Bottom-up appraches aren’t just fallbacks when top-down fails. They have their own strengths.
There are some obvious advantages to top-down climate police, whereby a uniform global climate policy is adopted at the global level and then seamlessly implemented by nations, or whereby a similar process takes place at the national level. Of course, this top-down model requires first global agreement on a uniform policy and then effective …CONTINUE READING
Proposal for massive government investment in decarbonization of the economy could have long-term political benefits, if it’s done right
The new House Democratic majority takes over this week. In the period between the midterm elections and now, one major issue that has been discussed is the path forward for the Democrats on climate policy. Led by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activists have called for the new majority to set up a special House committee …CONTINUE READING
Questioning the continued existence of California’s largest energy utility
What can we do to ensure the safety of the massive electric and natural gas delivery systems that we rely on every day? Eight years after the horrific explosion and fire stemming from one of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) natural gas pipelines in San Bruno, California, the state’s legislators and utility regulators …CONTINUE READING
Yes, it’s fundraising season. And yes, we’re asking you to help out.
Yes, it’s fundraising season. And yes, we’re asking for your help on this Giving Tuesday — not for our own sakes, but because we think the work we’re trying to do on climate change and other issues is important. Like everyone else, I’m sure you find fundraising appeals annoying. That’s why we hardly ever do …CONTINUE READING
Investment in the World Energy System Still Dominated by Fossil Fuels
Not that money. Not the hush money, the payoffs, the tax and banking fraud. And not the dark money seeking to influence our environmental, climate, and clean energy policies. Nope, I am talking about the actual money invested in the world energy system last year. Granted, this may not be as interesting to many readers …CONTINUE READING
Trump Administration Loses Yet Another Environmental Case
Understandably, most of the attention at the beginning of the week was devoted to the rollout of the Trump Administration’s token effort to regulate greenhouse gases, the ACE rule. But something else happened, too. On Tuesday, a D.C. Circuit ruling ignored objections from the Trump Administration and invalidated key parts of a rule dealing with …CONTINUE READING
Widespread political opposition at the state level poses major obstacles to federal plans
This post is the second in a three-part series looking at the Trump Administration’s announcement of plans to vastly increase offshore oil and gas drilling. The first post, here, focused on the legal context for those announcements. In this post, I’ll discuss the political context. In my last post, I’ll conclude with an analysis of …CONTINUE READING
Pruitt’s argument for repealing the Clean Power Plan has a logical flaw.
The Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan would require utilities to improve efficiency at coal-fired power plants and reduce the use of those plants in favor of generators using natural gas or renewables. Head of EPA Scott Pruitt claims EPA can only require CO2 cuts that can be accomplished by utilities “inside the fenceline” of a …CONTINUE READING
Here’s a roadmap to what he’s done — and how things will probably unfold.
How has Trump impacted environmental law? What’s going to happen next? CLEE has issued a new report assessing the state of play in environmental law seven months of the Trump presidency. The report, 200 Days & Counting, reviews the Administration’s environmental proposals and offers a glimpse into what may be coming down the pike. The report focuses …CONTINUE READING
With or without Trump’s policies, those Appalachian coal jobs aren’t coming back.
Earlier in August, the governor of West Virginia asked Trump for a billion-dollar bailout of the Eastern coal industry. Under his plan, the federal government would pay power companies $15 per ton to use Appalachian coal. That’s a sign of the industry’s desperate economic plight. In 2016, global coal use had its biggest drop in …CONTINUE READING