Politics

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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Trump Announces Waiver Rollback on Twitter

Revoking California’s Clean Air Act Waiver Is Bad Policy and Legally Indefensible

This post was originally published on the American Constitution Society’s Expert Forum on September 18, 2019.  President Trump announced the revocation on Twitter this morning. It’s not news that the Trump administration has been planning, via its so-called SAFE Rule, to freeze Obama-era fuel economy standards, roll back tailpipe greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards, and …

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Is California’s High Speed Rail Project Falling Apart?

Join my KALW radio conversation tonight with newly appointed High Speed Rail Authority board chair Lenny Mendonca at 7pm

The future of California’s high speed rail system has arguably never been as perilous as now. Otherwise-supportive legislators are now openly mulling raiding high speed rail funds meant to complete the first leg in the Central Valley for rail improvements in the more densely populated parts of California, namely the San Francisco Bay Area and …

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Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Next President

If it’s Trump, we’ll see more of the same. But what if a Democrat wins?

Under executive orders dating back to Reagan, regulatory agencies like EPA are supposed to follow cost-benefit analysis in making decisions. Under the Trump Administration, however, cost-benefit analysis has barely even served as window-dressing for its deregulatory actions.  It has launched a series of efforts to prevent full counting of regulatory benefits, as well as committing …

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A Rule to Revoke California’s Waiver?

Why an action to revoke the waiver for California’s Advanced Clean Cars program could be the Administration’s worst move yet.

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times reported that in the midst of growing “disarray” around the rollback of the Obama-era fuel economy and greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions standards, “Mr. Trump went so far as to propose scrapping his own rollback plan and keeping the Obama regulations, while still revoking California’s legal authority …

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And the Survey Says…

How to interpret and utilize “environmentalist” poll results showing widespread support for environmental protection

As most of us know by now, environmentalism in the United States has increasingly become a politically polarizing topic. A Gallup poll from March 2018 revealed that only 42% of surveyed individuals consider themselves to be “environmentalists,” a figure which has decreased over time from the early 1990s: Interestingly, however, this shift in identity for …

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Climate of Opinion

What do Americans think about climate change and environmental regulation?

Public opinion has been moving toward greater acceptance of the realities of climate change and the need for action.  According to an April report by the Pew Charitable Trust, over half of Americans think the environment should be a priority for the next President, and over forty percent say that for climate change.  Both figures …

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For the Love of Carbon

Understanding Trump’s Drive to Ramp Up Carbon Emissions

Libertarians may oppose government regulation on principle, and to some extent that stance explains the Trump Administration’s environmental and energy policies.  But the Trump Administration clearly views the fossil fuel sector as something more than another overly-regulated industry.  Instead, expansion of this particular industry is seen as something good in itself. Thus, the Administration not …

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A Letter to My Fellow Boomers About Climate Change

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Polls show that a great many members of our generation oppose taking action against climate change.  I want to try to explain to that group why you should rethink your views.  Let me start by explaining why climate action would benefit you yourself and then widen the focus to include your grandchildren and their kids. …

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