Politics

Enquiring Minds Want to Know (Ryan Zinke edition)

Depending on the Fall elections, Secretary Zinke could face some difficult oversight sessions.

Control of the House matters for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly because of the power to conduct investigations. We can’t be sure of how the election will come out, of course, but if the Democrats do take the House, they may have some questions for Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Here are a […]

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Enquiring Minds Want to Know (Scott Pruitt edition)

If the House flips, Pruitt had better be ready for some tough questioning.

Control of the House matters for a number of reasons. It would allow the Democrats to block any further “reconciliation” bills (budget bills that can’t be filibustered). It would increase their leverage in negotiations. But at least as importantly, it would empower them to conduct investigations. Here’s a list of some of the question they […]

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Actual True Story: Trump Admin. Proposes Bold New Regulation

Yes, it’s hard to believe. But it actually did happen.

On Thursday, the FDA made a stunning announcement about a new regulation for cigarettes.   Given that this is the Trump Administration, you might have thought they were going to require school lunch programs to hand out cigarettes or something. But no. FDA is proposing — or more accurately, is proposing to issue a proposal — […]

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Will Pruitt join Sessions In Expanding the Federal Government’s Attack on California?

California Vehicle Emissions Standards At Stake

It’s no secret that the Trump Administration has it out for California.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions just sued the state for its refusal to aid Immigration and Customs Enforcement in detaining undocumented immigrants.  Donald Trump just claimed that highly popular Governor Jerry Brown is doing a terrible job, despite Brown leading California out of a […]

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The Disagreeable Mr. Pruitt

The list of his six worst traits starts with paranoia and ends with unbounded ambition.

I’m sure that Scott Pruitt has his good side. Probably he loves dogs. But his bad traits are, well, pretty hard to overlook. Here are some of the main characteristics of the man who is now charged by statute with protecting our environment: Paranoia. As Grist says, “in just his first year, he has reportedly […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Political Will to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Post #9 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the ninth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] I said at the outset of these blog posts that political will and the issue of scale are bigger […]

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Red-State Utilities Go Green

Utilities are moving away from coal & toward renewables, even in GOP states.

Even in Republican states, there has been a regulatory movement to expand the use of renewables. (see this report for more.) Perhaps even more surprisingly, some utilities and generating companies that now use a lot of coal are voluntarily turning to renewables. Here are some recent examples: Ohio. In February, AEP explained that “Our customers […]

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Nov. 2018: Senate Races

The odds are that the Republicans will continue to control the Senate in 2018. The electoral map is very unfavorable to the Democrats, with many vulnerable Democrats up for reelection and only two such Republicans. But even if the GOP keeps control, their victory margin matters. It will determine how much maneuvering room that McConnell […]

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The Carbon Tax — More Attractive Than Ever

Due to the latest tax bill, a carbon tax look like a great strategy when the Dems take power again.

Sooner or later,  the Democrats will take control of Congress and the White House, just like the Republicans right now. That’s not a political prediction so much as a recognition that the wheel is bound to turn around at some point.  At that point, they should give very serious consideration to the possibility of a […]

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Trump vs. Obama: Comparing Their First-Year Records

What Trump accomplish in his first year? In terms of energy & environment, less than Obama.

There’s been a lot of sound and fury, and many proposals are in the works. But what have the concrete results been so far? And how does Trump’s effectiveness stack up again Obama’s? I was prompted to ask that question by a note from Jonathan Rosenbloom, an environmental law scholar at Drake University. I had […]

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