Politics

157 Days. . . And Still, Congress Has Not Acted

zika

The President requested emergency funding to fight Zika on Feb. 22. Now the virus is starting to spread.

This just in from the Washington Post: “Florida officials on Friday announced the first local spread of Zika virus through infected mosquitoes in the continental United States. “Gov. Rick Scott made the announcement during a press conference Friday after a health department investigation into four suspected cases in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.” On Wednesday, the FDA […]

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A Clash of Visions

Trump_&_Clinton

The two parties couldn't disagree more about energy policy.

In every election, there are people who claim that both parties are alike. That’s certainly not true about energy policy this year.The distance between the tickets can be expressed numerically: Kaine has a 91% lifetime score of from the League of Conservation Voters, while Pence’s is 4%. And the differences between the presidential candidates are equally […]

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Remember the Unitary Executive Theory? The GOP Platform Didn’t.

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The platform casually blew off a key conservative belief.

The Republican platform contains a fascinating sleeper provision. It proposes to “transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.” What makes this proposal so interesting is that it violates what used to be a core tenet of conservative belief: the unitary executive doctrine. Under the unitary executive doctrine, independent agencies […]

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Tim Kaine and the Environment

Tim Kaine

Despite some blemishes, he deserves strong support from environmentalists.

I reported last week on Mike Pence’s environmental record. This week, Tim Kaine is the one in the spotlight. Only a few minutes ago, Clinton announced that he was her choice – pretty much what the press had predicted for the last day or two. Environmentalists have a lot of reason to be happy about […]

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Republicans & Climate Change — It’s Not About the Facts

climate denial photo

Giving Republicans more facts just makes them more hostile.

There’s been a lot of work on how to more effectively communicate about climate change with skeptical audiences.  A new study indicates that such efforts may actually backfire: simply hearing about the evidence, regardless of how the issue is framed, makes Republicans even more opposed.  The researcher suggests instead that we focus on persuading Independents and […]

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Pence’s Environmental Record

Trump-Pence

Pence is strongly anti-environmental -- but there's one notable recent deviation.

In some ways, Mike Pence is just what you’d expect of the GOP vice-presidential candidate.  He’s said that the climate change is a myth, opposed the Clean Power Plan,defended fossil fuels, and allowed a bill to end Indiana’s energy efficiency program to become law. In Congress, he voted to allow destruction of critical habitat for endangered species, expand […]

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Brexit Claims Its First Victim: The Environment

Brexit

The new British government is turning sharply against environmental protection.

The Brexit vote elevated Theresa May to the Prime Minister’s office.  One of her first steps has been an attack on environmental protection. In what the Guardian called the “most radical shakeup in the shape of Whitehall for years.” She abolished the Department for Energy and Climate Change and moved its functions into the Department for Business, Energy […]

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Barry Goldwater, Environmentalist

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Goldwater was passionate about saving the planet.

Barry Goldwater’s views on the environment didn’t have much in common with those of the present-day conservatives who are his ideological descendants.  His 1970 book, The Conscience of a Majority, has half a chapter about the environment.  “Our job,” he said, “is to prevent that lush orb known as the Earth . . . from […]

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The Clean Power Plan — Low Cost, High Benefits

coal pollution image

Despite claims by industry and conservatives, the CPP's costs are completely manageable.

The Supreme Court’s stay of EPA’s Clean Power Plan was a surprise, and a questionable action on many grounds.  It now seems clear that the stay — along with much of the political fuss about the CPP — was based on very questionable economics. In terms of the stay, a team of economists at Resources […]

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Ronald Reagan – Environmentalist Governor

Ronald Reagan, courtesy National Archives

Reagan's record in California included major environmental achievements.

It may surprise you to learn this — it certainly surprised me. But Ronald Reagan has been called “the most environmental governor in California history — protecting wild rivers from dams, preserving a Sierra wilderness by blocking highway builders, creating an air resources board that led to the nation’s first auto smog controls.” This may […]

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