A promising proposal from conservative leaders, but important questions remain
An impressive lineup of senior Republican leaders has embraced a carbon tax as an approach to address climate change. The proposal is to trade away the Obama Administration Clean Power Plan and tort liability against fossil fuel companies for a $40/ton carbon tax that would increase over time. All revenues from the tax would be …CONTINUE READING
Keeping track of what is happening with our federal public lands
There is a lot of discussion about possible changes in environmental law post-election. One area that has received some attention is public lands. The federal government owns a little less than one-third of the lands of the United States – many of those lands are ecologically valuable, and are components of our priceless national park …CONTINUE READING
The Party’s stance is out of touch with businesses, the public, scientists, and many GOP voters.
The national GOP seems to be locked into climate change denial. This stance puts the GOP leadership increasingly alone. They’re out of touch with the business community, the public, scientists, and even many of their own voters. Out of Touch with the Business Community In 2015, Shell and BP called for international cooperation to achieve the …CONTINUE READING
The GOP favors the Old West of ranching, logging, mining, and oil. The Democrats have a different view.
The Democratic and Republican parties have very different ideas about the 640 million acres of land owned by the federal government, mostly in the West. It’s not just that the party platforms disagree about the balance between preservation and resource exploitation. It’s also that Democrats have a much different vision of the future of the American …CONTINUE READING
Giving Republicans more facts just makes them more hostile.
There’s been a lot of work on how to more effectively communicate about climate change with skeptical audiences. A new study indicates that such efforts may actually backfire: simply hearing about the evidence, regardless of how the issue is framed, makes Republicans even more opposed. The researcher suggests instead that we focus on persuading Independents and …CONTINUE READING
Congress’s failure to deal with the Zika threat is a symptom of a bigger problem.
Congress seems to be unable to come up with funding for an effort to combat the zika virus. Instead, congressional leaders told the government to use existing funding, so it has been forced to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from fighting ebola. (You remember that Congress was completely frenzied about the risk of ebola in …CONTINUE READING
Something strange has happened in Florida: Rising seas have changed GOP views.
There was a surprise question about climate change at the last Republican debate. What was surprising wasn’t the question itself. Instead, it was the source of the question: Tomás Regalado, the Republican mayor of Miami. It turns out that this wasn’t a fluke. Regalado and the Republican mayor of Miami Beach have spoken out in an …CONTINUE READING
Republicans are using the drought as an argument for CEQA exemptions
One thing that the deep drought in California has prompted is more discussion of water storage projects like dams. Part of that discussion has been arguments that environmental review pursuant to CEQA should be “streamlined” for water storage projects. A bill to streamline environmental review for two dam projects died in the Assembly this year. …CONTINUE READING
Rick Scott Makes Sure Floridians Won’t Know About Climate Danger
It’s a common refrain around the web that Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott looks a lot like Lex Luthor, the arch-villain of Superman comics. The term fits, both aesthetically and substantively: in his previous career as CEO of Columbia/HCA, he oversaw what was at the time the largest Medicare fraud in history. But as the …CONTINUE READING