Guest Bloggers Deborah Gordon and Frances Reuland: Is California Extraordinary? Its Oil Resources Certainly Are
Facts About California’s Oil and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Despite ongoing federal rollbacks to environmental regulations, California has the right to set its own clean air standards because it is truly extraordinary. Truth be told, the compelling circumstances that first set in motion California’s vehicle emissions standards remain entirely valid. And there are four recent conditions, related to California’s oil supply, production, and refining, …CONTINUE READING
EPA appears poised to abdicate their responsibility to protect public health
As my colleague Ann Carlson explained, the EPA is expected to announce a catastrophic rollback this week to freeze national vehicle emission and fuel economy standards and challenge California’s authority to set their own, more stringent standards. The Trump EPA’s decision to weaken the vehicle standards despite thorough midterm reviews by both the Obama-era EPA and California that …CONTINUE READING
How to turn off the plastics spout?
Kudos to National Geographic for its stunner of an issue on plastics and the environmental harms they cause. As this latest report and many other recent stories make clear, we are drowning in plastics. Bits of plastic have been found in beer, in major brands of bottled water, in 75% of deep sea fish, in …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration presents a barrage of threats to the environment. Which threats are worst?
This is the last in our series on the state of play concerning U.S. environmental protection at this point of the Trump Administration. We can classify threats along three dimensions: the likelihood of harm, the seriousness and irreversibility of the harm, and the irreversibility of the institutional or legal change. Here’s an assessment of our …CONTINUE READING
Asbestos included in first 10 chemicals EPA will evaluate for human and environmental risks under TSCA
Today EPA released a list of the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for risks to human health and the environment under the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These ten chemicals, drawn from a list of 90 in EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan, will undergo complete risk evaluations within three years. If EPA finds …CONTINUE READING
Another California Regulatory Agency in Crisis: Southern California’s Air Quality Management District Fires Longtime Executive Officer
Barry Wallerstein’s Ouster from SCAQMD Signals Tilt Away from Protection of Public Health
In a move that shocked the environmental advocacy community and low-income communities of color that suffer most from the impacts of poor air quality in Los Angeles, the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District fired its longtime executive officer Barry Wallerstein today, voting 7-6 in closed session to remove him from …CONTINUE READING
What does California’s Global Warming Solutions Act say about emissions after 2020?
I have heard some references, recently, to AB 32 “expiring” in 2020. It’s easy to understand where this idea comes from: California’s premiere climate change law was passed in 2006 and sets a goal for the state to return to 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by a deadline of 2020. Moreover, one of the …CONTINUE READING
Can a new law save China’s environment?
Benjamin van Rooij and I published the following in the New York Times op-ed page today. In short, it is about the challenges the new Environmental Protection Law will face in practice and the critical reforms needed to overcome these challenges: China’s national legislature has adopted sweeping changes to the country’s Environmental Protection Law, revisions …CONTINUE READING
The airpocalypse is back. What should Chinese leaders do about it?
On Sunday, the start of the heating season in northern China brought the “airpocalypse” back with a vengeance (although some might say it never left). Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province and home to 11 million people, registered fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution levels beyond 500 on the Chinese Air Quality Index, which is considered hazardous …CONTINUE READING
Supreme Court overturns Ninth Circuit decision that held L.A. County Flood Control District liable for stormwater pollution in a poorly-reasoned, but narrow, decision
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council. I’ve blogged about this case before, noting that the Supreme Court’s grant of review in this case was based on a completely mistaken premise. (If you’re unfamiliar with the case, the linked post explains in …CONTINUE READING