Climate Change

Safeguarding Climate Policies

There are several strategies for insulating climate policy from leaders like Trump.

Trump’s election was a surprise. What should not be a surprise is the inevitability of political setbacks for climate policy. We saw that in the U.S. with the shift from Clinton to Bush and then from Obama to Trump. We also saw that in Australia where it meant the repeal of a promising emissions trading […]

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Hot Enough Yet?

Apparently not.

Two weeks ago, my family vacation took us past the self-proclaimed “world’s largest thermometer,” in Baker, California, which read 111 degrees when we visited it–the hottest air temperature my kids had ever felt.  Back at UCLA we’re feeling the heat today, too, with much of the LA basin scorching in record temperatures.  L.A.’s heat wave […]

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Quick Thoughts on Scott Pruitt resignation as EPA Administrator

Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Former Coal Lobbyist, to Serve as Acting Administrator

As Dan Farber just pointed out, President Trump announced minutes ago via Twitter that Scott Pruitt is (finally) stepping down as Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, will serve as Acting Administrator pending confirmation of a new Administrator.  I have a few quick […]

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NEWSFLASH: Pruitt Resigns

Under pressure, Pruitt finally exits EPA.

President Trump tweeted today that he had accepted Scott Pruitt’s resignation and appointed Robert Wheeler as Acting Administrator of EPA.  Wheeler is likely to be just as bad on policy and could well be more competent and effective than Pruitt. But Pruitt was a disgrace to the office, and it is good to see him […]

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Trump’s Dubious Bailout

It’s unlikely that a bailout will have more than a temporary effect. Assuming it holds up in court, that is.

Trump plans to use national security powers to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants.  Rick Perry says the government is trying to figure out the cost of this effort – but he doesn’t seem to care what that cost would be. After all, he says, “You cannot put a dollar figure on the cost to keep […]

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What Does Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Mean for Environmental Protection?

Short Answer: It’s Not Good

The news that Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring has ramifications for many important areas in constitutional law, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and abortion.  His vote was also pivotal in many environmental cases.  Justice Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced by a more conservative justice. If that justice votes with the conservative wing of the […]

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Memo to Staff: Eliminating Cl***** Ch****

Also, please delete all references to global w***ing.

MEMORANDUM To: All Department Staff From: The Secretary Re: Eliminating Cl***** Ch****   As you know, it is this Administration’s policy to eliminate all references to Cl***** Ch**** from government documents. This policy has been unevenly implemented, but I have informed the President that we are adopting a zero-tolerance approach. All use of the “double-c […]

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A Trumped-Up Bailout Plan

Legally deficient? Arbitrary? Disguised special interest favors? All par for the course in this Administration.

You couldn’t ask for a more typical example of the Trump Administration at work. Nuclear and coal plants are being closed across the country, unable to compete with cheap natural gas and increasingly cheap renewables.  In a desperate effort to support the coal industry, Trump wants to force consumers to subsidize these plants.  It’s not […]

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Scenarios

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We live in an uncertain world. Scenario planning can help.

When Shell Oil produced a sophisticated scenario of the path to a carbon neutral world in 2070, a lot people took notice. Shell concluded that the “relevant transformations in the energy and natural systems require concurrent climate policy action and the deployment of disruptive new technologies at mass scale within government policy environments that strongly […]

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CARB Seeks to Maintain Stringency of California’s Vehicle Standards

Emmett Institute submits public comment in support of CARB’s efforts

Back in the halcyon days of 2012 when EPA, NHTSA, California, and the automakers crafted a grand bargain to adopt national vehicle emission standards, California agreed that compliance with vehicle emission standards adopted at the federal level would be “deemed to comply” with California’s standards. Now, as it becomes clear that the federal government intends […]

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