Politics

Hillary Clinton, Climate Change, and the ‘Sliding Doors’ of History

Here’s what could have happened instead of Trump’s crusade against climate action, if Clinton had squeaked out a victory in 2016.

If Hillary Clinton had won, we would be much further along today in the battle to cut carbon emissions and control climate change. Instead, Trump was a climate disaster. The bottom line: Elections do matter. Not just for politicians but for all of us.

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Reforming California’s Financial Penalties for Water Theft Will Create an Effective Deterrent

Overdue State Water Reform Legislation Likely Be Enacted in 2024–Finally

In a Legal Planet Post earlier this week, I recounted the saga of how federal prosecutors recently secured the criminal conviction of Dennis Falaschi, the former San Joaquin Valley water district general manager who oversaw the decades-long theft of millions of gallons of publicly-owned water from California’s Central Valley Project.  That successful prosecution certainly qualifies …

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Hypothetically Speaking: What if Trump Had Won in 2020?

In terms of climate policy, the short answer is “nearly total destruction.”

Trump’s end point from his first term — zeroing out federal climate action — would have been his starting point after reelection.  The next steps would have been an effort to end state-level and private climate action, and a massive increase in oil & gas production and use.

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Will Biden and Trump Debate Climate Change?

Here are 22 climate-related questions that moderators could ask Biden and Trump in the presidential debates, as well as the one question they should avoid.

President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are tentatively set to square off on a stage in Atlanta on June 27 in the first of two presidential debates and there are plenty of climate-related questions that CNN moderators should consider—especially since parts of the country may be sweltering under a heat wave, Georgia’s neighbors …

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Can the IRA Trump-Proof Itself?

Building A Political Firewall Against IRA Repeal

Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, is squarely in Donald Trump’s sights.  There is certainly a risk that a GOP sweep in November would result in repeal, as I’ve written before.  Yet there are increasing signs that the IRA has created a powerful political constituency deep in Republican domains.  This will make repealing …

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Finalists to be Trump’s Veep Pick

Not surprisingly, none of them augurs well for the environment, but some are worse than others.

All four candidates are strong supporters of fossil fuels.  Burgham’s willingness to talk about carbon neutrality makes him the most promising on environmental issues, while Vance’s unblemished anti-environmentalism makes him the worst. It’s hard to guess at whom Trump will choose, but Vance’s anti-environmentalism could give him an edge.  

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Big Oil Runs to the Supreme Court

Oil and gas companies want the justices to take up Honolulu’s climate liability case because this type of litigation is starting to gain strength.

The oil industry and its allies are attempting a full-court press to convince the Supreme Court justices they should shield them from climate liability lawsuits brought by cities and states throughout the U.S—and that they should do so now, before they face any court trials over climate-related damages. This unusual full-court press comes in the …

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Why a Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush — Especially When the Issue is Climate Change

Climate action is too urgent to insist on waiting for perfect solutions

It’s an ancient dispute: Should we compromise on half-measures, or hold out until we can get something a lot better?  Idealists argue for holding out. Pragmatist argue that half a loaf is better than none. Rather than rehearse familiar arguments, I want to focus specifically on climate change.  In my view, holding out for ideal …

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Halftime Report: Environmental Bills Moving Forward 

The UCLA Emmett Institute is tracking California environmental bills. In a year of tough budget choices, here are the notable bills that cleared Sacramento’s first big legislative deadline.

Legislators reached the first deadline of the 2023-2024 legislative season last week—passage of bills out of their house of origin. As the name implies, this refers to Assembly bills working their way through the Assembly, and Senate bills moving through the Senate, culminating with floor votes which concluded last Friday, May 24th. This period is …

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Trump’s War on Environmental Protection: A Chronology

Yes, there were over 100 environmental rollbacks. Here are the biggest.

From when he took office to the day he left, Trump lead a steady drumbeat of environmental rollback after environmental rollback. His goals: eliminate limits on pollution from fossil fuels and end protection of public lands.

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