Even as emissions decrease, climate activists shouldn’t get comfortable
As many have pointed out, air and water pollution have plummeted because of COVID-19. My colleague Ben Harris wrote about the many positive environmental impacts that global-scale quarantine has caused – and they’re truly inspiring. Some have pointed to this massive pollution reduction to illustrate that “we are the virus”. Perhaps the pollution reduction is …CONTINUE READING
Senator Chuck Schumer’s proposal is “Cash for Clunkers” again, at unprecedented scale
Last week, Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer published an op-ed in the New York Times describing a new federal proposal for replacing all gasoline-powered vehicles in the U.S. with zero emission vehicles by 2040. This is a laudable goal and a great opportunity – comprehensive federal policy to replace all gasoline-powered vehicles with zero-emission …CONTINUE READING
Here are the FAQs about Trump’s proposed rollback.
Trump is proposing to gut CO2 standards for cars, freezing 2020 CAFE fuel-efficiency standards in place for years to come. Without the freeze, the standards would automatically ramp up. He also wants to eliminate California’s ability to set its own standards, which many other states have opted to adopt. Here are seven key questions about …CONTINUE READING
It’s unlikely that a bailout will have more than a temporary effect. Assuming it holds up in court, that is.
Trump plans to use national security powers to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. Rick Perry says the government is trying to figure out the cost of this effort – but he doesn’t seem to care what that cost would be. After all, he says, “You cannot put a dollar figure on the cost to keep …CONTINUE READING
What is “Lake Wobegon” doing about climate change?
Minnesota has had climate change legislation on the books since 2007, when the Next Generation Energy Act was signed by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. The 2007 law called for the state to reduce its emissions 15 percent by 2015 and 80 percent by 2050. At the time, Pawlenty saluted the bill, saying,”The nation has been …CONTINUE READING
Much of the carbon from his policies will remain in the atmosphere for centuries.
Given Trump’s desire to increase the use of fossil fuels, it’s no surprise that his presidency will result in increased carbon emissions. Some of the carbon will remain in the atmosphere for centuries, an enduring monument to his presidency and his rejection of scientific facts. Before the election, I took a stab at estimating that impact, based …CONTINUE READING
The struggle to force the car industry to cut pollution goes back six decades.
The car industry is appealing for President Trump’s help against stricter carbon standards for cars. The industry’s action is disappointing for those who believed industry claims to embrace sustainability and technological innovation. There’s no good excuse for the industry’s about-face on a regulation it had originally agreed to. As one of the architects of the …CONTINUE READING
In the run-up to the Paris talks, the major economies have all pledged carbon reductions.
With Saudia Arabia’s pledge last week to cut emission, all of the world’s major economies are now on board. In a nutshell, here is what they are promising. Except as noted, the target dates are all 2030. A number of countries have subsidiary promises in terms of percentage of renewable energy or of bigger cuts premised …CONTINUE READING
UCLA environmental law journal publishes new work on personal norms and carbon emissions, and on other interesting topics
Following in Dan’s footsteps as promoters of our respective schools’ excellent environmental law journals, I’m proud to announce that the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy Volume 27, #1 was published this summer. This journal issue features several interesting pieces. They include a thought-provoking Comment by second-year UCLA law student Jed Ela, Law and Norms …CONTINUE READING
A new report in The Lancet (registration required to access the full document), a leading international medical journal, provides more backing for EPA’s proposed finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health as well as public welfare. From the multi-authored report’s executive summary: Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. …CONTINUE READING