Pollution & Health

Biofuels Could Be Good for Your Health (Especially If You Live in New York, Chicago, or L.A.)

A recent study at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab indicates that biofuels may have health benefits: Although there are a number of uncertainties that must be addressed for a more accurate picture, these early results show that a biofuel eliminating even 10-percent of current gasoline pollutant emissions would have a substantial impact on human health in …

CONTINUE READING

No Butts About It

The New York Times has reported on a stealth environmental crisis, one that the public has heretofore regarded as the mere detritus of a serious public health controversy. But discarded cigarette butts constitute a major environmental crisis as well, and public attention to that crisis is long overdue. In its recent story, the Times notes …

CONTINUE READING

Idle Chatter

WBUR’s Here and Now radio show recently covered the story of George Pakenham, the self-named “Verdant Vigilante.”  Pakenham roams the streets of New York City engaging in citizen enforcement of the city’s anti-idling law.  The law, which has been on the books in various forms since 1971, prohibits idling for greater than 3 minutes (1 …

CONTINUE READING

Judge Sotomayor’s Environmental Record

Now that President Obama has nominated her for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s record as a federal court judge will be under the microscope. Political pundits, legal scholars and advocacy groups from across the political spectrum will all be scrutinizing Sotomayor’s extensive record as a federal …

CONTINUE READING

A Good Week for Environmental Federalism

This has been a very good week for proponents of environmental federalism. On Tuesday, President Obama convened a Rose Garden ceremony to announce first-ever federal regulatory mandates specifically designed to address global warming. The federal government’s new CAFE standards for new cars and light trucks, beginning with the 2012 model year, will simultaneously reduce greenhouse …

CONTINUE READING

Auto Emissions Deal–Enough Credit to Go Around?

The announcement of the deal on auto emissions was roundly hailed as a remarkable achievement of the Obama Administration.  There is no arguing with the notion that it was dramatic, both in terms of the bargaining process and the outcome.  The Los Angeles Times today provided a behind-the-scenes view of the months-long negotiations, including everything …

CONTINUE READING

Good News for Air, Climate, Traffic?

Two recent interesting and potentially related articles in the LA Times  suggest an encouraging trend.  California drivers are consuming less gasoline, a trend that began in 2006.  And U.S. car buyers may begin to look more like European consumers, buying smaller, more fuel efficient cars and keeping those cars longer. As the Times reports in …

CONTINUE READING

Cap and Trade? Huh??

It turns out that hardly anyone except politicos and policy wonks knows what cap-and-trade means or that it relates to climate change.  According to Rasmussen, Given a choice of three options, just 24% of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29%) believe the …

CONTINUE READING

ESA Does Not Address Carbon Emissions

According to news reports, the Department of Interior has reaffirmed a Bush Administration rule that excludes carbon emissions from regulation under the Endangered Species Act.  The Guardian reports: The Obama administration today declined to protect polar bears from the single greatest threat to their survival – the melting of sea ice by global warming. The …

CONTINUE READING

Why won’t Arnold back smog checks for motorcycles?

This is a law blog, so call this post Easy Rider v. Planet Saver.  The California legislature is considering a bill (SB 435, sponsored by Sen. Fran Pavley of the clean-car “Pavley Regs” fame) requiring motorcyles to undergo bienniel smog checks, just like cars and trucks do. The bill would take aim at a significant remaining source …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING