Energy

Electric Vehicle Law & Policy Solutions For France & California

New CLEE symposium brief released today based on June 2019 conference

UC Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) is today releasing a new report on lessons learned to advance electric vehicle (EV) deployment in France and California. Electric Vehicles and Global Urban Adoption: Policy Solutions from France and California is based on a June 2019 international conference at UC Berkeley, co-sponsored by …

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A New Tactic in Climate Change Litigation

Exxon logo

Unlike past lawsuits, a recent one may be able to accomplish more

Last week, closing arguments were presented in a potentially important climate change lawsuit, the People of the State of New York v. Exxon Mobil Corp. Such climate legal action seems increasingly common, or at least visible. In the US, 21 youths have brought a lawsuit against the federal government and fossil fuel companies for failing …

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“But What Can Someone Like Me Do About Climate Change?”

Yes, there ARE things you can do. Individual efforts add up.

One reason people avoid thinking about climate change, or try to pretend it’s not happening, is that they feel powerless to address the problem.  It’s true that anything we can individually do is minuscule compared with the scope of the problem.  But individual efforts really do add up.  People usually think first about how to …

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What to Expect from Trump’s Second Term

Basically, a second term would be like Trump’s first term, but worse.

Here we are, one year from Election Day. As of now, there is a significant chance that Trump will be reelected in 2020, though experts disagree on the precise odds.  In terms of the environment, what would his second term look like? The President. It’s conceivable that Trump might rethink his policy positions after reelection, …

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Toyota’s Defense of Its Choice to Support the Trump Administration’s Auto Standards Rollback Rings Hollow

Sadly, Toyota Has Ceded Its Place As the Industry’s Environmental Leader

My colleagues Ann, Cara, Julia, and Rick have all written about various aspects of the decision by General Motors, Toyota, and other automobile manufacturers to side with the Trump administration as it tries to prevent California from setting its own greenhouse gas emission standards. The administration is implementing this rollback in tandem with a federal …

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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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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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2020 in the Courts: A Preview

Some major new cases will be filed; older ones will result in major decisions.

There are going to be some significant environmental cases over the next year. In addition, some important new cases will be filed now or in the near future, which may have produced some interesting rulings. It will probably take more than a year, however, for some of the big new cases down the turnpike to …

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“If Present Trends Continue….”

To paraphrase Socrates, “the unexplained projection is not worth giving.”

You often see forecasts like this: “If present trends continue, electric vehicles will be X% of the auto fleet by 2035.”  But this doesn’t mean much without explanation: what “trends” and “continued” in what way?  The Energy Information Agency is a major culprit in that respect — they provide lots of projections but don’t unpack …

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Lights Out, Everybody’s Home

Protecting California’s Most Vulnerable from Climate Effects

Today, rather than walking to campus, I’m home learning the features of Zoom Conference to conduct meetings and classes remotely: UC Berkeley’s campus is shut for its second day in a row, as Pacific Gas and Electric seeks to minimize risk of a wildfire (and associated liability) in the present high wind conditions. Even as …

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