Regulatory Policy

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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California’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandate In Need Of Reform

Long-term climate goals depend on addressing the current “glut” of compliance credits

California leads the nation in plug-in electric vehicle sales, with about 40% of the nationwide total happening in the Golden State. While some of that progress is related to the sheer market size here, much of it is due to state policies. And the biggest of those policies is the “zero emission vehicle” (or “ZEV”) […]

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A Stark Contrast: Clinton v. Trump on Climate Policy

Clinton wants to cut carbon emissions, Trump wants to raise them.

Forty percent of millennials don’t see a difference between Clinton and Trump on environment, energy, or climate policy.  That’s just wrong — so wrong that it’s hard to believe anyone is that misinformed.  The candidates are as different as day and night on those issues.  As Paul Krugman said on Friday, “there is a huge, […]

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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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Reproductive Rights Meet . . . Waste Disposal Law?

Texas aims to limit abortion via environmental regulation

All know that by a 5-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down as “undue burdens” on the exercise of reproductive rights the State of Texas’s 2013 restrictions on abortion facilities.  Those rules required facilities to meet illogical physical premises requirements and to have physicians with local hospital admitting privileges – privileges the […]

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Reviewing the REVIEW Act


This bill is in the running for the all-time “lame legislation” prize.

You can tell right away that this bill — passed by the House only yesterday — is a really clunker.  The title is Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists Act of 2016.  Really, that’s the best they could come up with?  But it only gets worse. The bill provides that no “high-impact rule” can go […]

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Why Doesn’t the GOP Offer Alternative Solutions to Environmental Problems?

Republicans hate conventional regulations. But they’ve given up on offering alternatives. Here’s why.

There’s one thing we all know: the Republican Party hates regulation.  Republicans want to roll back some  key regulations and make it a lot harder to pass new ones.  But there’s a curious silence about alternatives to regulation.  For decades, conservative Republicans have denounced “command and control” regulations by EPA and other agencies.  So why don’t they […]

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California Enacts Legislation Targeting Short-Lived Climate Pollutants


The statute codifies the goals set by the Governor and ARB

On Monday, Governor Brown signed SB 1383 into law, establishing statewide targets for reducing what are known as “short-lived climate pollutants,” which I have discussed in previous posts. The law requires a 40% reduction in both methane and hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs) below 2013 levels, and a 50% reduction in black carbon from 2013 level. Legislators […]

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The Clean Water Act, Federalism, Big Money and the California Supreme Court


Ill-considered Supreme Court Decision Threatens California’s Administration of Clean Water Act Permit Program

The California Supreme Court recently issued a little-noticed decision on a seemingly arcane state public finance issue that could well wind up having a dramatic, negative effect on California’s continued ability to administer the federal Clean Water Act’s permit program in the Golden State. The case is Department of Finance v. Commission on State Mandates.  In […]

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The Battle for the Senate: Eight Key States

Senate seats up for reelection

The outcome of these races will have a major impact on environmental policy.

As important as the presidential election is, the presidency isn’t the only important federal office at stake. This year, an unusual number of Senate races could go either way, and control of the Senate hangs in the balance. The Democrats need to pick up 4 seats  (if Kaine is VP) or 5 (if Pence is VP). Over […]

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