Politics

Safeguarding Climate Policies

There are several strategies for insulating climate policy from leaders like Trump.

Trump’s election was a surprise. What should not be a surprise is the inevitability of political setbacks for climate policy. We saw that in the U.S. with the shift from Clinton to Bush and then from Obama to Trump. We also saw that in Australia where it meant the repeal of a promising emissions trading […]

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My Two Cents About the Pruitt Resignation/Firing

Good Riddance Even if He Was a Potent Symbol of the Swamp

Dan and Sean have already expressed their views about today’s announcement that Scott Pruitt is out as EPA Administrator. I thought I’d add mine as well.  Scott Pruitt was a  potent symbol of corruption, the ultimate swamp creature who made laughable his boss’s claim that he would come to Washington and drain the swamp. And […]

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Quick Thoughts on Scott Pruitt resignation as EPA Administrator

Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Former Coal Lobbyist, to Serve as Acting Administrator

As Dan Farber just pointed out, President Trump announced minutes ago via Twitter that Scott Pruitt is (finally) stepping down as Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, will serve as Acting Administrator pending confirmation of a new Administrator.  I have a few quick […]

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NEWSFLASH: Pruitt Resigns

Under pressure, Pruitt finally exits EPA.

President Trump tweeted today that he had accepted Scott Pruitt’s resignation and appointed Robert Wheeler as Acting Administrator of EPA.  Wheeler is likely to be just as bad on policy and could well be more competent and effective than Pruitt. But Pruitt was a disgrace to the office, and it is good to see him […]

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Trump’s Dubious Bailout

It’s unlikely that a bailout will have more than a temporary effect. Assuming it holds up in court, that is.

Trump plans to use national security powers to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants.  Rick Perry says the government is trying to figure out the cost of this effort – but he doesn’t seem to care what that cost would be. After all, he says, “You cannot put a dollar figure on the cost to keep […]

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California Supreme Court Rejects Ploy to Limit the Legislature’s Authority to Enact Technology-Forcing Statutes

Court rules for the State in challenge to technology-forcing gun control law

In a case I previewed here, the California Supreme Court has been considering a challenge to a gun control law passed in 2007 that required certain new models of guns use a developing technology called “microstamping” that would enable law enforcement to link a spent cartridge back to the gun that fired it. The gun […]

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Environmental Strategies for the Post-Kennedy Era

How do we make environmental progress despite an increasingly unsympathetic court?

Ann Carlson wrote an excellent post about how Kennedy’s departure might impact some key environmental issues. His retirement means that the Supreme Court will move even further to the right and stay there at least until one of the conservatives departs (maybe Thomas, the oldest). The new pick is likely to be another Gorsuch, which […]

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What Does Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Mean for Environmental Protection?

Short Answer: It’s Not Good

The news that Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring has ramifications for many important areas in constitutional law, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and abortion.  His vote was also pivotal in many environmental cases.  Justice Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced by a more conservative justice. If that justice votes with the conservative wing of the […]

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Here we go again…

Two more proposals to provide CEQA relief to sports stadiums

It’s another legislative season in Sacramento, so yet another opportunity for legislators to hand out regulatory goodies to large corporations and wealthy people, in the form of CEQA “streamlining” for the construction of sports stadiums.  There are two bills currently in the queue: AB 734 which would benefit the Oakland A’s and AB 987 which […]

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Memo to Staff: Eliminating Cl***** Ch****

Also, please delete all references to global w***ing.

MEMORANDUM To: All Department Staff From: The Secretary Re: Eliminating Cl***** Ch****   As you know, it is this Administration’s policy to eliminate all references to Cl***** Ch**** from government documents. This policy has been unevenly implemented, but I have informed the President that we are adopting a zero-tolerance approach. All use of the “double-c […]

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