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Creating an exit strategy for our use of natural gas

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | March 21, 2016

Coal is the climate’s Public Enemy No. 1. The use of natural gas has helped to ensure that the coal problem has not become even worse. Without natural gas, we would use more coal for space heating and for many more industrial processes than is currently the practice. Without natural gas, our reliance on coal for … Continue reading »

Will smog in China spur climate solutions?

Catherine Wolfram, faculty co-director, Energy Institute at Haas | April 23, 2014

I have read a number of news stories about air pollution in the major Chinese cities recently. A soupy smog of particulates, ozone, sulfur and nitrogen oxides hangs over Beijing, Tianjin and other northern cities. The concentration of particulate matter (PM2.5) in Beijing recently registered at 501 μg/m3, more than 15 times the highest recordedvalue in Los … Continue reading »

It’s time to refocus California’s climate strategy

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | April 9, 2014

You know this already, but let’s review: Climate change is a global emissions problem. California produces about 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next few decades, the majority of emissions will come from developing countries. If we don’t solve the problem in the developing world, we don’t solve the problem. And lastly, … Continue reading »

In defense of picking winners

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | March 3, 2014

Virtually all economists working on climate change agree that we should price greenhouse-gas emissions.  Doing so creates an incentive to reduce emissions without the government directing specific technology adoptions or activity changes, that is, without “picking winners.” Nearly as many economists agree that we should subsidize basic R&D.  Doing so, accelerates the scientific breakthroughs that … Continue reading »

Is demonizing ‘big carbon’ a strategy or a cop-out?

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | December 18, 2013

Are we really being tricked, bullied or seduced into burning fossil fuels?  That seems to be the message behind two arguments made recently by prominent advocates for climate action: we should blame the producers of fossil fuels for the failure to make progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Union of Concerned Scientists made a splash last … Continue reading »

Nest(ing): A home-energy home run for Mother Earth

Maximilian Auffhammer, professor, international sustainable development | April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day everyone! I briefly contemplated a doom and gloom post about the state of the global climate and lack of regulation. But let’s focus on what does work, albeit at a much smaller scale, instead of what doesn’t work. Team Auffhammer has invested a lot of money in energy efficiency measures in our … Continue reading »

The future of climate politics (pt. 2)

Eric Biber, professor of law | February 22, 2013

In my last post, I noted a recent report that called for a new political path for environmentalists and others seeking to enact carbon policy in the United States, one that focused on developing policy proposals that would help mobilize a grassroots movement to support limits on greenhouse gases.  My question was, is there anything … Continue reading »

Follow the sun: Mexico on target to pass national climate-change law

Jayni Foley Hein, former director, Center for Law, Energy & the Environment | April 16, 2012

With Friday’s lower chamber passage of a new national climate change law, Mexico is poised to become a pioneer in climate change policy, proving the United States and the rest of the world that environmental protection and economic growth are both critical and achievable goals. On April 13, Mexico’s 500-member Chamber of Deputies passed the … Continue reading »

Alberta’s tar sands a slow-motion equivalent of the Gulf disaster

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | June 24, 2010

If you were President Obama, what would you do about the tar sands fields in Alberta?  He is being asked to approve or reject a pipeline extension that would carry 900,000 barrels per day of Canadian crude deep into the United States.  It has to be exceedingly tempting to just say “yes”.  After all, Canada … Continue reading »