Regulatory Policy

California Enacts Nation’s First Comprehensive Fracking Law—And Everyone’s Unhappy

Controversial But Promising, SB 4 Constitutes Tangible Progress on the Fracking Front

Late last month the California Legislature passed, and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, the nation’s first comprehensive system of regulating hydraulic fracturing, the oil and gas drilling technique more commonly known as “fracking.” It turns out that no one–the oil and gas industry, surface landowners or environmentalists–is particularly happy with the new law. And …

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New Chemical Regulations Go Live in California

Making Prevention Real?

Today, after years of discussions and drafts, California’s new Safer Consumer Product regulations take effect.  They create a comprehensive chemicals regulatory scheme having three steps: identification and prioritization of consumer products containing chemicals of greatest concern (“product-chemical combinations”); performance of “alternative analyses” by the manufacturers of those high priority product-chemical combinations; and selection of regulatory responses …

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Of Mollusks and Men: The Wilderness Act and Drakes Bay Oyster Company

The debate over Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s continued operation within the Point Reyes National Seashore created two unlikely foes: environmentalists in favor of transitioning the land to wilderness, and supporters of local, organic food and a longstanding family business.  The San Francisco Chronicle aptly termed it a “legal and philosophical slugfest.” The door seems to …

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Chasing Ice, For Now

Last night I watched glaciers more than 30,000 years old break open and crash into the ocean – disappearing in mere seconds.  In photographer James Balog’s new documentary, Chasing Ice, he and a small team embark upon a multi-year “Extreme Ice Survey” to document 18 glaciers in remote regions of the world, including Iceland, Greenland and Alaska.  …

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EPA Unveils Carbon Standard for New Power Plants

This morning, U.S. EPA released its anticipated rule limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.   The proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act purports to set national limits on the amount of carbon pollution new power plants can emit. Today we’re taking a common-sense step …

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EPA Set to Release New Mercury and Air Toxics Regulations

Later this afternoon – at 2pm ET –  EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson is expected to announce EPA’s new regulations on mercury and toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants. EPA is developing the air toxics emissions standards for power plants under the Clean Air Act (Section 112), consistent with the D.C. Circuit’s opinion (PDF) regarding …

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