In 2015, EPA set greenhouse gas emissions standards for new coal-fired and natural gas-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards program, Section 111(b) of the Act. These standards ensure that new plants can be built only if they incorporate state-of-the-art emissions controls. Unfortunately, in late 2018, the Trump Administration EPA proposed […]
The federal estimate of energy-related carbon emissions in 2050 should get our attention.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) issues projections for future energy use across all sectors of society. They aren’t really predictions of our energy future — they are more like conversation starters. In fact, some researchers suggest that EIA shows a consistent bias by forecasting more energy use than actually occurs. Yet, […]
Why Has Labor Attacked The Green New Deal?
One more entry in the “Not Helpful” Department: The AFL-CIO, the national arm for U.S. labor unions, offered a critical assessment of the Green New Deal, warning that the ambitious plan to combat climate change could adversely affect U.S. workers. In a letter last week to Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria […]
Would it be legal to declare a national emergency for climate change? Would it be useful? Here’s what you need to know.
The possibility of declaring a national emergency to address climate change will probably remain under discussion for the next couple of years, particularly if the courts uphold Trump’s “wall” emergency. For that reason, I thought it might be helpful to pull together the series of blog posts I’ve written on the subject. I want to […]
A: Maybe, but only in a roundabout way. (And at a cost.)
Just about nobody who’s knowledgeable in the field thinks the U.S. electric grid can be made carbon free in ten years. Having spent the past two years lambasting the Trump Administration for ignoring the experts, I’m loathe to disagree with the expert opinion on this one. But even if the ten-year deadline set by supporters […]
The idea deserves serious consideration. There actually could be some very tangible benefits.
I have a confession: When I started thinking about the possibility of a climate emergency declaration, it was mostly as a counterpoint to Trump’s possible (now a done deal) declaration of an immigration emergency. As I’ve thought about it, however, it seems to me that there are enough potential benefits to make the idea worth […]
How to Make a Good Bill Even Better
(This post is co-authored by U.C. Davis Law School Professor Chris Elmendorf) Last week, as President Trump harrumphed about the faux emergency on our nation’s Southern border, California State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced a potentially transformative bill that addresses California’s real emergency: the ever-escalating cost of housing in the state’s economically productive metropolitan regions. As […]
Significant parts of the GOP seem to be leaving Trump behind on the climate issue.
There were three interesting stories about climate politics in the papers today: one about Trump, one about other Republicans, and one about both. What these stories tell us is that part of the GOP is coming to terms with reality; Trump not surprisingly is not. First, as to Trump. As you may have noticed, Trump […]
How would we go about decarbonizing the most needy U.S. states?
Progressives are calling for a Green New Deal. The details are still very fuzzy, despite the House resolution introduced by Markey and Ocasio-Cortez. That proposal as a ten-year timetable to eliminate carbon, which is highly unrealistic. Nevertheless, it’s worth thinking about what an all-out effort to decarbonizing the economy would look like. The Green New […]
In an era defined in Washington by lies and the suppression of scientific research, California is positioning itself as a defender of facts and free inquiry. Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D, Los Angeles) this week introduced Assembly Bill 700, a bill sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to address the harm inflicted on public […]