This week, the longstanding battle over the dam and reservoir that have for a century flooded Yosemite National Park’s storied Hetch Hetchy Valley moves to the courts. A new lawsuit, filed by conservationists on the 177th anniversary of John Muir’s birth, asserts that the City of San Francisco’s continued operation of O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir […]
How to limit climate change without giving the Feds enforcement powers or revenue.
What I’m going to sketch here isn’t a zero government approach. But the government’s role is very limited: federal agencies don’t do any enforcement and the government doesn’t touch any revenue from the scheme. So this approach deals with the concern that a carbon tax or something similar would either expand EPA’s ability to abuse […]
Responding to claims that EPA must withdraw its proposed rules to control power-plant GHGs under CAA § 111
Challenges to EPA’s emergent program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act section 111 continue to mount. Recently, the Attorneys General of 19 states sent a joint letter to EPA arguing that because EPA failed to finalize its proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for GHG emissions within one year—as the Clean […]
New York electricity regulators are working hard on "Reforming the Energy Vision"
It seems to be an undeniable part of human nature. When we consider making changes – whether it has to do with the place where we live, the business we are in, or the partner we choose – we tend to compare the flaws of the thing we know to the ideal version of the […]
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is no doubt generating significant conflict, including claims of undue industry influence, competing bills from prominent members of the same party, consternation among states, and divisions among health and environmental groups. And it may also be the closest we have gotten to TSCA reform—ever. […]
Justices' Latest Grant of Review Continues Supreme Court's Focus on Environmental Law
To paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan, there they go again. The California Supreme Court on Wednesday granted review in an important case at the intersection of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and one of the state’s most important climate change laws. The case, Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, is the […]
Reform of the federal chemicals statute, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is in the news again. It got me wondering, are we are better off with the devil we know? In a legislative era characterized by harsh partisanship and excruciating deadlocks, there are signs that TSCA reform could be a rare example of cooperation […]
There are troubling indications that Keith Hall lets ideology blind him to basic economics.
Last week, in a post about the employment effect of regulations, I mentioned briefly that the new Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Keith Hall, had endorsed some questionable views on the subject. A reader pointed me toward an additional writing that has done a lot to escalate my concerns. There are disturbing signs about both Hall’s ideological bias […]
The consequences of doing so may not be what you'd expect.
The Republican’s choice for head of the CBO, Keith Hall, spent some time at a libertarian think tank reportedly funded by the Koch brothers, where he wrote about the effect of regulation on employment. Hall argued that regulations cause unemployment (include indirect effects because of price changes), and that the costs of unemployment should be included […]
Out-of-State Bag Manufacturers Succeed in Qualifying Referendum Measure for 2016 Ballot
California’s recently-legislated ban on disposable plastic bans–the first in the nation–will not take effect on July 1, 2015 as the new law mandates. That’s because industry opponents of the legislation have qualified for the November 2016 election a referendum measure that seeks to repeal the new law. Last fall I wrote on this site about […]