Pollution & Health

Of Initiative Wars, Plastic Bags and Poison Pills


Deciphering California’s (Intentionally) Confusing Plastic Bag Propositions

California’s longstanding efforts to eliminate single-use plastic bags from the marketplace and the environment have finally reached California voters. The November 8th general election ballot contains a breathtaking 17 separate propositions–16 proposed initiative measures and one referendum measure.   Propositions 65 and 67 both deal with the same subject–a proposed ban on single-sue plastic bags.  Those dueling measures […]

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Celebrating California’s Climate Change Leadership

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shakes hands with Gov. Jerry Brown as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of AB 32. (Sacramento Bee)

State Government Leaders From Both Parties Celebrate AB 32’s Tenth Anniversary

In stark contrast to a dysfunctional national government and an utterly dispiriting presidential campaign, Sacramento, California was today the site of an inspirational, bipartisan celebration.  Current California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and his predecessor, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, joined past and present state legislative leaders to commemorate the 10th anniversary of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, better known as […]

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Idling Cars, Dirty Air

car idling

The pollution isn’t just indoors. It’s also inside the car or bus.

Being stuck in traffic is even worse than you thought. A new study, reported in yesterday’s NY Times, “pollution levels inside cars at red lights or in traffic jams are up to 40 percent higher than when traffic is moving.” But things could be worse: you could be a kid on an older school bus. […]

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“We’re Not, You Know, People That Don’t Want Those Things”

2016 election

Trump promises clean air, clean water, safety, and a free lunch.

Every now and then, you see a car with one bumper sticker that says “Support Our Troops” and another that says “Abolish the IRS.”  It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the car’s owner that supporting our troops includes paying and equipping them, and that someone is going to have to collect the taxes to […]

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Rio’s Dirty Water

Rio de Janeiro

Everyone seems to be talking about the pollution in Guanabara Bay

With the Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics set for tomorrow night, the world’s attention is turned to Brazil. For someone with a great love for the country, it is disheartening to see the series of articles in the run-up to the Olympics emphasizing the negatives—challenges due to political turmoil, security concerns, the Zika […]

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Do water managers’ perceptions influence innovation?


New survey probes the innovation deficit

Climate change and population growth are rapidly increasing stress on our water systems, challenging their ability to deliver critical services.  To respond to this, we need more than simple course adjustments in how we manage our water – we need entirely new paradigms that will improve resource efficiency and support more sustainable urban water systems. Considerable […]

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Major Settlement Announced in Volkswagen Emissions Fraud Litigation

$14.7 Billion Civil Enforcement Settlement is a Victory for Consumers, Environmental Prosecutors

Federal and state environmental prosecutors today announced a proposed settlement of government civil enforcement litigation they’ve pursued against Volkswagen in response to the automaker’s acknowledged efforts to cheat federal and state auto emission standards and defraud consumers.  The complex settlement, lodged with the assigned U.S. district court judge in San Francisco, requires Volkswagen to pay […]

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Barry Goldwater, Environmentalist


Goldwater was passionate about saving the planet.

Barry Goldwater’s views on the environment didn’t have much in common with those of the present-day conservatives who are his ideological descendants.  His 1970 book, The Conscience of a Majority, has half a chapter about the environment.  “Our job,” he said, “is to prevent that lush orb known as the Earth . . . from […]

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The Irony of a Developing Nation’s Climate Agenda


The challenge of developing and decarbonizing at the same time

Mexico has been busy. Or at least, its energy and environmental ministers have been. Over the last several years, Mexico has held its first auction for renewable energy contracts, opened its energy market to private competitors, and increased its renewable energy capacity by more than thirty times the level in 2008. At the same time, […]

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Statutory Standing After the Spokeo Decision


A non-environmental case opens the door to new arguments about standing.

One of the recurring questions in standing law is the extent to which Congress can change the application of the standing doctrine. A recent Supreme Court opinion in a non-environmental case sheds some light – not a lot, but some – on this recurring question. The Court has made it clear that there is a […]

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