Politics

A Little Quieter, Please

Not King of the World

Hollywood Stars Might Not Be the Best Public Critics of the Fossil Fuel Industry

Canada’s new Liberal government can hardly be accused of being soft on climate change: at the recent Paris Summit it endorsed a target of holding global warming to 1.5 Degrees Celsius over historic levels. So when you hear this from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, listen: Most recently in Davos on Wednesday, [Leonardo] DiCaprio used a […]

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Questioning the Questioners

Repub Debate

Examining the role of moderators in Presidential debates

On Sunday night, the three remaining candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination took the stage in South Carolina for the third Democratic primary debate. I was pleased that one of the video questions of the night asked the candidates for their plan to address climate change. Although the Democratic candidates have discussed climate change policies […]

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The Perverse Growth of the “Job Killing” Meme

unemployment rate

As unemployment goes down and down, talk about "job killing regulations" goes up and up.

We’ve had a number of posts about the claim that regulations cause major job losses.  The evidence doesn’t support this claim.  (See this post from October). But the claim at least seemed understandable in the depths of the recession, when people were desperately worried about unemployment.  The weird thing is that as unemployment has gone […]

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2016: The Year of Living Dangerously

living dangerously

2015 was a year of forward movement. Much of that could be in jeopardy this year.

We are at the start of a year of danger for environmental policy.  2015 saw many accomplishments in environmental law: the Administration issued the “waters of the United States” and Clean Power Plan regulations,  a Supreme Court ruling in favor of EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, and the Paris Agreement on climate change.  Much of this progress is […]

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Climate Politics as a War of Attrition

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Don't expect a quick end to battles over climate policy. It could be a long war.

It may be a mistake to assume that opponents of climate policy will see the handwriting on the wall and gracefully give way to the inevitable. In politics, decisions are rarely made for all time, and agreements between opposing sides may not be enforceable. In such situations, game theorists have proposed war-of-attrition models for conflicts. In […]

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Traitors, Militias, Welfare Moochers, or Lobbyists?

Cliven Bundy Cartoon

Those Who Took Over the Oregon Wildlife Refuge are Robbing the Rest of Us

The Internets are filled with excellent (and some not-so-excellent) commentary on the right-wing militia takeover of a building in Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge: I recommend this piece from the great Charles Pierce on the meta-political aspects. But the standoff is suffused with legal issues, and for Legal Planet readers, particularly environmental legal issues. At FiveThirtyEight, […]

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Key Environmental Developments Ahead in 2016

2016-Calendar-White

Here are seven of the most important developments affecting the environment.

2015 was a big year for agency regulations and international negotiations. In 2016, the main focal points will be the political process and the courts. Here are seven major things to watch for. The Presidential Election. The election will have huge consequences for the environment. A Republican President is almost sure to try to roll back most […]

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A Minor Christmas Miracle from Congress

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Somehow, Congress managed to pass a pro-environmental law. Amazing!

Just before Christmas, the NY Times reported that Congress passed the Microbead Free Waters Act of 2015. The law bans nearly invisible small beads that have been added as abrasives to products like toothpaste.  The trouble is that the beads get into waterways, where pollutants like PCBs adhere to their surfaces.  Even more amazingly, the bill […]

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Newsflash: Senate Passes TSCA Reform

Photo credit: Jeffrey Dunn for Boston Lyric Opera © 2010

A New Chapter In the Effort To Reform Federal Chemical Regulation For the First Time in 40 Years

In a striking turn of events, last night the Senate passed a newly revised version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time in four decades. A summary of the bill’s provisions and analysis of the differences between […]

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How do we move past the yuck factor in potable water reuse?

Source: green-mom.com

This post draws on two recently published articles (here and here) by an international group of collaborators: Christian Binz, Sasha Harris-Lovett, Bernhard Truffer, David Sedlak, and myself, courtesy of the ReNUWIt program.   Potable water reuse is increasingly seen as a potential way to help ease urban water supply challenges. Potable reuse is as it sounds […]

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