Pollution & Health

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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And the Beat Goes On . . .

Two recent reports drive home the fact that phasing-out harmful chemicals is typically only the beginning of effective chemical policy rather than the end.  Methyl bromide, widely used in the last decade as a fumigant in California and elsewhere, is a toxic volatile organic compound and is ozone-depleting to boot.  Although efforts are underway to …

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CO2 and the Clean Air Act

New EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has granted the Sierra Club’s petition to reconsider a memorandum issued by outgoing Administrator Stephen Johnson in December. Almost two years after the Supreme Court declared, in Massachusetts v. EPA, that CO2 is an “air pollutant” for purposes of the Clean Air Act, this announcement, paired with the decision to …

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The future of coal-fired electric power

Tomorrow’s New York Times has an interesting article on the future of coal-fired electric power in the United States. Coal is responsible for fully 20% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.  “Clean coal,” meaning coal plants that result in no net emissions of carbon dioxide,  would be possible only …

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Debunking stereotypes about sprawl and Los Angeles: Be Precise!

Eric A. Morris over at Freakonomics is challenging readers to debunk fashionable stereotypes (often promoted by the jealous folks from the Bay Area) about Los Angeles and sprawl. On Monday, he made clear what planning folks have known for a long time: LA is actually quite a dense city. But be careful how you ask …

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