March 6, 2017reported last week that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had sent its initial budget numbers to the Environmental Protection Agency...
December 23, 2016
November 22, 2016
My love of nature began with a deep appreciation for the magnificent landscapes of the intermountain West. Growing up on a cattle ranch in eastern Oregon, I came to highly value people who are good environmental stewards and learned from experience that, typically, private landowners do a better job of taking care of what they own than the federal government does. Primarily, this is because federal land managers must work in a system that does not provide the incentives for responsible stewardship in the same way that private property does. And it’s with this understanding that I have dedicated my career to fighting for the best policies to promote energy affordability and protect both our environment and our climate.
Spending more than two decades working on environmental and energy policy in Washington, I have been frustrated by the leadership of the modern environmental...
November 4, 2016
The Paris Climate Treaty went into force, or as the Associated Press story put it “became international law,” on 4th November. Ninety-seven countries accounting for approximately two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions have now ratified the treaty.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a press conference, “We remain in a race against time. But with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world has the plans we need to make the shift to a low-emission, climate-resilient path.”
The treaty’s entry into force is well-timed to provide a boost to the Twenty-Second Conference of the...
October 21, 2016
International negotiators meeting in Kigali, Rwanda agreed on 15th October on amendments to the Montreal Protocol that will require replacing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigeration and air conditioning with substitutes that are not greenhouse gases. The 1987 Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Protecting the Ozone Layer of 1985 phased out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which generally-accepted scientific research concluded was depleting the stratospheric ozone layer.
The most common replacements for CFCs have been HFCs, which are a very potent greenhouse gas. Thus the Kigali agreement turns the Montreal Protocol from a treaty to shrink the “ozone hole” into a treaty to slow global warming.
It has been claimed that banning HFCs will avert a...
September 24, 2016
The White House on 21st September released a Presidential Memorandum on Climate Change and National Security. Section 1 states its purpose: “This memorandum establishes a framework and directs Federal departments and agencies to perform certain functions to ensure that climate change-related impacts are fully considered in the development of national security doctrine, policies, and plans.”
The memorandum creates a Climate and National Security Working Group consisting of nineteen federal departments and agencies plus more to be named later. The working group will be chaired by Assistant to the President for National...
September 2, 2016
U. S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will announce that their two countries are officially joining the Paris Climate Treaty when they meet on Saturday, 3rd September, ahead of the G-20 summit meeting in Hangzhou, China. The South China Morning Post reported on 25th August that the announcement would occur on Friday, 2nd September, but an environmental reporter told me today that Saturday was the day.
President Obama’s action in joining the treaty without ratification by the Senate is clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate’s authority. Article Two, Section Two, Clause Two of the U. S. Constitution states: “[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and...
California Legislature Passes Ambitious Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target, But Cap-n-Tax Program Remains in LimboAugust 26, 2016
The California Senate on 24th August passed legislation that extends the state’s greenhouse gas (GHGs) emission reductions to 2030. SB 32, which passed on a 25 to 13 vote, gives statutory authority to Governor Jerry Brown’s (D) executive order mandating a GHG target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The Assembly passed the bill a day earlier by a 42 to 29 vote, so it will now go to the governor for his signature.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) mandated GHG reductions to 1990 levels by 2020. That law is set to expire in 2020. Passage of the new, much more ambitious target of 40% below 1990 by 2030 depended on agreement to pass another bill...
July 27, 20162016 platform at their national convention in Philadelphia on July 25th. The energy and environment section is titled “Combat Climate Change, Build a...
July 24, 2016The Republican National Convention on 18th July officially adopted their 2016 party platform. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) chaired the platform committee; and the co-chairs were Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC).
Notably, the GOP platform states that the Paris Climate Treaty cannot bind the United States unless it is ratified by the Senate. The party also demands immediate defunding of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in accordance with Public Law 103-236. It opposes a carbon tax and subsidies for politically-favored types of energy.
On regulations, the platform says Republicans will prohibit EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and repeal the “Clean Power” Plan. It also vows to block the hydraulic fracturing rules,...