Energy

American Public Wakes Up, Smells the Coffee

Further evidence of a shift in public opinion on climate change.

As I discussed in a September 9th post, public opinion has been shifting toward greater recognition of climate change and the need to respond.  Much of the evidence came from polls dating back a few months. Further evidence is provided by two polls released this week. People do seem to be waking up to the …

CONTINUE READING

What Hath California Wrought?

Has California climate policy succeeded? Yes, but it’s complicated.

California’s climate policy have been a success, but quantifying the effects is complicated. It’s harder than it might seem to determine whether a climate regulation has succeeded.  California has clearly hit or exceeded its target for overall carbon emissions reductions under its method of carbon accounting.   But if we ask how much global emissions are …

CONTINUE READING

Trump’s Legal Challenges to the California’s Car Deal

Is there any legal basis for the Trump Administration’s actions?

Prompting rage by President Trump, California and several carmakers entered a voluntary agreement on carbon emissions from new cars that blew past the Administration’s efforts to repeal existing federal requirements. Last week, the Trump Administration slapped back at California. Although there’s been a lot of editorializing about that response, I’ve seen very little about the …

CONTINUE READING

Anti-Science Climate Denialists Must Be Behind the Methane Rollback

Reducing Methane is a Really Smart Climate Solution With Fast Results

Dan and Ken have offered quick takes on why the latest Trump assault on the environment  is inexplicable — as they note, the oil industry doesn’t need or want a rollback of rules that regulate methane emissions, and the compliance costs to industry are tiny.  So what is the point of gutting a rule to …

CONTINUE READING

Helter Skelter

Even for deregulators, the latest rollback makes no sense.

The Washington Post reported this morning that EPA is getting ready to roll back yet another Obama Administration climate regulation — this time, one regulating natural gas leaks.  I wanted to add a brief postscript to Ken Alex’s post on this. What struck me most immediately was the sheer economic weirdness of making this rollback …

CONTINUE READING

Clearing the Air

The DC Circuit upholds a major air regulation.

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit decided Murray Energy v. EPA.  The court upheld EPA’s health-based 2015 air quality standards for ozone against challenges from industry (rules too strong) and environmental groups (rules too weak).  However, it rejected a grandfather clause that prevented the new standards from applying to plants whose permit applications were in-process when …

CONTINUE READING

For the Love of Carbon

Understanding Trump’s Drive to Ramp Up Carbon Emissions

Libertarians may oppose government regulation on principle, and to some extent that stance explains the Trump Administration’s environmental and energy policies.  But the Trump Administration clearly views the fossil fuel sector as something more than another overly-regulated industry.  Instead, expansion of this particular industry is seen as something good in itself. Thus, the Administration not …

CONTINUE READING

Principles of Climate Governance

We need to address the procedures and structures for climate policymaking.

There’s a lot of discussion about the substance of climate policy today.  That’s obviously critical, but we also need to think about the procedural and institutional issues involved in making climate policy.  For instance, we need to think about how to divide authority between the states and the federal government.  I thought it would be …

CONTINUE READING

A Letter to My Fellow Boomers About Climate Change

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Polls show that a great many members of our generation oppose taking action against climate change.  I want to try to explain to that group why you should rethink your views.  Let me start by explaining why climate action would benefit you yourself and then widen the focus to include your grandchildren and their kids. …

CONTINUE READING

Elections Matter – Even More Than You Thought.

Three ultra-close elections put us a dozen years behind in climate policy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it hard to keep focused on November 3, 2020, given the confusing welter of candidates on one side and the daily bombshells issuing from the other.  So maybe this is a good time for a reminder of a why elections matter.  In fact, they not only matter, …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING