Regulatory Policy

Let’s Make A Deal

What Should Environmentalists Give Up – and Demand – For A Carbon Tax?

A nice editorial from the Los Angeles Times about the proposed carbon tax being offered by some Republicans under the front group Americans for Carbon Dividends, most notably former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz. Exxon-Mobil is even throwing $1 million into the effort — chump change for such a corporate behemoth. The Times […]

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The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act Turns 50

Celebrating a Half Century of Protecting America’s Rivers–& Hoping for More River Conservation Ahead

1968 was an especially tumultuous year in modern American history.  The nation endured the assassinations of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy; then-President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek reelection due to growing public dissatisfaction with the government’s conduct of the Vietnam War; and protests and riots consumed Chicago, Detroit, Washington, […]

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“National Security” Coal-Bailout Collapses

Trump demanded the use of national security powers to subsidize the coal industry. Looks like that’s not happening.

In its desperate effort to save the failing American coal industry, the Trump Administration promised to use emergency powers to keep coal-fired power plants in operation even though they’re not economically viable. That would have been the kind of disruptive change that Trump promised to bring to Washington. But the effort seems to have gone […]

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California Raises Its Ambition for a Low-Carbon Fuel Future

First in a Series About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program

[Post co-authored by Sean Hecht and Ted Parson] California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) has just enacted new regulations that strengthen the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS is a major component of California’s greenhouse-gas control strategy, but receives surprisingly little attention, compared to other policies like the statewide cap-and-trade system and the renewable […]

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The Endangered Species Act in the Supreme Court: Oral Argument Today in Weyerhaeuser v. US Fish & Wildlife Service

Post-Argument Panel at Georgetown Law Will Feature Advocates

Oral argument in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S, Fish & Wildlife Service is this morning, the first day (and first argument) of the new Supreme Court term. The Court will be short-handed, with only eight Justices hearing the case.  I’ll be attending the argument and speaking on a post-argument panel at Georgetown Law School, along with other advocates […]

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The Case for Co-Benefits

Ignoring co-benefits violates well-established legal principles.

The Trump Administration is moving toward the view, long popular in industry, that when it regulates a pollutant, EPA can consider only the health impacts of that particular pollutant – even when the regulation will also reduce other harmful pollutants. This idea is especially important in climate change regulation, because cutting carbon emissions almost always […]

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California’s New Energy Law (SB 100) Is a Piece in a Larger Puzzle

Rooftop solar,storage and energy efficiency still play critical roles

California’s new landmark energy law should be a matter of pride for the whole state. It calls for electricity providers to rely on renewable sources for at least 60% of their delivered power by 2030 and on zero greenhouse gas-emitted sources for the remaining 40% by 2045. People refer to this as the 100% clean […]

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Governor Brown Signs 100% Carbon-Free Grid By 2045 Legislation + Executive Order Making California Carbon Neutral By 2045

Landmark legislation and executive order to be discussed with State Sen. Kevin de León tonight on City Visions, KALW 91.7 FM at 7pm

As was expected, Governor Brown today signed SB 100 (de León) to put California on a path to achieve a carbon-free electricity grid by 2045. But in a surprise move ahead of this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, he also issued an executive order directing state agencies to achieve statewide carbon neutrality […]

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California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

Court Rejects Claim That SGMA “Displaces” Public Trust’s Application to California Groundwater

The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District has issued an important decision declaring that California’s powerful public trust doctrine applies to at least some of the state’s overtaxed groundwater resources.  The court’s opinion also rejects the argument that California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) displaces the public trust doctrine’s applicability to groundwater […]

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When Republicans Fought for a Clean Environment

Environmentalism Used to Be a Bipartisan Issue

It is not unreasonable and overly rigid environmental regulations and restrictions that stand in the way of the expanded use of the nation’s coal reserves. It is the reluctance, and at times the refusal, to recognize the very serious health hazards and environmental, social and cultural impacts associated with a rapid rise in coal use. […]

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