General

The Death of Deference?

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Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert. in several cases to hear the following question: “Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.” The fundamental issue is whether it was unreasonable for EPA to interpret section 112 to preclude consideration […]

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“You’re Just Not My Type (of error)”

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Most people find statistics off-putting — who wants to look at a bunch of numbers?  And Statistics courses, which are required for students in many majors, are usually viewed as a painful box to check.  But when you put aside the numbers and the technicalities, statisticians also have some simple yet powerful concepts.  One of […]

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Using Textualism Against Itself

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Industry has come up with a Scalia-like argument to fight  the proposed climate regulations for existing power plants.  The problem arises because Congress passed two different versions of section 111(d) without realizing it.  The Senate version clearly gives EPA the authority to regulate CO2 under this provision.  But opponents of regulation argue that the House version […]

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Mono Lake at 20: Past, Present and Future

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Symposium in Sacramento, November 17

Please join us as the UC Berkeley School of Law, with stakeholders in the Mono Lake Cases, convenes a symposium in Sacramento on November 17, 2014, to mark the 20th anniversary of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Decision 1631. Panel presentations feature an cast of thought leaders, including: Marty Adams (Los Angeles Department of Water […]

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Happy Birthday, Yosemite–and California’s State Parks System

The Core of Yosemite National Park, & California's First State Park, Were Created 150 Years Ago

2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the creation of what we now know as Yosemite National Park.  It’s also the sesquicentennial anniversary of California’s State Parks System.  The two events are, in fact, inextricably related.  And how they occurred is a noteworthy and truly inspirational story. In 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, […]

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Should Environmental News Coverage Be In The Science Section?

A whiles back I wrote about how the New York Times’ environmental coverage had been in decline. The public editor at the Times has a new article stating that environmental coverage has recently increased substantially. I think that is a great thing. But I want to focus on another element of the public editor’s article. […]

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Lessons From an Epidemic

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Ebola’s natural reservoirs are animals, if only because human hosts die to too quickly. Outbreaks tend to occur in locations where changes in landscapes have brought animals and humans into closer contact.  Thus, there is considerable speculation about whether ecological factors might be related to the current outbreak. (See here).  At this point, at least, we […]

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Solar Plus Storage May Be a Good Deal for Some

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One company says that photovoltaics with battery storage are cost-competitive for some businesses now.

A battery company called Coda Energy says that a combination of solar photovoltaics and onsite storage can be cost-competitive with utility electric service for some larger customers. That is according to an online article on greentechgrid. Solar is still a more expensive option for power production than fuels such as natural gas, and various energy […]

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California Becomes First State to Ban Disposable Plastic Bags

Other Single-Use Shopping Bags Also Restricted Under New Law

California has become the first state in the nation to ban major retail stores from providing single-use carryout plastic bags to their customers.  The new legislation similarly prohibits stores from selling or distributing recycled paper bags unless the store makes such bags available for purchase for no less than 10 cents per bag. The new law, […]

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Human Fingerprints on Australia’s Record Heatwave

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Australia — or at least Australia’s current government — downplays the danger of climate change.   But, as a famous physicist once said, “reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” Last summer in Australia (corresponding to the winter months up here) broke many, many records.  it was the hottest summer on record, […]

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