Politics

Why is GM using taxpayer funds to fight clean car progress?

Just back from a weekend conference where climate litigator Matthew Pawa gave a keynote address.  He’s one of the lawyers who successfully defended California’s right to demand that automakers make cars that limit their greenhouse gas emissions, calling and cross-examining witnesses in a dramatic 2007 trial that put climate change science on the stand.  In …

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Is Environmental Law Socialist?

Conservatives might be seeking a spiritual leader, organizing principle and fresh identity, but they at least seem to have settled on a favorite rhetorical ogre: socialism. As in, Democrats are intent on forcing socialism on the “U.S.S.A” (as the bumper sticker says, under the words “Comrade Obama”). This trend, as reported by the New York …

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The importance of outside advisors and career staff

Dan posted recently about the decision remanding EPA’s latest revision of the particulate NAAQS, American Farm Bureau v. EPA. One thing that struck me reading the decision is the powerful role played not only by outside advisory groups but also by career agency staff. Even if they are overridden by the political decisionmakers, the views …

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Obama’s Progressive Tax and Energy Policy

Though the budget released yesterday by the Obama Administration was short on details, it was long on big pronouncements that fundamentally shift federal policy in important areas. On the climate change front, the budget for the first time reveals the administration’s thinking on how it would distribute money raised from allowances issued under a proposed …

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Jon Cannon To Be EPA Deputy Administrator

President Obama has nominated Jon Cannon, Professor of Law at University of Virginia, to be the EPA’s new Deputy Administrator, subject to Senate confirmation. Cannon has extensive experience in the federal government, including three years as the EPA’s General Counsel from 1995-98. In my view he’s a great appointment. His background gives him enormous experience, …

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UCLA Working Conference on Nanotechnology Policy

The2009WorkingConferenceonNanotechRegulatoryPolicywillbeheldattheUniversityofCalifornia,LosAngelescampusonApril17.  TheConferencewillbringtogetheraninterdisciplinarygroupofscholarsandresearchers,policymakers,non-governmentalorganizations,andbusinessesforaction-orientedworkshoppanelsonthescienceandpolicyofnanotechnology.  ThegoaloftheConferenceistocriticallyevaluateseveralspecificpolicyproposalsforrespondingtothepotentialpublichealthandenvironmentalimpactsofnanotechnology.  TheConferencewillexaminethreecategoriesofpolicyresponsesthroughseveralpanels:  ∙          Relianceonexistingregulatoryprograms ∙           Developmentofinnovative“nano-specific”regulatoryprograms ∙           Relianceupon“private”regulation(e.g.,industryinitiatives,insurancemechanisms,etc.)  ThepolicyproposalswillbesetoutinaseriesofsuccinctpaperscommissionedbytheConferencesponsorsanddistributedtoallparticipantsinadvanceoftheConference.  ThesepaperswillbepublishedintheUCLAJournalofEnvironmentalLawandPolicy. Registration is availableonline.  Visit the website at http://www.cnsi.ucla.edu/NanoRegulatoryPolicy/

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President Obama’s Remarks on Energy Tonight

“It begins with energy. “We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing …

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Is Ray LaHood Trying to Subsidize Gas Guzzlers?

We finally see Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (R-IL) emerge from his undisclosed location, and the result isn’t pretty: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn _ an idea that has angered drivers in some states where it …

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Mary Nichols gets mad

Amid the general relief that California’s legislature has finally passed a budget, our state’s (and nation’s?) chief air & climate conscience makes some serious objections: California’s proposed budget contains a major provision that would weaken air pollution regulations while saving the construction industry millions of dollars. The measure, largely overlooked in a public debate focused on …

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Obama on Transportation, Land Use and Energy Use

Stunning news from the White House: we actually have a US president who understands the connection between land use patterns and energy use. Obama’s stimulus bill was weak on spending for transit projects (as opposed to highway projects). But that was because it was a bill about jobs, and more highway projects just happened to …

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