Despite ongoing federal rollbacks to environmental regulations, California has the right to set its own clean air standards because it is truly extraordinary. Truth be told, the compelling circumstances that first set in motion California’s vehicle emissions standards remain entirely valid. And there are four recent conditions, related to California’s oil supply, production, and refining, […]
Options for newly empowered state governors, legislators and US House Representatives to advance climate policy
This post is co-authored by Dan Farber and Eric Biber. Democrats took control of the US House of Representatives in the election last week, took full control of six state governments (Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maine, and Illinois), took governorships in seven states (including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas), and made significant gains in […]
Big wins for state initiatives and pro-climate candidates, plus opportunities for high speed rail and cap and trade
Some big wins for California (and therefore national) climate policy last night: Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is elected governor, which means the state will continue its climate leadership on various policy fronts Prop. 6 loses, which would have repealed the gas tax increase and meant less funding for transit going forward Prop. 1 wins, which […]
Overall, some very positive developments in terms of energy and environmental policy.
What happened on Tuesday? And what does it mean for the environment>? Going into Tuesday’s voting, there were three possible scenarios about the outcome: The Least Favorable Scenario for Environmental Regulation. In this scenario, the Republicans would hang on to control of the House by a smaller margin than today, and they gain several seats […]
Second in a Series About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program
[Post co-authored by Ted Parson and Sean Hecht] In this post, we continue our discussion of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which we introduced in our post on October 4, 2018. Because it’s a prominent and ambitious policy that will reduce California’s reliance on petroleum-based transport fuels, it is unsurprising the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard has […]
States have ignored Trump to promote clean energy within their borders.
CLEE published a survey of state energy policies through 2017. The trend toward renewables has continued in 2018. Even after nearly two years of the Trump Presidency, states haven’t given up. Instead, they’re moving forward aggressively. If anything, Trump seems to have stimulated these states to try even harder. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s […]
Utilities are spending billions of dollars to make the grid more reliable and sustainable.
In my last post, I talked about how Obama’s Clean Power plan was the right response to a changing grid. The grid is in the process of changing even more. Itwas designed for some relatively straightforward tasks. The main power plants, mostly burning coal (but sometimes natural gas or nuclear energy), ran day and night. […]
Precedent from another agency for the Clean Power Plan.
If you’ve been reading this blog or otherwise keeping up with environmental law, you’ve probably heard this a hundred times: In rolling back Obama’s signature climate regulation, the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration is relying on the idea that EPA’s jurisdiction stops at the fence line. That is, according to the Trump folks, EPA […]
Trump demanded the use of national security powers to subsidize the coal industry. Looks like that’s not happening.
In its desperate effort to save the failing American coal industry, the Trump Administration promised to use emergency powers to keep coal-fired power plants in operation even though they’re not economically viable. That would have been the kind of disruptive change that Trump promised to bring to Washington. But the effort seems to have gone […]
How can we limit the spread of wildfires and save people and property?
Wildfires are already a serious problem, and climate change will only make the problem worse, as I’ve discussed in my two prior posts. Reducing carbon emissions can help keep the problem from growing, but we need to deal with the risks we’re already facing. That is going to require a portfolio of risk management strategies. We […]