Trump’s Campaign to Gag Activist Shareholders

His recent executive order tries to “protect” oil companiy management from smart climate planning.

Exxon management was not pleased when shareholders forced them to produce a report on how climate change would impact their business. In May, Exxon is facing another shareholder vote on whether to form a climate change committee on the Board of Directors and whether to  disclose how sea level rise will impact its investments on the […]

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Journalism and Political Polarization

Reporters Might Hold A Key To Improving Environmental Politics

It’s no surprise that American politics has gotten significantly more polarized over the last three decades, so it stands to reason that legislatures have gotten more polarized as well. But in a recent article in the Journal of Political Economy by James Snyder and David Stromberg, brought to my attention by Professor Seth Masket writing […]

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Can Voter Registration Combat NIMBYism?

Homeless Voting Can Change the Urban Political Calculus

NIMBY land use politics stems from a classic political process failure: the people who would benefit from more housing do not yet live in the jurisdiction where it will be built — and for the most part, do not even know that they will be the ones who will live there. Thus, local officeholders have […]

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Happy Tax Day!

It’s the perfect time to talk about a carbon tax.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that taxes are the prices we pay for a civilized society.  A carbon tax, if we ever get one,  might turn out to be the price we pay for a sustainable planet.  I’m not wedded to it as a tool for cutting carbon, and I don’t think it would […]

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Cleveland, City of Light, City of Magic

Newspaper Layoffs Claim The Plain Dealer’s Energy Reporting

On Tuesday, I wrote about the demise of local newspapers nationwide and in particular the collapse of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, arguing that universities need to fill the gap of quality journalism. I also suggested that this is an environmental issue, as it is local newspapers’ coverage of the environment that often drives the conversation. […]

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What Else Should Congress Investigate?

Understandably, a lot of attention is focused on the White House. But other issues cry out for investigation.

Every day, it seems that there is a headline about some investigatiion  involving tcampaign finance violations, the White House, or the actions of some foreign power. Perhaps that’s all the bandwidth that Congress has. But there are other areas calling out for inquiry.  Here are just a few: CAFE Standards.  The car industry asked for […]

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Even Worse Than Duke

San Francisco Takes NIMBYism to a New Level

A few years ago, an episode of South Park saw Cartman attempting to rescue Kyle in San Francisco from a SMUG  alert. It was, as it is so often, ahead of its time: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a 63-unit apartment complex, including 15 below-market-rate units, because it would cast […]

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Trump Administration’s Cold Water War With California Turns Hot

Feds’ Curious New Lawsuits Against State Water Board Likely Just the Opening Litigation Salvo

When it comes to California water policy, the federal-state relationship has always been both strained and challenging.  That intergovernmental tension harkens back at least to the Reclamation Act of 1902.  In section 8 of this iconic federal statute that transformed the American West, Congress declared that the federal government “shall proceed in conformity with” state […]

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Goodbye, Cleveland!

Newspaper Collapse Threatens The Environment: Universities Need To Fill The Gap

In 1970, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River famously caught fire. This past week, we have seen an even worse environmental disaster for the city: The Plain Dealer on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees as part of a staff reduction first announced in December. The 14, most of them reporters and all members of Local 1 of […]

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A Contingency-Based Framework to Support Drought Decision Making

Part 4 in a Series on Improving California Water Rights Administration and Oversight for Future Droughts

In my last post, I outlined actions the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) can take to improve its future drought response capabilities. Our core recommendation is for the Board to bring greater predictability, timeliness, and effectiveness to water rights administration and oversight during droughts by proactively developing a contingency-based framework to support its drought […]

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Economists vs. Environmentalists: Time for Deténte?

You don’t have to love economics to see it as a possible ally.

Cost-benefit analysis has long been the target of environmentalist ire.  But one lesson of the Trump years has been that economic analysis can be a source of support for environmental policy — it is the anti-regulatory forces who have to fudge the numbers to justify their actions.  Most energy and environmental economists are aghast at […]

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