Rand Paul recently won a big victory in the straw poll held by CPAC,the Conservative Political Action Conference. In the environmental area, his signature measure is the Defense of Environment and Property Act. On its surface, the goal of the law is to cut back on federal jurisdiction over wetlands. The bill would drastically cut back […]
Pollution & Health
An online conversation from several perspectives
Yesterday, I participated in an online conversation at Chinafile.com on the question of “How Responsible Are Americans For China’s Pollution Problem?” I post the lead comment by David Vance Wagner of the International Council on Clean Transportation along with my response. Elizabeth Economy from the Council on Foreign Relations and Isabel Hilton of Chinadialogue.net (among […]
The EPA Could Well Lose This Challenge to Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the most important environmental law case of the current Term: Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. Based on those arguments–and, more importantly, the justices’ questions and comments–it appears that EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s […]
Big Stakes and Big Players in This Year's Biggest Environmental Case
On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the biggest environmental law case of its current Term, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. Legal Planet colleagues Ann Carlson and Dan Farber have already posted their thoughts on the case. Let me add mine. Utility Air Regulatory Group involves EPA’s authority to regulate stationary […]
What would the shake-up mean for those who currently lack affordable access to safe drinking water?
A shake-up of California’s struggling Drinking Water Program is in the works. What follows is a little history, context, and a few thoughts on what it will likely mean for drinking-water stakeholders—in particular those who have the hardest time accessing safe drinking water. A history of problems for the Drinking Water Program Last April, Jonathan […]
Cookstoves are a major threat to health in developing countries, while also wreaking environmental damage.
Cooking dinner, as it turns out, is one of the most serious public health and environmental problems in the world. There’s a common misperception that environmental concerns are just a First World luxury. But the cookstove example shows that the global poor, too, are in need of better, more efficient, less polluting energy sources. Here […]
Opponents of environmental regulations love to call them hidden taxes. But constant repetition doesn't make this idea true.
If you’ve seen a statement that regulations are hidden taxes, that’s not too surprising. Googling ”regulation hidden taxes” produces over three million hits. But in fact, pollution regulations and taxes are completely different. The reason is simple. A tax removes value from the private sector. Environmental regulations simultaneously remove value from one part of […]
CA Senate Hearing at UCLA Focuses on Ways to Spend Auction Revenue
Today, UCLA’s Emmett Center and IOES hosted a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation with Senators Pavley, Correa, de Leon, deSaulnier, Lieu, and Assemblymember Bloom attending. The hearing featured testimony on climate science, on AB 32 implementation, and on opportunities to invest revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions in ways that […]
Low Impact Development (LID) or green infrastructure can be used to improve water quality in urban environments through the use of swales, bioretention basins, permeable pavement, and other approaches to managing stormwater. However, there can be challenges to actually putting green infrastructure in place. Max Gomberg and I recently published an Op-Ed in the San […]
New Emmett Center report recommends top ten solutions for marine plastic debris
Ever wonder where the plastic crap that we generate winds up? Much of it ends up in the oceans. An estimated 20 million tons of plastic litter enter the ocean each year, much of it from land debris but also coming from fishing and aquaculture operations, shipping, and other marine sources. The stuff takes a really […]