Politics

A Dozen Strategies for the Struggle With Big Oil

Big Oil will fight against energy transformation. How do we fight back?

The oil industry is enormous – something like 2-3% of global GDP. Individuals firms like ExxonMobil earn tens of billions of dollars each quarter. Controlling climate change will mean drastic curtailment in the coming decades of the industry’s major products. There’s no way that the industry will accept this lying down, and it’s a formidable …

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Spotlight on San Antonio

The role of transparency in municipal climate plans

Last week, San Antonio’s City Council approved its first-ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. This Plan’s main benefit is its ability to track and measure GHG emissions, while also signaling to City agencies, other municipalities, and the state that it is committed to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. This is a big win for a …

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The Risks of Promising the Improbable

Candidates’ climate proposals are starkly unrealistic. That’s a problem.

As I wrote in a post last Thursday, there’s little prospect that anything like a Green New Deal could pass the Senate even assuming the filibuster is eliminated.  In the best case scenario, Democrats would have a one or two vote margin in the Senate. That’s a very slim margin for passing a trillion dollar …

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How Can We Achieve a Carbon-Neutral Transportation Sector by 2050?

Developments from a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change

Today, the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions For Planes, Trains and Everything Beyond Automobiles.” As the title suggests, the Subcommittee’s hearing sought to probe opportunities to decarbonize the transportation sector while focusing on modes of …

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Is Trump’s California Climate Tantrum Bad Politics?

Here’s hoping so

Apparently it hasn’t been enough for the Trump Administration to roll back federal climate pollution standards for cars and power plants, announce its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, promote coal usage even in the face of contrary market forces, and embrace expanded oil and gas drilling on public lands.  As my colleague Ann …

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What Do the Candidates’ Climate Proposals Tell Us?

There is a big disconnect between climate proposals and political reality.

Some people were upset because there wasn’t a question about climate change at the last Democratic debate. Admittedly, that’s a lost opportunity to highlight the importance of the issue.  But the significance of the candidates’ various positions on climate change is limited. Let me start with what they don’t tell us. The main thing they …

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Climate Politics Down Under

Australia is leaping from the frying pan into the fire.

Australian climate politics has been strange if not chaotic.  And in terms of climate policy, things seems to be going from bad to worse. This is partly a function of general political upheaval. In an enlightening 2018 paper, three University of Melbourne law professors (Baxter. Milligan, and McRae) traced the developments from 2007 to 2016. …

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EPA/Transportation Announcement of California Waiver Revocation is Full of Falsehoods and Irony

How Many Misstatements Can You Find?

This morning, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation formally announced — as expected — that the Trump Administration is revoking California’s waiver to set its own vehicle standards. Yesterday, Trump tweeted the news, coupling it with falsehoods claiming that the rollback would save lives and save consumers money.  As I blogged yesterday, both …

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American Public Wakes Up, Smells the Coffee

Further evidence of a shift in public opinion on climate change.

As I discussed in a September 9th post, public opinion has been shifting toward greater recognition of climate change and the need to respond.  Much of the evidence came from polls dating back a few months. Further evidence is provided by two polls released this week. People do seem to be waking up to the …

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Trump’s Tweet about Yanking California’s Waiver is, Shockingly, Full of Falsehoods

The rollback will not make drivers safer and will not save consumers money

President Trump just sent out a series of tweets announcing and defending his decision to revoke California’s permission to issue its own tough standards to reduce carbon pollution and require manufacturers to sell Zero Emission Vehicles in the state.  Julia has a great analysis of why the decision is terrible policy and bad law that …

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