Nations, companies, and NGOs are targeting methane like never before using satellite data. A new UCLA paper outlines what that could mean for regulation.
Methane is ready for its close-up. The first week of COP28, the UN climate talks taking place in Dubai, saw a handful of big announcements about how world leaders plan to tackle human-made climate change by targeting methane, a powerful short-term climate pollutant. The UCLA Emmett Institute is also drawing attention to the issue of …CONTINUE READING
One of these things is not like the others.
The automotive world is changing quickly. Most of the trends are mutually reinforcing. But one points in the opposite direction. The first and most obvious trend is the rise of EVs. In the twenty years since Tesla arrived, EVs have gone from 0.2% of new cars to 13%, and Bloomberg predicts that this figure will …CONTINUE READING
The standards have gotten tougher. Compliance still lags.
The goal of the Clean Air Act is to achieve national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), with the primary requirement being protection of public health. As our understanding of the health effects of air pollution has improved, there has been a general trend toward tightening the standards. However, it’s very hard to keep track of …CONTINUE READING
Livestock Operations Are Responsible for Over Half of California’s Methane Emissions—Why Won’t CARB Regulate Them?
CARB will have the authority to regulate methane from livestock operations beginning in January but has not initiated rulemaking
At a recent California Air Resources Board (CARB) meeting, a staff member responded to a question about why CARB’s program for reducing emissions from transportation fuels incentivized the capture of methane from landfills so much less than the capture of methane from dairies: “Landfills have a different CI [carbon intensity] score because they are …CONTINUE READING
No, it’s not Biden. Or EPA. The culprits are supply and demand.
From 1960 to 2005, coal use grew more or less steadily by 18 million tons per year. It then tread water for a few years and began a steep decline in 2008, going from half of U.S. electricity to about one-fifth today. What happened in the middle of the Bush Administration to halt growth? And …CONTINUE READING
A leading environmental lawyer gives his perspective.
Transportation is now the source of 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than the electric power sector. The transportation sector is also a substantial source of nitrogen oxides and particulates, both of which are dangerous to human health. The Biden Administration has taken important regulatory actions bearing on these problems, with others in the …CONTINUE READING
Three big cases in the D.C. Circuit will determine the fate of Biden’s vehicle regulations.
This week, the D.C. Circuit hears three cases challenging use of federal regulations to push adoption of electric vehicles and to allow California to forge path toward zero-emission cars. If all three cases go badly, the regulatory system would be disabled from playing a role in this area. This would be a huge setback, though …CONTINUE READING
Over the past fifty years, EPA has overseen incredible reductions in auto pollution.
This is part of an occasional series of posts about the evolution of pollution standards. Today’s subject is pollution control for new vehicles, which have been known to cause smog since the 1960s. The history of these pollution standards is quite distinctive. At the high temperatures in internal combustion engines, some of the nitrogen in …CONTINUE READING
These three power plants cause a big share of America’s mercury pollution.
In Ireland, poor people used to burn peat from fuel. Barely a step ahead of that, some American power plants burn semi-fossilized peat (lignite) to run their generators. It turns out that those power plants produce about a third of all the toxic mercury emissions of the entire industry. Even more remarkably, about half of …CONTINUE READING
California Supreme Court Rules County Ordinance Limiting Oil & Gas Development Preempted by State Law
Court Decision May Well Be Correct as a Matter of Law, But Represents Outdated & Unsound Public Policy
Last week, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a local initiative measure that would have imposed severe restrictions on oil and gas development in Monterey County is preempted by state law and therefore invalid. The decision came in the case of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. County of Monterey. The Supreme Court’s ruling was predictable, …CONTINUE READING