A year and a half ago, I found myself in a position that has caused so many people to rethink the world around them: impending parenthood. One of the many changes I decided to make in advance of welcoming our little bundle of joy was to procure a couch without flame retardants. Flame retardants have […]
The Performance and Prospects of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
Transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in California, responsible for about 37 percent of the state’s total emissions. This distinction makes the sector a prime target for regulation. But with tens of millions of emitting tailpipes, fuels sourced from out of state and around the world, decades-long vehicle lifespans, and many other […]
John Nash's contribution to game theory illuminates environmental issues.
John Nash and his wife died yesterday in a cab crash while returning from a trip to Norway to receive a major mathematical prize. He is best known to the public because of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which described his struggle with mental illness. His concept of the Nash Equilibrium is basic to a […]
Comparing the Mono Lake Committee with the Abalone Alliance
For several months now, I have been looking for a good comparison case to the Mono Lake Committee, whose work is one of the great success stories of the modern environmental movement. Why did the Mono Lake Committee succeed when other organizations failed? Lots of organizations had good causes and dedicated leaders: what made Mono […]
Implementing CA’s Innovative Sea Level Rise Planning Database
Higher sea levels are already affecting California’s 3400 miles of coastline, millions of coastal residents, economy, buildings, and critical infrastructure. Yet, oddly enough for a state that is a worldwide leader in climate change mitigation, California has only recently begun to focus seriously on sea level rise adaptation. Recent reports have cited a lack of preparedness […]
The empirical evidence suggests that job loss from regulation is small.
It seems to be easy to make arguments one way or another about the effect of regulation on jobs. What does the evidence say? Those seeking an answer would do well to look at a recent book on the subject by Coglianese, Finkel, and Carrigan. Although the book is broader in scope, it provides a careful […]
UCLA's Don Shoup Has Transformed Urban Planning
Every scholar wants to do good, productive, important work, but I suppose all us secretly would like to redefine our fields — to go down in academic history, so to speak. Virtually none of us do. But UCLA’s Don Shoup, who is retiring this year from the Urban Planning department, is one who has. And […]
New Lawsuit Claims Dam and Reservoir in Yosemite National Park Violate California Constitution
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 […]