Politics

Closely Confined Chickens, Interstate Conflict & the Dormant Commerce Clause

Is Proposition 2, California's Pioneering Animal Welfare Law, Unconstitutional?

Last week witnessed a most interesting constitutional showdown between sovereign states in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.  At issue is animal welfare legislation California has enacted both at the ballot box and through its elected representatives.  The enemy combatants are a coalition of midwestern states led by Missouri, aligned against the State of California, with […]

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Mining for Votes In Coal States: Paul Ryan On Climate Change

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Whatever you think of his budget proposals, his climate views are irresponsible.

For years, Paul Krugman has been decrying Paul Ryan’s reputation as a reputable analyst of budget issues.  That’s not my area of expertise, and I’m agnostic on that issue.  But Ryan’s views about climate change don’t bespeak serious thought about the issues. The Christian Science Monitor reports that last Ryan spoke about climate change in […]

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Guest Blogger John Nagle: The Clean Air Act Applies to Greenhouse Gases Because of What Congress Said, Not Because of What Congress Intended

A Reply to Megan Herzog

In my recent CNN op-ed and in her previous post, Megan Herzog and I agree that the Supreme Court has properly interpreted the Clean Air Act (CAA) to apply to the emission of greenhouse gases. We just disagree about the correct manner in which to reach that conclusion. Judges and scholars generally favor an originalist […]

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Boehner’s Blunderbuss

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The Speaker's authority to sue federal officials is remarkably broad.

The House passed a resolution Wednesday authorizing Speaker Boehner to file suit on its behalf.  A resulting suit is unlikely to succeed for a host of reasons, including the dubious legal standing of the House to bring such a case.  But if it does succeed, this kind of  mechanism could have real benefits at some future time […]

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Is California Finally Ready to Get Serious About Groundwater Reform?

Prospects Good for Passage of Landmark Groundwater Legislation

California, which prides itself as being a national and international leader in so many areas of environmental policy, lags woefully behind other jurisdictions when it comes to at least one subject area: groundwater regulation.  Alone among the Western states in the U.S., California lacks any statewide system of groundwater regulation and planning.  (Until a few […]

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Rand Paul and the Environment (Take 2)

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Guess what: he's no friend of the environment.

Yesterday I posted a confused discussion of Paul’s environmental views. (Probably due to brain lock from spending  too many hours puzzling over the numerical examples in EME Homer!) I wanted to replace it with a clearer description of his views, so I pulled it from the website.  Let’s try this again. This first thing to know about Senator Paul is […]

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How the Public Views Climate Action

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The public continues to support a federal action to address climate change.

A poll released last month probed American attitudes toward climate change.  The poll was released after the Obama Administration issued its proposed rules for existing power plants to loud cries of protest from industry.  The poll was conducted by Stanford University and Resources for the Future, a highly regarded think tank.  At the time, the […]

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North Dallas Forty

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A North Dallas Representative sponsored the House bill to save inefficient light bulbs -- but he also advocates energy efficiency.

Yet again, House Republicans have passed a ban on enforcing efficiency regulations for light bulbs, taking a brave stance in favor of energy wastage. The amendment bans DOE from spending any money to enforce the restrictions.  They’ve done this repeatedly, for reasons that seem to have more to do with talk radio than with any actual […]

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Solar power in North Carolina

How the solar industry became successful in North Carolina

When it comes to politics, North Carolina is not California.  California is regularly and consistently Democratic at the state and national level.  North Carolina is a swing state in presidential elections, has a Republican majority in its delegation to the House of Representatives, and has a state government currently dominated by Republicans. And when it […]

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Today’s Supreme Court Ruling: Three Key Questions

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Direct implications are limited, but we'll be reading the tea leaves for future implications.

Scholars, lawyers, and judges will be spending a lot of time dissecting today’s ruling.   Overall, it’s a bit like yesterday’s World Cup game — EPA didn’t win outright but it didn’t lose either. Here are three key questions with some initial thoughts: What is the direct legal impact of the ruling?  This was really […]

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