Climate Change

Let’s Get One Thing Straight

The waiver preemption lawsuit isn’t about one national fuel economy standard.

As Ann wrote yesterday, the Association of Global Automakers and the auto companies General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler have stated their intent to intervene in pending litigation challenging the Trump administration’s rule to preempt California’s Advanced Clean Cars program, and any future tailpipe greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards the state and others might seek …

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General Motors Can’t Have It Both Ways

Several media outlets are reporting that General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler are intervening on the side of the Trump Administration in California’s lawsuit challenging the federal government’s yanking of the state’s permission to issue its own tailpipe standards for greenhouse gases and to require zero emissions vehicles.  (Cara described the lawsuit here. Julia and …

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Can Soils Solve Climate Change?

Carbon-rich soil, in eastern Pennsylvania, from Flickr user soilscience

Another dubious claim of natural climate solutions makes the rounds

A few months ago, I questioned a claim that planting trees could solve climate change. According to some scientists, reforestation “is by far the cheapest solution that has ever been proposed,” and for $300 billion it could sequester 200 gigatons of carbon (GtC, or 733 GtCO2). Many media outlets swooned, but the assertions were weak …

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A Dozen Strategies for the Struggle With Big Oil

Big Oil will fight against energy transformation. How do we fight back?

The oil industry is enormous – something like 2-3% of global GDP. Individuals firms like ExxonMobil earn tens of billions of dollars each quarter. Controlling climate change will mean drastic curtailment in the coming decades of the industry’s major products. There’s no way that the industry will accept this lying down, and it’s a formidable …

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Spotlight on San Antonio

The role of transparency in municipal climate plans

Last week, San Antonio’s City Council approved its first-ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. This Plan’s main benefit is its ability to track and measure GHG emissions, while also signaling to City agencies, other municipalities, and the state that it is committed to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. This is a big win for a …

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The Risks of Promising the Improbable

Candidates’ climate proposals are starkly unrealistic. That’s a problem.

As I wrote in a post last Thursday, there’s little prospect that anything like a Green New Deal could pass the Senate even assuming the filibuster is eliminated.  In the best case scenario, Democrats would have a one or two vote margin in the Senate. That’s a very slim margin for passing a trillion dollar …

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How Can We Achieve a Carbon-Neutral Transportation Sector by 2050?

Developments from a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change

Today, the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions For Planes, Trains and Everything Beyond Automobiles.” As the title suggests, the Subcommittee’s hearing sought to probe opportunities to decarbonize the transportation sector while focusing on modes of …

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Is Trump’s California Climate Tantrum Bad Politics?

Here’s hoping so

Apparently it hasn’t been enough for the Trump Administration to roll back federal climate pollution standards for cars and power plants, announce its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, promote coal usage even in the face of contrary market forces, and embrace expanded oil and gas drilling on public lands.  As my colleague Ann …

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The Trump Revenge Against California Continues

DOJ Sues the State for Its Cap-and-Trade Agreement with Quebec

The Trump attack on California’s climate policies has entered a new phase.  In addition to revoking the state’s permission to regulate tailpipe emissions from cars, investigating auto makers for antitrust violations for cooperating with California on reducing car emissions, threatening to revoke highway funds from the state for Clean Air Act violations while simultaneously taking …

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What Do the Candidates’ Climate Proposals Tell Us?

There is a big disconnect between climate proposals and political reality.

Some people were upset because there wasn’t a question about climate change at the last Democratic debate. Admittedly, that’s a lost opportunity to highlight the importance of the issue.  But the significance of the candidates’ various positions on climate change is limited. Let me start with what they don’t tell us. The main thing they …

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