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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Building Climate Coalitions

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A New Paper in Science Illuminates the Political Dynamics

Economists are used to evaluating policy instruments based on their economic effects.  No surprise there.  But a recent paper in Science argues that the political effects may be just as important.  Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that three of the four authors are political scientists; the fourth is Eric Biber, a frequent contributor to this […]

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“Big Oil” Defeats California’s Petroleum Reduction Legislation, But It May Not Matter

Western States Petroleum Association will likely face tough regulations and market conditions anyway

It was a rare defeat yesterday in the legislature for California’s environmental community. After major victories in 2006 with AB 32 (to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020), in 2008 with SB 375 (to reform transportation and land use planning), and in 2010 with a voter rejection of the oil industry’s attempt […]

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The Top Ten Reasons Trump Should Endorse a Carbon Tax


A bold move, if Trump is brave enough to go there.

Not that he’s asked for my advice, but here are ten powerful reasons why Donald Trump should endorse a carbon tax: 10.  It would be completely inconsistent with his past positions. 9.    It would shock the GOP establishment. 8.    It would shock the media. 7.    He’s already endorsed a tax increase for […]

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