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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]