Court rules Montana’s state constitutional guarantee of a clean & healthful environment for Montanans prevails over state officials’ fossil fuel-centric policies
A Montana state district court has issued its long-awaited decision in a major climate change case brought by Montana children against state officials. In Held v. State of Montana, a Montana trial court ruled that the state Constitution’s guarantee of a healthy and clean environment prevails over Montana’s longstanding fossil-fuel-based state energy policies. The “youth citizen” …CONTINUE READING
News stories that frame the rise of e-bikes as one big safety risk are not only short-sighted, they could lead to bad policy.
There’s a dangerous new mobility trend on American streets that’s captured the attention of the New York Times: e-bikes. Or so the Times, and some other media outlets, are suggesting with their editorial choices. “The e-bike industry is booming, but the summer of 2023 has brought sharp questions about how safe e-bikes are, especially for …CONTINUE READING
Even on the environment, his views are strange and unsettling.
Robert Kennedy, Jr., has polled surprisingly well so far. That may well be a fluke, but it may be worth taking a look at his views at this point. Unlike his views on vaccines, his views on climate change don’t involve blanket denial of science. But they do involve some of the same populist fears …CONTINUE READING
Cleaning up our nation’s air benefits the disadvantaged most of all.
Evidence is mounting that air pollution regulation is an effective way of reducing health disparities between disadvantaged communities and the population as a whole. The basic reason is simple: Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to poor communities and communities of color. As the American Lung Association has said: “The burden of air pollution …CONTINUE READING
BAAQMD’s trailblazing rule will ban the sale of new gas furnaces and water heaters to combat nitrogen oxide pollution. It marks a big victory for public health and the planet.
Air quality officials in the San Francisco Bay Area just made history by moving to adopt the nation’s first rules phasing out new gas-fueled water heaters and furnaces in homes and businesses within about eight years. This action serves as a major step in the effort to curb health-harming and planet-warming emissions from buildings. Several cities …CONTINUE READING
Krugman claims that climate action doesn’t mean an end to growth. He’s right.
In a recent column, Paul Krugman argued that cutting carbon emissions doesn’t have to mean an end to economic growth. He’s right about that. Carbon emissions and growth aren’t joined at the hip. He could have added that economic growth and quality of life don’t necessarily go together. The numbers are really clear about the …CONTINUE READING
Interpreting the association between conservatism and COVID death rates.
There is mounting evidence of an association between conservative politics and COVID impacts. Indeed, the higher death rate among Republicans may even have swung some close elections. A recent study sheds light on how ideology and death rates interact. As the Washington Post reports, the results were striking: “Covid death rates were 11 percent higher …CONTINUE READING
Welcome to 2023. It’s going to be a wild ride.
In the past week, we’ve gotten a glimpse of what the next two years will look like. On the one hand, chaos in Congress. On the other hand, quiet progress toward environmental goals by the Biden Administration. Both trends are likely to continue throughout this Congress and the second half of the presidential term. The …CONTINUE READING
A Century Ago, the Supreme Court Created a Transformative Legal Doctrine Out of Whole Cloth
One hundred years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a radical constitutional decision that over the last century has proven enormously consequential in a host of environmental, natural resources and public health contexts. In the December 1922 decision Pennsylvania Coal Company v. Mahon, a divided Supreme Court created the constitutional doctrine of “regulatory …CONTINUE READING
A new rule will clean up exhaust from new diesels, a major health threat.
Last week, EPA finalized its new rule imposing emission limits on new heavy trucks. The new regulation was clearly a massive undertaking. EPA’s formal announcement of the new rule is 1100 pages long. The accompanying summary of comments on the proposed rule and EPA’s responses is another 2000 pages. This is partly due to the …CONTINUE READING