Politics

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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Scott Pruitt, Senator Harris and the California Question

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California leadership in peril?

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, elided many questions yesterday and made some somewhat surprising commitments to appease Senate Democrats in response to others (acknowledging that humans are at least partially responsible for climate change; saying he’ll use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases).  But his response to […]

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Willful Ignorance

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As with climate science, Trump is in denial about public health issues.

Anti-vaxxers are a lot like the climate denial crowd, but with two differences. First, there hasn’t been any corporate money fomenting skepticism about vaccines, unlike climate denial. Second, anti-vaxxers are sprinkled across the ideological spectrum. Still, the similarities between these two forms of anti-scientism are greater. One big similarity: both anti-science views have the support […]

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The Owls in the Vineyard

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It’s smart to take precautions against climate change. More can be done, even in the Trump era.

At night, you can hear the hooting of owls in the vineyard.   The owners have deployed owls and falcons to control the pests that threaten the Kendall Jackson vineyards due to milder winters.  But birds of prey aren’t the only things flying above the vineyard.  There are also drones, which are used to observe small differences […]

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Bears Ears: A Monumental End to the Obama Era

The Bears Ears formation in Southeastern Utah (USGS photo)

Will the Antiquities Act survive the new administration?

With one week left in his second term, President Obama’s “monumental” legacy is again at the forefront. Just yesterday, the President expanded, by proclamation, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and the California Coastal National Monument, and created three additional national monuments: the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and the Freedom Riders National Monument in […]

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Rex Tillerson Disappoints

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The nominee gave vague, canned answers on climate change

Today’s confirmation hearing of Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, has concluded. During the day, there were two impassioned exchanges about climate change, during which Tillerson revealed how naive environmentalists were that he might be able to sway Trump on the issue. First, Senator Tim Kaine (our almost-VP) excoriated Tillerson on ExxonMobil’s record […]

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A Win-Win Energy Law in Illinois

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Illinois’s Future Energy Jobs bill shows that cooperation across party lines is possible.

It went pretty much unheralded by the national media, but in December Illinois adopted a major new energy lawl — and with strong bipartisan support.  Each side had some things to celebrate. The Republican Governor touted the impact of the bill on utility bills.  According to the Governor, the “contains a guaranteed cap that energy […]

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Guest Blogger David Spence: Another Take on the Tillerson Nomination

Hearings on the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State are scheduled to begin on January 11th.  The nomination puts Tillerson and his company at the vortex of a whirlwind of public grievances about ExxonMobil’s positions on climate science and Russian influence over American politics and policy.  While […]

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Explaining Oil’s Political Clout

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There’s an obvious explanation. But it’s false.

Let me start with two obvious points – only one of which is true. The first is that the oil industry has huge political influence. The second is that its clout reflects the industry’s economic heft. The first point is definitely true. As Political Wire recently observed: “Nearly every to top level appointment in Trump’s cabinet […]

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2016: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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“But except for that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” It’s an old joke, for all I know going back to 1865. That was 2016,too, in a way. Like Mrs. Lincoln’s evening at Ford’s Theater, 2016 contained a lot of good things, some bad things, and then disaster. Here’s a list of each. The […]

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