Are the Coronavirus Models Too Pessimistic?

Unfortunately, if anything, reality has often turned out somewhat worse than predicted.

The White House thinks coronavirus models are too pessimistic. If anything, the evidence suggests the models aren’t pessimistic enough. Their projections of future deaths have often been too low.

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The Looming Liability of Orphaned Oil Wells

Abandoned wells pose a rising risk to the state as the industry struggles

Recent reports are highlighting a looming environmental threat from the ongoing struggles of the oil and gas industry, which derive from a combination of the demand impacts of the covid-19 pandemic and long-running price wars and financing challenges. As more operators face bankruptcy, states including California may face a boom in “orphaned wells”: oil and …

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The Coronavirus and the Commerce Clause

Could Congress mandate CORVID-19 vaccinations? Not if you take some Supreme Court opinions seriously.

If we get a vaccine against a national epidemic, could Congress pass a law requiring everyone to get vaccinated?  That very question was asked during the Supreme Court argument in the 2012 constitutional challenge to Obamacare’s individual mandate.  The lawyer challenging Obamacare said “no, Congress couldn’t do that.” What’s shocking is that this may have …

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How to Jump Start the Economy? Regulate

Smart Regulation Can Overcome The "Paradox of Thrift"

Once we begin to dig ourselves out from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to think seriously about how the rebuild the economy. And that should scare environmentalists. Expect a whole series of pushes from the usual suspects about we “can’t afford” environmental protection when the nation is in depression. That is precisely wrong. Suppose …

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Resuscitating Obama’s Environmental Legacy

Trump has had a single-minded focus on eliminating any traces of Obama's presidency. But it's not too late to turn the tide.

We’ve now had nearly four years of Trump’s all-out war on environmental protection. Trump has single-mindedly tried  to wipe out every trace of Obama’s legacy.  It’s time to see what’s left of Obama’s achievements. And what could a new President do to revive his legacy? In a Legal Planet post a week before the last …

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Coastal Beaches, Public Access & the Pandemic

Important Legal & Policy Considerations in Closing Beaches to Protect Public Health

As part of America’s steadily growing restiveness over state and local shelter-in-place directives, the issue of government-mandated public beach closures has recently emerged as a particularly contentious issue.  It’s especially prominent now, given that many coastal states are experiencing their first heat waves of 2020. Many Americans are increasingly weary of and angry over public …

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The World Leader Who is Far Worse Than Trump

Take everything Trump did wrong about the virus. Then square it. That’s Bolsonaro.

Yes, Trump made huge mistakes in the coronavirus outbreak. But no, he’s not the worst world leader in this respect. That prize currently goes to Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.  Like Trump, he’s a rightwing populist leader. He’s even been called “the Trump of the Tropics.” But he’s far more unmoored. When asked about Brazil’s record number …

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Conservatives versus Lockdowns

Conservatives versus Lockdowns

Spurred on by conservative groups, protesters are demanding that their states go back to business as usual.  This sentiment isn’t limited to the kinds of hotheads who insist on congregating in public during an epidemic, or even to  conservatives like Betsy DeVos who  help to fund these groups and promote their protests. It also includes …

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Negative Emissions: The Next Bright Shiny Object in Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Reductions

In ongoing debate over how to slow and stop climate change, the past year or so has seen a large shift of attention and interest toward technological options to remove CO2 from the atmosphere after it is emitted – options generally lumped under the headings “Carbon dioxide removal” (CDR) or “negative emissions technologies” (NETs). These …

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Roadmap For California To Phase Out Oil & Gas Production

New CLEE report released today with legal options for state policy makers & free May 12th webinar

California is the seventh-largest oil producing state in the country, with a fossil fuel industry that is responsible for billions of dollars in state and local revenue and other economic activity each year. Yet continued oil and gas production contrasts with the state’s aggressive climate mitigation policies, while creating significant air and water pollution, particularly …

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