Politics

Some lessons from l’affaire Tesla

There has been a lot of commentary over the decision by Tesla to make its multi-billion dollar investment in a new battery factory in Nevada, rather than California. There have been some criticisms that California did not do enough to lure Tesla here, and/or that its business climate is not supportive enough for investment, including …

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Rand Paul and the Environment (Take 2)

Guess what: he’s no friend of the environment.

Yesterday I posted a confused discussion of Paul’s environmental views. (Probably due to brain lock from spending  too many hours puzzling over the numerical examples in EME Homer!) I wanted to replace it with a clearer description of his views, so I pulled it from the website.  Let’s try this again. This first thing to know about Senator Paul is …

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Solar power in North Carolina

How the solar industry became successful in North Carolina

When it comes to politics, North Carolina is not California.  California is regularly and consistently Democratic at the state and national level.  North Carolina is a swing state in presidential elections, has a Republican majority in its delegation to the House of Representatives, and has a state government currently dominated by Republicans. And when it …

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The 2014 Midterm Elections and the EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule

Why Republicans probably won’t be able to eliminate the EPA rules before 2016

I wrote earlier about why the 2016 Presidential election will be the election that matters (politically) for the long-term success of the new greenhouse gas rules proposed by EPA.  (The status of legal challenges is a different question.)  I want to elaborate a little more now about why the 2014 midterm elections are pretty much …

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Obamacare’s lessons for the future of EPA’s CO2 rule

The survival of the greenhouse gas rule depends on how much people invest based on it

There has (rightly) been a lot of attention paid to the EPA proposed rule controlling greenhouse gas emissions from powerplants pursuant to Clean Air Act Section 111(d). All of that analysis – how effective the rule will be; how it will be implemented; the prospects for successful legal challenges to the rule – is important. …

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Wyoming Wind Power and California Electricity

Supporting renewable energy in Wyoming makes political sense

A company wants to build a lot of wind power in Wyoming.  A lot.  3,000 megawatts.  The size of three nuclear reactors.  And ship all of the power to California.  None of it will be used in Wyoming, where electricity primarily comes from coal, and where the state has been strongly resistant to various policies …

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A solar energy fight in Arizona

The rising political power of residential solar power

There’s a fight over renewable energy occurring in Arizona right now.  The state’s largest public utility asked state regulators for permission to greatly increase the fees paid by homeowners who have solar power on their houses.  The utility’s argument is that the increase in solar power produced by these houses is putting a burden on …

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The Filibuster and the Environment

In the short run, limiting the filibuster will strengthen the hands of environmental regulators. What about the long run effects?

The filibuster arguably served a useful function when it allowed the minority to block action in extraordinary cases where its views were especially intense.  It became no longer tolerable when it became a routine barrier to Senate action. Last week, the Senate abolished filibusters for nominations (except the Supreme Court). What does this mean for environmental …

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Today’s House Subcommittee Hearing on Climate Change

President Obama’s recent announcement on climate change irritated some in Congress—but we didn’t need a hearing to find that out.

Today, Republican leaders in the House Energy and Power Subcommittee called a hearing to discuss climate change.  Has the Right suddenly taken an interest in responding to climate change? As you might anticipate, the answer is no.  The hearing, entitled “The Obama Administration’s Climate Change Policies and Activities,” focused on attacks to the President’s Climate …

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The Roberts Court’s Corporate Romance

Forty years ago, before going on the Supreme Court, Lewis Powell wrote a call to arms for business interests, calling on them to counter “enemies of the free enterprise system” like Ralph Nader.  Among other things, he recommended a concerted campaign to influence the courts.  The campaign seems to have been a success. The NY Times …

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