Big Oil will fight against energy transformation. How do we fight back?
The oil industry is enormous – something like 2-3% of global GDP. Individuals firms like ExxonMobil earn tens of billions of dollars each quarter. Controlling climate change will mean drastic curtailment in the coming decades of the industry’s major products. There’s no way that the industry will accept this lying down, and it’s a formidable …CONTINUE READING
Legal Challenges to Oregon & California Vehicle Fuel Carbon-Intensity Standards Close to the End of the Line, Clearing Path Forward to Transformative Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation Sector
This past Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of a federal appeals court decision upholding the legality of Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program. That decision finally frees Oregon’s program from uncertainty from what was seen as a significant legal challenge. The program, modeled after the similar California Low Carbon Fuel Standard developed by the California …CONTINUE READING
Second in a Series About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program
[Post co-authored by Ted Parson and Sean Hecht] In this post, we continue our discussion of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which we introduced in our post on October 4, 2018. Because it’s a prominent and ambitious policy that will reduce California’s reliance on petroleum-based transport fuels, it is unsurprising the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard has …CONTINUE READING
First in a Series About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program
[Post co-authored by Sean Hecht and Ted Parson] California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) has just enacted new regulations that strengthen the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS is a major component of California’s greenhouse-gas control strategy, but receives surprisingly little attention, compared to other policies like the statewide cap-and-trade system and the renewable …CONTINUE READING
Breakthroughs in gene editing might open the door to improved environmental protections. Or maybe not.
CRISPR is a breakthrough gene editing method. (I can’t refrain from noting that a key role in the discovery was played Jennifer Doudna at Berkeley.) There are potential risks from gene editing to the environment, similar to other types of GMOs. But there may be environmental benefits too. Here are a few that have been …CONTINUE READING
Free event in the State Capitol on Friday, January 22nd
As California commits itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, what role will biofuels play as a petroleum alternative? And how can California ensure that more low-carbon biofuels are produced in-state, especially given the competition from cheap oil and cheap international biofuel? State officials and biofuel producers will address these questions at …CONTINUE READING
New report on ways to boost in-state production of low-carbon biofuels, plus December 14th webinar
When we think of ways to reduce emissions from petroleum-based transportation fuels, electric vehicles get much of the headlines. Battery electric transportation certainly offers a viable, long-term alternative to petroleum fuels. But we’re still a few years away from an affordable, mass-market electric vehicle, and battery technology may be decades away, if ever, from being …CONTINUE READING
A recent economics paper suggests strongly that biofuels have raised food prices for the world’s poor.
Berkeley economist Brian Wright has a disquieting article in the Winter 2014 issues of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, which just crossed my desk. JEP is published by the American Economic Association and is a great resource for those of us who are interested in economics but aren’t professional economists. This article is a case in …CONTINUE READING
Recent research shows that California can meet its 2050 climate goals at an affordable cost.
Could California make deep cuts in carbon by 2050 (80% below 1990 levels)? Are the economics feasible? Those are important questions for California, but they also have a lot to say about what’s feasible for the U.S. and other developing countries as a whole. Last December, UC Davis hosted a forum on the models that …CONTINUE READING
What will shake the energy world this year?
In our energy law classes at Cal, we like to start the day by talking about Energy in the News. The media never fails us. Every day, there are multiple energy-related stories of significance touching on resource development, new technologies, policy shifts, jobs, regional politics, prices, international relations, or the environment. Once you start looking …CONTINUE READING