Filling in the Picture: The Latest From Kennedy about Climate
Legal Planet
by Dan Farber
1d ago
I did a post on Thursday flagging some “unanswered questions” about RFK, Jr. and   climate change.  I had no intention of ever posting about his campaign again, let alone this soon. But by a wild coincidence, E&E News released a story the very next day about its interview with Kennedy that addressed those questions. Some of his answers may be what you expected. Others may surprise you, like his embrace of natural gas as a fuel and his reservations about regulating emissions. Climate policy Kennedy hadn’t previously said much policy approach to climate change during the camp ..read more
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Five Myths and Half-Truths About California Cap and Trade
Legal Planet
by Dan Farber
1d ago
A key part of California’s climate policy has always been its cap and trade system.  Because the regulations aren’t very transparent, there have been a lot of misconceptions about the system. I’ve been digging into the rules, the explanatory website set up by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and secondary sources to try to figure some of these things out. Despite complexities, the basic idea behind the trading system is simple. The state sets an annual cap on emissions, distributes allowances (permits to emit a ton of carbon), and then allows the recipients to trade those allow ..read more
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U.S. Supreme Court Revisits, Tightens Regulatory Takings Limits on Land Use Regulation
Legal Planet
by Richard Frank
1d ago
El Dorado County Property Owner George Sheets in Front of His Home (credit: Fox News) On April 12th, the U.S. Supreme Court revisited a constitutional doctrine near and dear to its institutional heart: when and under what circumstances does a land use permit condition violate the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause? In yet another “regulatory takings” case from California, the Supreme Court wound up not answering that precise question.  Instead, the justices unanimously ruled that the California state courts had applied the wrong constitutional standard to the case, and remanded it back to t ..read more
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Shanahan, Kennedy and Climate Change: Unanswered Questions
Legal Planet
by Dan Farber
6d ago
In a flare-up between former allies last week, Rep. Ro Khanna, a progressive Democrat, asked Nicole Shanahan to think twice about continuing as RFK Jr.’s running mate.  His argument was that the campaign could ultimately send Donald Trump back to the White House, risking the destruction of U.S. climate efforts. The resulting public exchange is revealing about what motivates independent candidates like Shanahan. It also points to a conundrum for the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket: how to address concerns about the climate implications of another Trump Administration. Khanna’s point was simple:&n ..read more
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Power of the People: Environmental Advocacy in China
Legal Planet
by Alex Wang
6d ago
China’s global rise has raised concerns about impacts on the environment in a bewilderingly wide range of issues. These include global climate change, deforestation, impacts on rare and endangered species, harm to fisheries, environmental impacts of overseas infrastructure, mining, and energy sector investments, to name just a few. Popular attention has often focused on Chinese government action (or lack thereof) and the behavior of Chinese companies “going out” into the world. What role are Chinese civil society organizations playing these days? Chinese environmental groups had somewhat of ..read more
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Not All Community Benefits Are Created Equal
Legal Planet
by Katherine Hoff
1w ago
CLEE has just released a new report, Offshore Wind & Community Benefits Agreements in California: CBA Examples, detailing the CBA and other community provisions in California’s offshore wind leases, as well as examples of CBA precursors and models from other industries. Read it here. As California offshore wind moves forward, there are opportunities for underserved, environmental justice, and tribal communities to secure benefits and community investment (if communities are interested in negotiating with developers). This is because California’s current offshore wind leases contain differ ..read more
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Climate Change and Nigeria
Legal Planet
by Dan Farber
1w ago
By the time my youngest granddaughter is thirty, Nigeria will be the world’s third-largest country. It’s also one of the countries that’s least prepared to adapt to climate change, which will be much worse by then. Nigeria’s population is expected to roughly double by 2050, to around 400 million.  The population was previously expected to double again by 2100, but the current estimate is that it will reach “only” about 550 million.  In the meantime, China’s population is expected to fall; as a result, Nigeria’s population will be about three-fourths that of China. The Notre Dame Glo ..read more
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A Total Eclipse of the Heat
Legal Planet
by Evan George
1w ago
Millions of Americans traveled this week to the path of totality to hunker down with loved ones and total strangers to gaze upwards at one of the most amazing astronomical events of our lives and share something like a transcendent, spiritual experience. I hope we can collectively reckon with another terrifyingly awesome atmospheric event: the hottest year. Multiple relentless heat waves occurred in 2023, with much of the globe experiencing 20 more “heatwave days” than in the previous three decades. The annual-average temperature was 1.48 C above the pre-industrial average, just shy of the 1 ..read more
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No, EVs are Not Worse for the Planet
Legal Planet
by Evan George
1w ago
If you have somehow managed to escape the frenzied political headlines about electric vehicles, first I envy you and second, I must regrettably inform you that the EV has become an acronym of partisan rancor on par with IVF, DEI, and CRT. There’s a lot of reasons for this electric car culture war: President Biden has made EVs central to his climate and economic policies. They intersect with labor politics and growing tensions with China. And cars remain a symbol of American freedom, so the idea of regulating them is an easy boogeyman for Republicans who want to exploit the rural-urban divide ..read more
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Ranking the Candidates’ Focus on Energy & Climate
Legal Planet
by Dan Farber
2w ago
I thought it would be helpful to provide some kind of objective measure of how much various candidates focus on energy and climate. I based this on how extensively they discuss these issues on their websites. By this ranking, Biden came in first — surprisingly, ahead of progressives Jill Stein and Cornel West. Also surprisingly, RFK Jr. and Jill Stein came in last in terms of focus on climate change. In fairness, Stein endorsed the general idea of a Green New Deal but provided little explanation. Kennedy’s environmental tab is fairly long, but says little about climate change. Still, neither ..read more
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