Regulatory Policy

Guest Bloggers Deborah Gordon and Frances Reuland: Is California Extraordinary? Its Oil Resources Certainly Are

Facts About California’s Oil and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Despite ongoing federal rollbacks to environmental regulations, California has the right to set its own clean air standards because it is truly extraordinary. Truth be told, the compelling circumstances that first set in motion California’s vehicle emissions standards remain entirely valid. And there are four recent conditions, related to California’s oil supply, production, and refining, […]

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An Ax, Not a Scalpel

Trump’s “take no prisoner’s” deregulatory strategy carries big litigation risks.

Some people, it would seem, prefer using an ax to a scalpel. That’s the Trump Administration. That strategy can be a great way to cut down a tree, but it doesn’t work so well for surgery. And there’s always the chance of cutting off your own foot. In many environmental domains, the Administration seems set […]

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Do Androids Dream of Endangered Sheep?

Imagine there were self-aware AIs. Would they care about the environment?

With the election behind us, I thought it might be a good time to take a step back and do some musing about less impending issues. Unlike most of my posts, this one is more on the speculative side. The title of this post is a riff on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a novel by […]

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The 2018 Elections: What’s the Upshot?

Overall, some very positive developments in terms of energy and environmental policy.

What happened on Tuesday? And what does it mean for the environment>? Going into Tuesday’s voting, there were three possible scenarios about the outcome: The Least Favorable Scenario for Environmental Regulation. In this scenario, the Republicans would hang on to control of the House by a smaller margin than today, and they gain several seats […]

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Major Policy Attacks on California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Why They’re Off-Target

Second in a Series About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program

[Post co-authored by Ted Parson and Sean Hecht] In this post, we continue our discussion of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which we introduced in our post on October 4, 2018. Because it’s a prominent and ambitious policy that will reduce California’s reliance on petroleum-based transport fuels, it is unsurprising the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard has […]

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Election Scenarios

Here are three ways things could play out from now to 2020.

We should know within the next 48 hours who will control the House and Senate, though if races are very tight it might take longer. I don’t want to make election predictions — that’s Nate Silver’s job, not mine. But I do want to sketch out some scenarios for the next two years, depending on […]

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California’s Proposition 6: Bad Policy & Nefarious Politics

Proposed Repeal of California’s Landmark “Gas Tax” Legislation Would Be Disastrous for State

Politicians don’t like to focus on infrastructure maintenance.  It’s not sexy, doesn’t command media headlines, and captures little public attention.  But maintaining a functioning, safe public infrastructure system is vital to ensuring a strong economy, protecting public safety and promoting long-term environmental goals. That’s why Proposition 6, a measure on California’s November 6th general election […]

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A Global Standard for a Global Problem

Emmett Institute Submits Comment in Support of CARB’s Proposed Tropical Forest Standard

The Emmett Institute submitted a comment to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) yesterday in support of its proposed Tropical Forest Standard (“Standard”).  If approved, this Standard would provide CARB a set of criteria to follow when determining whether to trade tropical forest offsets between California’s Cap and Trade Program and a foreign emissions trading […]

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Let’s Make A Deal

What Should Environmentalists Give Up – and Demand – For A Carbon Tax?

A nice editorial from the Los Angeles Times about the proposed carbon tax being offered by some Republicans under the front group Americans for Carbon Dividends, most notably former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz. Exxon-Mobil is even throwing $1 million into the effort — chump change for such a corporate behemoth. The Times […]

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The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act Turns 50

Celebrating a Half Century of Protecting America’s Rivers–& Hoping for More River Conservation Ahead

1968 was an especially tumultuous year in modern American history.  The nation endured the assassinations of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy; then-President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek reelection due to growing public dissatisfaction with the government’s conduct of the Vietnam War; and protests and riots consumed Chicago, Detroit, Washington, […]

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