Vicious attacks on climate progress are on the rise.
Presumably, no one actually wants rising seas, dangerous heat waves, severe droughts, runaway wildfires, and floods. Nor, I assume, are there many who want those climate disasters for their children and grandchildren. Still, there are all too many politicians and public figures who act as if their goal was to foment climate change. No doubt the …CONTINUE READING
Some thoughts for Environmental History Week.
An international agreement in 1992 committed the world’s nations to addressing climate change but contained few specifics. The US ratified that agreement, but there was little concrete action here through the end of the 20th Century. As this century began, things looked optimistic, with both presidential candidates favoring reductions in carbon emissions. Promptly after taking …CONTINUE READING
Voters in Maine rejected a ballot initiative to buy out private utilities, but the campaign reflects a growing interest in public power.
This week voters in Maine rejected a ballot measure to implement a public takeover of the state’s two investor-owned utilities. The measure proposed acquiring the two investor-owned utilities that distribute 97% of Maine’s electricity and operating them as a new publicly-owned utility called Pine Tree Power, that would be governed by an elected board. 70% …CONTINUE READING
Fracking consumes enormous amounts of water, pollutes aquifers & is contrary to our climate goals
Recently, the New York Times published an important and disturbing expose’ titled, “‘Monster Fracks’ Are Getting Far Bigger. And Far Thirstier.” The Times article focuses on the alarming intersection of three current environmental crises–water supply shortages, groundwater contamination, and excessive greenhouse gas emission levels–that threaten California and other states across the nation. Fracking (the shorthand …CONTINUE READING
It’s a bit complicated, but California definitely has made substantial progress.
We all know that California’s climate policies have led the nation. But how well have these policies actually worked? That’s not as easy to answer as you might think. You have to do some digging to come up with the numbers, and their meaning isn’t always completely clear. If you compare California with the country …CONTINUE READING
A leading environmental lawyer gives his perspective.
Transportation is now the source of 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than the electric power sector. The transportation sector is also a substantial source of nitrogen oxides and particulates, both of which are dangerous to human health. The Biden Administration has taken important regulatory actions bearing on these problems, with others in the …CONTINUE READING
It’s not easy to get a handle on IRA implementation, but some agencies are off to a good start.
The Inflation Reduction Act is Biden’s signature climate program. You’d think it would be easy to get an analysis of the government’s funding efforts in its first year. It’s not. This seems like an unforced error to me. In political terms, this seems like a lost opportunity to showcase the government’s achievements; it’s also a …CONTINUE READING
SB 261 results from CLEE report recommendation
The California Legislature passed two path-breaking climate risk disclosure bills this week. Both bills now go to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk where he has until October 14th to sign them. Senate Bill 261 (Stern) requires major corporations to disclose climate change related financial risks, using a framework consistent with that of the Task Force on Climate …CONTINUE READING
Three big cases in the D.C. Circuit will determine the fate of Biden’s vehicle regulations.
This week, the D.C. Circuit hears three cases challenging use of federal regulations to push adoption of electric vehicles and to allow California to forge path toward zero-emission cars. If all three cases go badly, the regulatory system would be disabled from playing a role in this area. This would be a huge setback, though …CONTINUE READING
Held v. Montana shows climate science can win in a courtroom. But one decision is just the beginning of a long legal fight.
A state court judge in the ‘Last Best Place’ just gave the youth climate movement a shot in the arm with the first decision of its kind that directly connects specific state actions to global climate change and then to injuries suffered by young people. It’s a decision worth reading, as U.S. courts have not …CONTINUE READING