Next week, I’ll be in Washington, D.C. with the Surfrider Foundation and two of our fabulous Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic students, Charoula Melliou and Divya Rao, to brief Congress on harms caused by marine plastic pollution and steps the federal government can take to combat the problem. Plastic pollution is a serious issue, […]
What, exactly, is EPA up to by changing the underlying analysis of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (known as the MATS rule), as it announced yesterday? Is it the first step in gutting the use of cost-benefit analysis to support strong environmental regulations? Is it a gift to Murray Energy in its lawsuit seeking […]
Clean air. Clean water. We receive these public goods every day without payment.
Every day, we reach receive bountiful gifts in the form of what economists call public goods. I thought it might be worth reposting some Christmas Eve musings on that subject. After all, the holiday season is a time for watching the same old movies and hearing the same old carols as before, so why shouldn’t […]
California’s Proposition 65 law has been consistently making the news lately — but not for the reasons it should.
This summer, California’s unique-in-the-nation law governing human exposure to toxic chemicals, Proposition 65, has been consistently making Page 1 — but in ways that belie the adage that “all publicity is good publicity.” Most heavily reported, and acutely politically perilous to the law’s supporters, has been a state trial court ruling that coffee must bear […]
Ninth Circuit reverses Pruitt decision to allow a dangerous pesticide on food.
Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Scott Pruitt had no justification for allowing even the tiniest traces of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos (also called Lorsban and Dursban) on food. This is yet another judicial slap against lawlessness by the current Administration. Chlorpyrifos was originally invented as a nerve gas, but it turns out that […]
Two weeks ago, my family vacation took us past the self-proclaimed “world’s largest thermometer,” in Baker, California, which read 111 degrees when we visited it–the hottest air temperature my kids had ever felt. Back at UCLA we’re feeling the heat today, too, with much of the LA basin scorching in record temperatures. L.A.’s heat wave […]
Ironically, the proposal calling for greater transparency provides little clue into the agency’s thinking.
EPA recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” The proposal would prohibit the agency from considering studies of health risks unless enough data is made publicly available to allow EPA or industry to validate the results. That sounds fine, but these studies often involve either confidential health records or […]
I posted earlier about an FDA move to remove nicotine from cigarettes in the hope of preventing addiction. FDA is also moving forward on some food nutrition issues. That makes FDA’s Commission, Scott Gottlieb, an oasis of sanity within the Trump Administration. First, as of May, FDA will begin enforcing a regulation requiring restaurants to […]
Obesity is bad for public health, bad for the environment. What can be done?
[There was a technical problem with the version of this posted earlier.] Obesity is an issue that gets sporadic media attention. But it’s a serious problem, and it’s getting worse. An ever-increasing proportion of the population suffers from obesity. If present trends continue, over half the U.S. population will be obese in another twenty years […]
SB 775 Provides a Strong Carbon Pricing Policy and Addresses Legal and Political Constraints
Two recent Legal Planet contributors have shared concerns about SB 775 over the last several days (Ann Carlson’s piece is here and Dallas Burtraw’s is here). We write here to provide context—economic, legal, and political—to help readers, and perhaps even these respected authors, better understand why the bill proposes to extend and evolve California’s approach […]