World-Changing Opportunity for California

$100 Million for Methane Satellites

Governor Newsom’s May Revise budget proposal includes this item: Methane Satellites—$100 million Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund on a one-time basis to expand the number of satellites launched for methane observations, which would provide weekly measurement of large methane emissions in the state and enhance enforcement capabilities. This data will allow California to identify the source …

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Income-targeted environmental policies, Episode 2

Affordable housing and the Transit-Oriented Communities program

This is the second post in a short series on income-targeted environmental policies. You can read the first post, introducing the concept of “Area Median Income,” here. In this second part of my series on income-targeted environmental programs, I want to talk about affordable housing, and one particular housing program, Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC). TOC has …

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My Kind of Town

Climate change is coming to Chicago and Lake Michigan.

“My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town.” Or so Frank Sinatra sang. I’m not sure he really felt that way himself, but the song rings a chord with me.  I didn’t grow up in Chicago but we visited frequently to see my parents’ families. Chicago is also, as it turns out, ground …

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A “Hunger Catastrophe” in the Making

Grain shipments at Port of Novorossiysk. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Understanding the Current Global Food Crisis

The global food system is in crisis for the third time in fifteen years. Food prices are hitting all-time highs, pushing hundreds of millions of people deeper into poverty and food insecurity and threatening political stability in regions around the world.  The World Food Programme has called the current situation a “hunger catastrophe,” noting that …

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Making Electric Vehicles More Accessible for Lower-Income Californians

New policy report on solutions to improve equity in EV deployment | Webinar May 24

Join us for a webinar to discuss the report findings and EV equity solutions with state, local, and industry leaders on Tuesday, May 24 at 1pm PT. RSVP here. Today, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at Berkeley Law and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law …

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How Cohesive Are the Conservative Justices?

Signs of internal tensions within the conservative supermajority could be good news for environmental protection.

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, people known as Kremlinologists used to try to figure out what was going on behind the scenes by seeing who was standing next to whom in official photos. We have a bit more visibility into the Supreme Court, but only a bit. That being said, there are …

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Smoke But No Fire

No, the draft Supreme Court abortion decision doesn’t threaten the standing of environmental groups

The implications for environmental law are far from being the most important aspect of the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion overruling Roe v. Wade.  The aggressiveness of the opinion in the Dobbs case signals a kind of activism that is definitely worrisome in other areas. At the end of last week, however, there …

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California Releases Draft Plan to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2045

California's Draft 2022 Scoping Plan is an ambitious, affordable, and actionable plan for addressing climate change

California’s lead climate and air quality agency published a comprehensive draft plan yesterday for how the state could reach its carbon neutrality goals by no later than 2045. The California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Plan) assesses both California’s progress toward meeting its 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target …

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Governing Emissions Trading in California and China

Two new policy reports from an international research collaboration consider the design and implementation of emissions trading systems in China and California

Carbon markets are at a crossroads. As of 2021, 30 emissions trading systems were in force globally, covering 16–17% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Last year, climate negotiators in Glasgow finalized the Paris Agreement rulebook for international cooperation through carbon markets, clearing the way for the expansion of emissions trading and carbon pricing worldwide. …

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Badly Drafted and Constitutionally Suspect

New laws blacklist “discrimination” against fossil fuel companies in states that normally could care less about discrimination of any kind.

Texas and a number of other states have passed laws banning what they call “boycotts of fossil fuel companies.” More precisely, they ban state investment or contracting with firms that “boycott” fossil fuel companies.  Besides being fundamentally misguided and difficult to implement, these blacklist laws are poorly  drafted and quite likely unconstitutional. The “fundamentally misguided” …

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