New climate legislation sets a high bar for other states.
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four clean energy bills. These bills move Oregon to the forefront of climate action. These laws ban new fossil fuel plants and set aggressive targets for the state’s two major utilities, requiring emission cuts of 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. …CONTINUE READING
China and the EU took important steps forward this week.
This week has seen some big climate moves on opposite sides of the world. The EU has proposed a major new climate plan. Meanwhile, China is ready to go live with its emissions trading system. The U.S. is at risk of being left behind. The EU’s proposal is impressive. The goal is to cut net …CONTINUE READING
There are small but hopeful signs of progress in overcoming legislative gridlock.
Over a decade ago, the Waxman-Markey carbon trading bill died in the Senate. President Obama then had to rely entirely on administrative actions to address climate change. Republicans united in a solid wall of violent opposition to climate action. There are some hopeful signs that things may not be quite so tough for President Biden. …CONTINUE READING
General Motors goes big on Super Bowl Sunday
General Motors appears to be going all in with its transition to an electric vehicle (EV) fleet. Last week, GM dropped the bombshell announcement that it planned to stop making gas-powered cars, trucks and SUVs by 2035. While not the market force it once was, GM still accounted for 17% U.S. auto market share in …CONTINUE READING
A long road ahead, but undoubtedly moving in the right direction
On Wednesday, Governor Newsom issued an executive order that, among other things, directed the California Air Resources Board to develop regulations moving the state to 100 percent zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035. The order is a long way from taking effect–at a minimum, ARB’s rulemaking process will take many months, any regulations would involve a …CONTINUE READING
New CLEE and NRGI “FAQ” released today addresses common misconceptions
Co-authored with Ted Lamm and Patrick Heller (advisor at the Natural Resource Governance Institute and a senior visiting fellow at CLEE) The global transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) will require the production of hundreds of millions of batteries. The need for such a massive deployment raises questions from the general public …CONTINUE READING
The Trump administration moves ahead with plans to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards.
After months of delay, the Trump administration has reportedly chosen this coming week—in the middle of a nationwide crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic—to finally release the second part of its two-part rollback of Obama-era automotive fuel economy standards. This isn’t the only environmental rollback action the administration is planning to take during the coming …CONTINUE READING
New CLEE symposium brief released today based on June 2019 conference
UC Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) is today releasing a new report on lessons learned to advance electric vehicle (EV) deployment in France and California. Electric Vehicles and Global Urban Adoption: Policy Solutions from France and California is based on a June 2019 international conference at UC Berkeley, co-sponsored by …CONTINUE READING
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
The answer may lie in the electric vehicle investments the industry is busy making
As we move ever deeper into an all-out legal war between California and the Trump Administration over rollbacks of automobile emissions standards (something Ann, Cara, and Julia have been covering very well), I want to explore in a little more depth why the automakers have been so resistant to Trump’s rollback efforts. The auto industry …CONTINUE READING