Region: California

Moving Forward With Cap-and-Trade in California

In 2006, the California Legislature enacted the Landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), which authorized–but did not compel–the California Air Resources Board to adopt a cap-and-trade program as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce state greenhouse gas emissions. A year ago, CARB adopted its AB 32 “Scoping Plan,” in which it commits to …

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Never Underestimate California’s Idiocy

Ann thinks the neanderthals attempting to repeal AB 32 won’t get the signatures to put the thing on the ballot.  I hope she’s right, but given my general pessimism, I’d be willing to bet otherwise. Climate change regulation is like catnip to the Teabagger set.  It is a vast left-wing conspiracy to destroy capitalism and …

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Campaign to Suspend AB 32 Unlikely to Go Anywhere

Last Monday, the Wall Street Journal editorialized in favor of both a bill and a newly filed ballot initiative to suspend the implementation of California’s landmark greenhouse gas emissions legislation, AB 32, until the state’s unemployment rate falls from it’s current 12+ % to under 5.5% for four consecutive quarters.   On the same day the …

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Salmon woes continue

The Sacramento Bee reports this morning that contrary to expectations the Central Valley fall-run chinook salmon had another weak run this year, probably no better than the record-low return a year ago. That’s bad news because the hatchery-boosted fall Chinook is the main target of the commercial salmon fishery off the California and Oregon coasts. …

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A look at the interim federal Delta plan

As I pointed out three months ago, the federal government has awakened from its 8-year Bush administration slumber to notice that the SF Bay-Delta is an important environmental and economic resource whose management requires federal input. On December 22, the Obama administration issued an Interim Federal Action Plan for the California Bay-Delta. The best news …

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The Top 10 Environmental Developments of 2009

10. Cass Sunstein becomes regulatory czar. Sunstein is a true believer in cost-benefit analysis, the bête noire of many an environmentalist.  Obama’s appointment of Sunstein to oversee health and environmental regulations may put the brakes on regulatory initiatves. 9.  California passes AB 758. The first mandate for energy efficiency standards for existing buildings. 8. Water …

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60 Minutes flubs the California water story

Last night, 60 Minutes had a long story on the California water crisis, featuring Lesley Stahl interviewing (among others) Arnold Schwarzenegger and UC Davis professor Jeff Mount. On the positive side, the story accurately portrayed the vulnerability of California’s fragile through-Delta water delivery system to a major earthquake or catastrophic levee break. But CBS News …

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CEQA thresholds of significance for greenhouse gas emissions: a strange but good process

Way back in the old days, before 2006 and AB 32 (California’s landmark law limiting greenhouse gas emissions statewide), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was the critical tool to limit greenhouse gas emissions from projects around the state.  CEQA is the law that requires state and local agencies to assess the significant environmental impacts …

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California publishes new report on adapting to climate change impacts; is anyone paying attention?

All eyes are on the COP-15 proceedings in Copenhagen, and specifically on the prospects for greenhouse gas reductions emerging from the meeting.   At the same time, we need to plan to adapt to some measure of climate change impacts, some of which are unavoidable regardless of our success at reducing GHG emissions, and to build …

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Op-ed on local renewable energy production

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and I authored an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle today that outlines steps California can take to boost significant renewable energy production, such as from wind and solar resources, from our large rooftops, highway land, aqueduct infrastructure, and other big spaces close to consumers.  These recommendations were informed by a …

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