What the current fossil fuel energy crisis means for climate and clean energy policy
Pick up any newspaper and it is clear that much of the world is experiencing a series of interrelated energy price shocks. In Europe and the UK, natural gas prices are up by more than 500% over the last year, hitting all-time highs earlier this month. In the US, even with abundant supplies of natural …CONTINUE READING
A major, bipartisan step forward in an unlikely state.
Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an important piece of climate legislation. I wrote last month about major, bipartisan climate legislation in Illinois. Like the Illinois law, the North Carolina law enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The North Carolina legislature is under firm Republican. Nevertheless, the bill passed the state senate by a 42 …CONTINUE READING
Help, our energy system screwed up our planet!
A long time ago, in another galaxy far far away . . . . Dear Galactic Governance Collaborative, Those of us who colonized Planet X now find ourselves in dangerous straits. We request urgent assistance due to escalating environmental instability. You’re thinking it’s not easy to screw up an entire planet. You’re right about that. …CONTINUE READING
Welcome to law school. You’re just in time to help save the world.
Dear 1L: You’ve gotten to law school at a crucial time for the future of the planet. The good news is that you’re arriving at a pivotal point when your work as a lawyer can make a big difference. The bad news is that we have a limited amount of time to get the situation …CONTINUE READING
Illinois passes pathbreaking energy law.
Last week, Illinois’s governor signed into law a major piece of climate legislation. The law deserves more attention than it has received. Sadly, however, Illinois seems to be something of a neglected stepchild in the media. That’s a pity, because there are some important lessons in Illinois’s experience, both for the Midwest and the country …CONTINUE READING
Ranking the victories that saved priceless landscapes and environmental features
California is generally known as an environmental leader, but the state has also faced tremendous environmental degradation and destruction. I chronicled my “top 10” worst environmental decisions in the state’s history last year. But what about the good things state policy makers have done? Here is my list of the most significant environmental wins in …CONTINUE READING
Here are the replacement candidates’ views on climate.
With the California recall election coming up a month from now, it’s time to take a look at the candidates. The environment hasn’t been a signature issue for incumbent, Gavin Newsom, but he has strongly supported climate action. Now let’s take a look at who might replace him. It’s hard to know who, out of …CONTINUE READING
The bill gives the Feds broad authority to authorize transmission projects.
We will need a much more robust transmission in coming years. Sources of renewable energy, such as Iowa wind farms, are often located far from the urban centers that need the power. Transmission also helps to deal with weather issues that may impact renewables: even if it’s too cloudy for solar in one state, the …CONTINUE READING
Making sure that regulatory incentives do what the regulators intended.
In a new post, Dan Farber mentions performance-based regulation as a promising tool for encouraging energy utilities to be enthusiastic in supporting the transition to clean energy sources. There are a lot of people who agree with him. After all, traditional utility regulation tends to encourage the companies to overspend on infrastructure and under spend …CONTINUE READING
Utilities control a lot of the power system. How can we get their support for the energy transition?
Investor-owned utilities supply almost three-quarters of U.S. electricity. With some notable exceptions, they’ve tended to drag their feet on the energy transition. In order to push the transition forward, we need to get them on board. This post will try to diagnose the problem and sketch some possible remedies. The proposed Clean Energy Standard is …CONTINUE READING