How to read a baffling Supreme Court ruling.
If you’re a lawyer or a lower court judge, you know you’ve got a problem when the Supreme Court’s opinion begins with a list of parts of the opinion that do or don’t have a majority, along with a list of what different permutations of judges said what about the issues. The Pork Producers case …CONTINUE READING
Texas is firmly in the grip of conservative Republicans. So what’s the deal with renewables?
I sometimes ask students to guess what state produces the most wind power. They’re always shocked to find out the right answer: Texas. Republicans have an iron grip on Texas government. And not just that, but Texas is by far the biggest producer of oil, with a governor who has pledged to protect the industry …CONTINUE READING
After much travail, the state has finally put a price on carbon.
The Washington state legislature passed a historic climate change bill on April 24. The bill requires a 95% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. After much travail, the state has finally managed to put a price on carbon by adopting a cap-and-trade system. With the decision of additional states to join the east coast RGGI …CONTINUE READING
Wikipedia and climate actions by cities and states have more in common than you might think.
Wikipedia is celebrating its twentieth birthday. When it was launched, this effort to create an encyclopedia seemed like a joke compared with Microsoft’s big-money effort, which was called Encarta. Encarta is long gone but Wikipedia has thrived beyond anyone’s expectations. Today, Wikipedia has fifty-five million entries, with 270,000 active editors a month. While imperfect, the …CONTINUE READING
Despite the Trump Administration’s efforts, there are rays of hope.
Three years into the Trump Administration, we’re now accustomed to waking up every morning to learn about a new attack on the environment. But there are also some things to be thankful for. Here’s how I started a similar post in 2017, just a year after the 2016 election: “Overall, it’s been a pretty lousy …CONTINUE READING
Strong Push for Renewables in the Land of Enchantment – But Is It a Bailout?
Although it reliably votes for Democratic Presidential candidates, has two Democratic United States Senators, and a trifecta of Democratic control in the state house, blue-state New Mexico is not usually thought of as a progressive environmental leader. The State Public Regulation Commission — one of only 13 directly elected by voters — has been plagued …CONTINUE READING
Whatever happens on Nov. 6 will have a big environmental impact.
We’re less than a month from election day, which will help shape the future of environmental protection. Because the parties are so polarized now, partisan control in Congress or the states translates into movement toward further regulation or deregulation, depending on which party is in the ascendancy. Here are ten reasons why you should care …CONTINUE READING
Despite Trump, renewable energy is firmly rooted and growing across the nation.
What happens in Washington gets a lot of attention. You probably also follow what’s going on in your own state. But it’s very hard to know what’s happening at states across the country. In an effort to get a better sense of that, I’ve explored state activity on climate change and energy in a series …CONTINUE READING
Will it be enough?
In just the last week, two economically and politically important states, New York and Virginia, took major steps toward reducing their contributions to climate change. On Tuesday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) signed an executive order directing the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to develop and propose a regulation to the State Air Pollution Control Board “to …CONTINUE READING
Carbon emissions are set in decline in Texas, with less coal and more renewables.
At a national meeting of state utility regulators, the head of the group recently said that the Clean Power Plan was basically dead, BUT this might not matter because “arguably, you’re seeing market-based decarbonization” due to technological changes. Case in point: Texas. Market trends are pushing Republican-stronghold Texas toward a cleaner grid. ERCOT, which operates nearly all …CONTINUE READING