States

Does Ideology Kill?

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 …

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Advances in State Climate Policy

Despite the distractions of a national election, there were important developments around the country.

Last year, Congress took its first big step into climate policy by passing blockbuster spending measures. Nonetheless, many states are ahead of the Feds in climate policy. There were important developments in a multitude of states. California remained a hotspot for climate action. In terms of transportation emissions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved …

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The Year Ahead

Here are the top ten environment and energy developments to watch for.

Here we are, starting another year.  Last year turned out to have some major environmental developments. The most notable were the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia case, striking down the Clean Power Plan, and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, with its huge economic incentives for clean energy.  Here’s quick rundown of what …

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 10 Most Important Environmental Law Decisions of 2022

Climate Change, Water Rights, Environmental Justice & Federalism Issues Highlighted the Ninth Circuit’s Prodigious Environmental Docket This Year

I’ve shared in previous posts my view that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is–after the U.S. Supreme Court–the most influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental and natural resources law.  That’s true for two related reasons: first, the sprawling Ninth Circuit encompasses nine different states (including California) and …

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Another Battle in the ESG Wars

Another Trump rollback undone, another step forward for sustainable investing.

Some call it ESG — the growing attention of big investors to a company’s record Environmental, Social, and Governance issues. Some call it responsible investing. Others call it “woke.” On Nov. 22, the Biden Administration notched a victory in this ongoing battle, allowing ESG investments by private pension plans. Those plans now hold roughly $13 …

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DeSantis and the Environment      

A Little Bit of Nepotism and a Lot of Everglades Protection.

Compared to Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis is practically a Greta Thunberg on environmental issues.  Of course, by the same token, I’m practically a Steph Curry on the court compared to Danny DeVito. Sarcasm aside, DeSantis is pretty good on environmental issues for a Republican. But he rarely mentions climate change, and his record on renewable …

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Environment and Energy Impacts of the 2022 Election

The consequences will play out in D.C. and in some important states.

The President’s party typically does poorly in the mid-terms, Biden’s popularity is low, and Americans are upset about inflation. But the election didn’t produce the Republican wave many observers predicted in the last few weeks of the campaign.  Although the GOP will likely control the House, the Democrats have held the Senate.  Here’s where things …

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The Supreme Court’s Earliest Pollution Cases

Long before Congress, a notoriously conservative Court started taking pollution seriously.

Well over a century ago, the Supreme Court ruled that it had that power to remedy interstate water pollution. That was in 1901. Six years later, the Court decided its first air pollution case.  Notably, these cases came during the conservative Lochner era when the Court was hardly known for its liberalism.  Quite the contrary. …

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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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Senate 2022: North Carolina

An anti-environmentalist is favored but the challenger has a fighting chance.

The Senate race in North Carolina may be a bit of a stretch for Democrats, but it’s not out of reach. The contrast between the candidates on environmental issues is particularly stark. Cheri Beasley (D).  Her website describes her as “a mom, former public defender, judge, and the first Black woman to serve as Chief …

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