Goodbye, Keystone, Goodbye

A Big Pipeline Deserves a Big EIS

After seven years, the project is history.

The President announced this morning that he would not approve the Keystone pipeline project.  This wasn’t a huge surprise at this point of the game.  Still, it’s a good time to take stock of the dispute. The fight was largely — but not entirely — symbolic.  With falling oil prices, the alternative of rail transport […]

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Don’t Blame Canada Anymore

Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna

Climate Policy Triumphs Over South Park in New Trudeau Government

We Americans tend to think of Canadians as nice, friendly, well-intentioned folk, a little more left-of-center than the US — sort of what Blue America would be if it didn’t have to deal with the south. For the last 10 years, though, that has been anything but true: the Conservative government of Stephen Harper brought […]

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Dueling California Drought Relief Bills Debated on Capitol Hill

Dry fields and bare trees at Panoche Road, looking west, on Wednesday February 5, 2014, near San Joaquin, CA.  (California WaterBlog)

Stark Differences Emerge Between Competing House and Senate Bills

What can and should the federal government do to assist the State of California in weathering the worst drought in recorded state history? While the U.S. House of Representatives is embroiled in a chaotic political debate over selection of a new House Speaker, the more deliberate consideration of new legislation continues apace in the Senate. […]

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DuPont Found Liable In First of 3,500 Lawsuits


Chemical Used in Teflon Linked to Numerous Health Problems, but its Use is Still Legal Under TSCA

Yesterday, a jury in the Southern District of Ohio found DuPont liable for a woman’s kidney cancer in the first of 3,500 suits the company faces. The cases all stem from DuPont’s use and disposal of perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA) or C8. The chemical is used to make Teflon, among other things, and the most recent […]

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California Enshrines Renewables And Energy Efficiency 2030 Goals — And Maybe Greenhouse Gas Goals, Too

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Buried provision in the bill codifies long-term climate goals in the context of vehicle electrification

Today Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 350 (De Leon), a landmark bill that pledges California to a 50% renewable goal by 2030, as well as a doubling of energy efficiency in existing buildings by that date. Despite the environmental win, it’s been well-reported by the media and others that California’s environmental leaders got beaten pretty […]

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Evangelicals Versus Property Rights


Guess who invented the idea that property rights evolve with changing social values?

Today, evangelical Christians tend to be aligned with conservatives in defense of private property. But that was not always true. In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, evangelicals launched a major attack on property rights. As historian John Compton documents in a recent book, they also adopted the idea of the “living Constitution” to justify […]

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Anti-CEQA Lobbyists Turn to Empirical Analysis, But Are Their Conclusions Sound?

Influential Attacks on California's Environmental Impact Law Aren't Supported By the Data

Every August, as the California legislative session comes to a head, lobbyists attempt to gain support for dramatically scaling back California’s landmark environmental law, CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act).  This year was no exception.  Last month, the law firm Holland and Knight, which has been a leading force on this issue, issued a new […]

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Pope Francis Goes to Washington


What he said and didn’t say

Pope Francis arrived in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to begin a much anticipated trip to the United States. While here, the pope will visit DC, New York City, and Philadelphia. Pope Francis, a former chemist, has gained much attention for his calls for action on climate change, in addition to his focus on inequality and […]

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What Does Ben Carson Think About the Environment?


He hasn't said much. Mostly he sounds like Mitch McConnell. But sometimes he sounds like Pope Francis.

Ben Carson is rapidly rising in  the polls for the GOP presidential nomination.  He has a number of strengths including a demeanor that is the opposite of Donald Trump’s and an arresting personal story.  Apparently, for many GOP voters, part of his charm is his lack of experience in politics or government.  He has taken […]

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California’s Effort To Set 2030 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fails


What are the implications for ongoing climate efforts?

In another, even bigger setback for the environmental community in California, SB 32 (Pavley), the bill to set greenhouse gas targets for 2030 and 2050, was pulled yesterday and will be tried again next year. The winners are the oil companies, who face tough regulations and competition from California’s climate efforts. The failure is a […]

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