Don’t breathe the air

For 186 million Americans, that’s the message of the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2009 report. That’s how many Americans live in areas with unhealthful levels of ozone or particulate air pollution. The ozone problem is much worse than the Association reported last year, primarily because EPA has tightened the ozone standard. But …

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New life for new source review

The Obama Administration is beyond its 100th day, but still busy on the environmental front undoing the work of its predecessor. One thing that means at EPA is breathing life back into the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review program, which the Bush Administration had been busily trying to write out of existence. In the …

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Do we need a weatherman to know which way the climate goes?

A new report, Climate Change in the American Mind, was just released by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.  This report summarizes and synthesizes original polling research on our opinions, attitudes, and knowledge about climate change.  (Statistician Nate Silver has an interesting post at Fivethirtyeight.com about some of …

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California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard–& a Paean to Applied Scholarship

Jonathan Zasloff has previously written about the California Air Resources Board’s pioneering decision last week to mandate carbon-based reductions in state transportation fuels. These regulations, known as California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), are the first of their kind in the United States. More importantly, the LCFS is an integral part of CARB’s ambitious plan …

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Will the Specter Shift Affect Environmental Legislation?

The answer is probably “yes,” not because Specter will become an environmental champion but because his votes will shift at the margin.  If you look at the LCV scores (here), Specter is below 50% this year and for his lifetime average.  Part of that may be Pennsylvania — Bob Casey is only at 60%, which …

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Ruling by Justice Scalia Makes it Easier to Repeal Bush-Era Rules

Ironically, an opinion by Justice Scalia will indirectly help the Obama Administration repeal Bush-era environmental rules.

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A framework for offshore renewable energy

Cymie posted here about the hearings Interior recently held in on both coasts on offshore energy development of all stripes. True to the President’s commitment to making renewable energy development a priority, shortly after those hearings Interior’s Minerals Management Service finalized regulations governing renewable energy development on the outer continental shelf. The regulations, developed under …

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Interior to pull mountaintop mining rule

UPDATE 4/29: AP reports that the Justice Department’s filing requests that the rule be vacated and remanded on the grounds that it was not preceded by ESA consultation. (Hat tip: PLF on ESA). Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that his department would ask the court hearing a challenge to a key Bush-era rule on …

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The fat lady is warming up — make that singing

UPDATE 4/28: The Secretaries of Interior and Commerce have announced that they are revoking the Bush administration’s midnight rule on ESA section 7 consultation. They apparently are not revoking the special rule on the polar bear (as they were also authorized to do under the omnibus spending bill). We will have more when the formal …

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Putting a Price on Carbon: Is It Needed? Is It Enough?

The bottom line seems to be that we need to get the price of carbon right — or as close to “right” as possible — but we need subsidies for R & D and we need direct regulation of the major categories of emitters.

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