Politics

BP’s Surprising Pivot

An oil giant decides to face the future instead of fighting it.

With all that’s going on, it’s easy to miss what would in normal times be major news. On Tuesday, BP announced it was beginning to turn away from the oil business. The most significant thing may be this: BP stock rose after the announcement. BP has already sold its petrochemical business. It also announced that …

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Election 2020: Three Months till Election Day

The environmental are high: Trump has axed one regulation every two weeks for four years.

Since taking office, Trump has waffled on some issues and shuffled personnel, but on one thing he has held firm: eradicating legal protection of the environment.  His motto seems to be: No Regulation Left Standing. Something to keep in mind, as we head toward Election Day.  That’s three months away, but some states begin early …

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Election 2020: Update on the Senate

Senate control will matter a lot, regardless of who’s in the White House.

Control of the Senate will determine the environmental views of new judges and whether any environmental legislation can pass.  In August, I’ll start looking at the environmental stakes in specific Senate races. Here’s why Senate control is so important and where things stand right now. Basically, the question is whether Mitch McConnell retains his grip …

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Planning a Green Recovery

Don’t let the opportunity for a green stimulus go to waste.

The economy crashed during the lockdown. Although a recovery has begun,  government action will probably be needed to sustain it. We should seize this opportunity to make progress on sustainability. It’s hard to know the long-term economic impact of the pandemic. As Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Schiller has said, “Big events like a pandemic have …

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Election 2020: State Legislatures

The Outlook for State Climate Policy Might Improve

The key political races aren’t just about the White House or Congress.  Control of state legislatures will also be important in shaping climate and energy policy — not to mention their ultimate effect on the composition of the U.S. House due to redistricting. One of my themes is the importance of state government to climate …

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How NOT to Manage a Crisis

There were basic errors in organizing the White House pandemic response. It’s a teachable moment in crisis management.

The rap has been that the White House just ignored medical experts and left everything to the politicos. A  NY Times story over the weekend reveals that the story was more complicated. It discloses basic failures in management and crisis response since early in the coronavirus outbreak. Those failures should be heeded by future leaders. …

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What Did We Know and When Did We Know It?

Nothing about Trump’s environmental policies has been a surprise. He won anyway.

One thing you can say about Donald Trump is that he didn’t hide the ball.  He told us exactly what he would do about the environment. Many people who say they care about climate change or the environment apparently didn’t care enough to come to the polls and vote for his opponent.  People who liked …

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What was Trump’s Role in Premature Reopening?

Yes, he was at fault, but it’s complicated.

In a column about a week ago, Paul Krugman pointed to the dire consequences of the reopenings in the Sunbelt and laid the blame entirely on Trump.  He viewed it as “case of Republican governors following Trump’s lead.” The “main driving force,” he said, was Trump’s reelection strategy.  There’s some truth to that, but it’s …

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Members of Congress Oppose Trump Administration’s Attempt to Revoke California’s Clean Car Standards

UCLA Law’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic files a brief on behalf of 147 members of Congress in the D.C. Circuit

California has long led the fight against pollution from passenger vehicles, setting its first car emissions standards in 1966 before federal rules were established. After the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, California retained authority to establish a series of more stringent vehicle emissions rules—with the most recent iteration of greenhouse gas emissions standards …

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July Fourth at Mt. Rushmore: What about the “unalienable rights” of the Lakota?

In the limbo game of the 45th presidency: no matter how far the bar descends, Trump clears it by going under. Just two weeks after political furor over a planned Juneteenth support rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma—site of the 1921 Race Massacre, in which white mobs killed up to 300 Black people in 48 hours, and …

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