Politics

This April Was the Cruelest Month (Or at Least the Hottest)

April 2016

Once again, a global temperature record is broken.

For the seventh month in a row, the average global temperature set a new monthly record going back at least 136 years.  Rutherford Hayes was President back then, the first electric street light was turned on, and Gladstone beat Disraeli.  We’ve had 24 Presidents since then.  In other words, that was a long time ago. As you […]

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The Misleading Argument Against Delegation

epa-logo

Agency rulemaking is limited in ways that are far different from legislative lawmaking.

It’s commonplace to say that agencies engage in lawmaking when they issue rules. Conservatives denounce this as a violation of the constitutional scheme; liberals celebrate it as an instrument of modern government.  Both sides agree that in reality, though not in legal form, Congress has delegated its lawmaking power to agencies.  But this is mistaking […]

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A Floor Price for Gasoline

gasprices

A floor price would encourage energy efficient cars and generate revenue.

The price of gasoline fluctuates like crazy, tracking the price of oil.  In a recent blog post and an earlier paper, my colleagues at the business school have put forward a really innovative proposal: a minimum price for gasoline.  When oil costs go below a certain level, gas prices would stay stuck at that point. […]

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NEWSFLASH: Kochs Cave on Climate

Koch logo

Humans are causing climate change after all. Who knew?

The Kochs believe in climate change, so it seems. Greenwire reports that a Koch spokesman said: “Charles has said the climate is changing. So, the climate is changing . . . I think he’s also said, and we believe, that humans have a part in that. I think what the real question is … what […]

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The Next Justice and the Fate of the Clean Water Act

supreme-court

A comment by Justice Kennedy reminds us of just how much is at stake.

Every once in a while, we get reminded of just how much damage the conservative Justices could wreak on environmental law. Last week, Justice Kennedy created shock waves with a casual comment during oral argument. In a case that seemed to involved only a technical issue about administrative procedure, he dropped the suggestion that the […]

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“My Climate Plan is Yuge!” Sez Trump

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Campaign takes a strange turn on April 1

Donald Trump apparently opened a new front in his war with Ted Cruz last night with this tweet: “My climate plan is HUGE! Ted’s plan is tiny, tiny, tiny.” Cruz immediately struck back: “Trump’s climate plan is as small as his hands!” Establishment Republicans were appalled that the presidential campaign had reached a new low. […]

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Clinton v. Sanders: Their Climate Plans in a Nutshell

Sanders & Clinton

Sanders wants a carbon tax. No surprise: Clinton is more incremental.

Sanders and Clinton have much richer discussions of issues on their website than their Republican rivals, perhaps reflecting different expectations for candidates in the two parties. Both Sander and Clinton have environmental views that are starkly different from the leading Republican candidates. But their views do differ from each other as well. Clinton has about […]

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

renewables in texas

Some green patches in one of the reddest of the Red States.

The Texas AG’s office seems to do little else besides battle against EPA, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in the vanguard of anti-environmentalism.  Yet even in Texas there are some rays of hope.  While Texas is attacking the Clean Power Plan, the city of Houston is leading a coalition of cities defending it. Other […]

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Labor Mobility and Environmental Regulation

unemployment rate

Net job loss is small, but the effects of regulation might leave some workers stranded.

Regulators should give some thought to issues of labor mobility, which may be smaller than economists have assumed. Recent studies show that people who lost manufacturing jobs due to competition from China often failed to get new jobs in other places or sectors of the economy.  Regulation can also cause some individual to lose their […]

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A Sea Change in Climate Politics

sea level rise

Something strange has happened in Florida: Rising seas have changed GOP views.

There was a surprise question about climate change at the last Republican debate.  What was surprising wasn’t the question itself.  Instead, it was the source of the question: Tomás Regalado, the Republican mayor of Miami. It turns out that this wasn’t a fluke. Regalado and the Republican mayor of Miami Beach have spoken out in an […]

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