Regulatory Policy

The Obesity Pandemic

It’s a global phenomenon, with poorly understood causes. But there’s no point in blaming the victims.

I’ve written in the past about the American obesity epidemic. Obesity rates have continued to climb in the United States, though the rate of increase has leveled out. But obesity is also on the rise globally. The obesity rate has increased everywhere. In nine countries, at least one out of five people is now obese: …

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Keep on Trucking

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 …

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Everyday Christmas: The Gift of the Commons

Clean air. Clean water. We receive these public goods every day without payment, as gifts from everyone to all of us.

One of the Christmas classics is the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, Stewart’s character, is despondent about his life but then learns how much he has unknowingly helped others and how grateful they are. It’s heartwarming, if also very corny. There’s a flip side to that story: the need to remember how …

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The Passing of a Respected Water Warrior

Remembering California Water Law Attorney Clifford Lee

Clifford (Cliff) Lee, one of California’s most knowledgable and respected water law experts, died suddenly late last month.  His passing leaves a tremendous void in the field of California water law and policy. After earning his undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley, Cliff attended law school at U.C. Davis and quickly became entranced by water law.  …

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Supercharging Electrolyzers to Support Zero-Emission Hydrogen Generation

New CLEE/UCLA report identifies policy solutions to grow electrolyzer adoption

Join us for a webinar on December 13 at 12 PM to discuss the report’s findings. Hydrogen could play a critical role in helping California to decarbonize its electricity grid and achieve carbon neutrality. The gas can be generated from surplus renewable energy resources (like solar or wind) to create zero-emission (or “green”) hydrogen. The …

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Energy Price Shocks and the Failures of Neoliberalism

Stuart Rankin, Europe at Night in 2012 https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/15775721086 (Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0)

Why it’s time to rethink electricity market design to ensure a clean and equitable energy future

This post was originally published on the Law and Political Economy blog. The global energy price shocks of the past two years have made it painfully clear that energy cannot be treated as an ordinary commodity and that many governments have been insufficiently attentive to energy security. Given its dependence on Russian gas, the EU has …

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Wasting Gas

A proposed rule limiting flaring and venting of natural gas is a win for everyone except greedy oil and gas operators.   

Yesterday, the Interior Department posted a proposed rule to limit flaring and venting of natural gas on public lands. The rule will be good for everyone except the oil and gas operators who waste the gas, increasing methane and carbon emissions while giving the public nothing in return.  The rule is clearly a step in …

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California’s Secret Weapon: The Scoping Plan

There’s no substitute for a comprehensive policy vision.

The scoping process has been key to California’s success in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  The process requires the government to assess past progress, project future emissions, and come up with a strategy to meet its climate goals.  In contrast, in many states – and at the federal level – there’s no real mechanism for a …

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Happy 50th Anniversary, Federal Clean Water Act

One of America’s Foundational Environmental Laws Has Proven Transformational, But Requires Updating a Half-Century Later

The Clean Water Act (CWA), one of the nation’s most important environmental laws, is 50 years old today.  It’s proven to be one of the most successful of America’s bedrock federal environmental statutes.  But the CWA is far from perfect, needs some important updating, and will probably never fully achieve the aspirational goals Congress proclaimed …

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Scenarios and Uncertainty

Imagining different futures can be the best way to think through options when we don’t know the odds.

In environmental law, we’re often operating at the limits of knowledge about the natural world and human behavior.  Climate change is well understood in some ways, but it will set off a chain of reactions that we only partly understand.  It’s also difficult to predict the future of ecosystems, future energy prices, technological changes, and …

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