Politics

Celebrating Four Decades of Energy Innovation: The California Energy Commission at 40

How California & the Commission Launched Their Acclaimed Energy Policy--& the Challenges That Lie Ahead

This month marks the 40th anniversary of California’s landmark Warren-Alquist Act, which created the state Energy Commission and triggered a transformation of energy policy in California, across the U.S., and abroad. This week an impressive group of energy policymakers, political leaders, energy scholars and Energy Commission alumni gathered at events in Sacramento and at the U.C. Davis […]

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Public Opinion and Energy Politics

support for alternative energy graph

Pew published some intriguing polling results on energy issues just before Christmas. Americans have clearly noticed falling prices at the gas pump, but only half realize that U.S. oil and gas production has soared.  So far, the changes haven’t affected policy views: a large majority favors expanding use of alternative energy, but solid majorities continue […]

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California Finally Breaks Ground On High Speed Rail Today

cahsr2

Six years and many lawsuits and political compromises after voters approved it

It’s been over six years since California voters approved a bond measure to fund a two-hour-and-forty-minute Los Angeles to San Francisco high speed rail system. Today groundbreaking finally takes place in Fresno. In the intervening six years, lawsuits and political compromises have delayed the system and likely made the timetables promised to voters impossible to […]

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Governor Brown Calls For California To Achieve 50% Renewables By 2030

AP Photo by Rich Pedroncelli

Inaugural address has specifics for climate and energy policies

Jerry Brown was inaugurated today for his record fourth term as governor of California, and his address offered refreshing specifics on his environmental and climate goals: In fact, we are well on our way to meeting our AB 32 goal of reducing carbon pollution and limiting the emissions of heat-trapping gases to 431 million tons […]

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Looking Back at COP20: How Should We Feel?

COP20 welcome reception, Lima, Peru.

The Lima Accord lets countries name their own price to address climate change. But that doesn't mean it failed.

As you’ve probably heard by now, this year’s UN climate change conference has produced an agreement, the “Lima Accord.” The Accord invites each of the nearly 200 negotiating countries to develop an “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) to reduce its GHG emissions. INDCs represent some step forward from each country–in the words of the Accord, “a progression […]

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Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Job-Killing Regulations

Sherlock Holmes

“When the prospective client arrives, Watson, you’ll find that he’s a politician, that his electoral base is devoted to Fox News, and that he gets campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies.” “Zounds, man, how could you possibly know that?” “A calculated risk,” Holmes said.  “His joke about climate change told me his political views, his […]

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The Disturbing Legal Influence of the Fossil Fuel Industry

scales of justice

Coal and oil have found legal spokesmen in state houses and law schools.

The NY Times has a disturbing story this morning about the secret alliance between some state attorney generals and the fossil fuel industry.  Perhaps the most shocking is an example in which the Attorney General of Oklahoma had a draft by a coal company retyped on letterhead and submitted as his own opinion.  The industry […]

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The California REDD+ Experience

Aerial_view_of_the_Amazon_Rainforest

The ongoing political history of California's initiative to include jurisdictional REDD+ offsets within the cap-and-trade system

Announcing the publication of The California REDD+ Experience, a report written by UCLA’s Emmett Institute faculty and published by the Center for Global Development. Six years ago in Los Angeles, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a memorandum of understanding with Governors from Brazil and Indonesia (and also Wisconsin and Illinois), to “coordinate efforts and promote collaboration” on […]

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Reaching Across the Aisle?

Washington D.C.

The safest prediction is that our Democratic President and Republican Congress will not in fact be able to work together.  Their present gestures toward cooperation may mean nothing more than a willingness to accept the other side’s surrender.  But hope springs eternal.  Are there areas where common ground exists?  That seems nearly impossible on some […]

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Some Unsolicited Advice for Tom Steyer

There were a number of efforts by wealthy individuals and/or Super PACs to affect the midterm election results. Most relevant to this blog, Tom Steyer used tens of millions of his own funds to support candidates that he felt would be more supportive of efforts to address climate change. After the election, the media portrayed […]

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