves Against Trump

united-states-of-america-bright-color-state-map

States have a number of tools for protecting their own environments from the Feds.

Suppose the Trump Administration launches environmentally harmful projects in a state or wants to allow more pollution there than the state wants.  Does the state have any possible recourse? The answer is yes, although states’s defenses have their limitations.  There are a number of mechanisms states can use to defend their own environments, if not the […]

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Getting involved on public lands issues

Some resources and advice on how to engage Congress

I’ve gotten some requests about how our readers can be involved in the public lands issues that we are tracking. If you are interested in engaging with your Congressional representatives around any of the public lands bills that we are tracking, whether to support or oppose them, here is some advice and resources. First, it […]

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Trump’s Anti-Regulation Executive Order

Donald Trump

Trump hates environmental, health, and safety regs. But we knew that.

This morning, Trump issued an executive order intended to kill all new regulations by creating impossible obstacles. It requires that an agency repeal two old rules and offset the entire cost of the new rule before it can do anything to protect public health, safety, or the environment.  It’s a terrible idea.  But at the […]

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California Appellate Court Hears Arguments in Cap-and-Trade Program Challenge

California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District Courthouse, Sacramento, CA.

Court of Appeal Justices Appear Inclined to Reject Industry’s Constitutional Attack on State’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System

On Tuesday, the California Court of Appeal in Sacramento heard oral arguments in the most formidable legal challenge to the State of California’s ambitious, multifaceted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That challenge takes the form of two cases, consolidated on appeal: California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board and Morning Star Packing v. California Air […]

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Earth Day, 2017 Should Be The Next Massive Rally

earthphoto

The 47th Earth Day falls this year on April 22, a Saturday.  The fortuity of a weekend date makes Earth Day the perfect opportunity to marshall the energy of the wildly successful Women’s marches around the world to demand that Congress and the Trump Administration protect our planet (hat tip to Emmett Fellow Julia Forgie […]

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President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee & Murr-murs of Behind-the-Scenes Supreme Court Intrigue

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Will Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Prompt Long-Awaited Decision in Key Property Rights Case?

In his wide-ranging, long-awaited and (to put it mildly) colorful press conference last week, President Trump promised to announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court within two weeks of taking the oath of office.  On this pledge, at least, I believe him.  Indeed, I’ll be surprised if he waits that long. Senate Republicans refused to […]

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