environment

High-speed rail advocates tout a 0.008% reduction in pollution

A recent op-ed in The Seattle Times written by transit activists claims a high-speed railroad from Portland to Vancouver B.C. would reduce air pollution.  read more »

Will California Housing Policy Destroy Los Angeles' Secret Forests?

Recent California housing policies may result in the decimation of forests in both urban and suburban single-family neighborhoods of Los Angeles. L.A.-based policy analyst and writer Chris LeGras shows us drone footage of LA's "secret" forests that may be affected by the state's recent changes in housing policy.

Watch the Video:  read more »

Regulation of Electric Power in Texas

Politicians, pundits, and the public at large have voiced deep concern that electricity was tragically unavailable to many Texans during the recent period of extreme cold. Claims that lax ERCOT planning caused the problem are exaggerated.  read more »

Feudal Future Podcast — How California's Climate Policies Hurt the Middle Class, with Jennifer Hernandez

In the fourth episode of the Feudal Future podcast, hosts Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky interview Jennifer Hernandez, a partner with Holland & Knight Law Firm in its California offices. Her firm is one of the most prominent in the world of environmental regulations, and she herself is in the midst of lawsuits pertaining to California environmental law.  read more »

California Dreamin’ or California Nightmare?

Our recent report on “California Social Priorities” — released by Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy and the topic of the first meeting of the Houston based Center for Opportunity Urbanism — stirred up some controversy. A largely negative response came from Josh Stephens from the California Planning and Development Report.  read more »

New Climate Report Misses Point on US Cities

The doubtful claim that low density US cities impose a cost to the economy of $400 billion is countered by their being the most affluent in the world. Nine of the top 10 cities in GDP per capita are in the US and more than 70% of the top 50.  read more »

What Conservatives Can Teach Liberals About Global Warming Policy

Over the last decade, progressives have successfully painted conservative climate skepticism as the major stumbling block to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Exxon and the Koch brothers, the story goes, fund conservative think tanks to sow doubt about climate change and block legislative action. As evidence mounts that anthropogenic global warming is underway, conservatives’ flight from reason is putting us all at risk.  read more »

Fracktivists for Global Warming: How Celebrity NIMBYism Turned Environmentalism Against Natural Gas

Over the last year, celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Mario Batali, Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, and Matt Damon have spoken out against the expansion of natural gas drilling. “Fracking kills,” says Ono, who has a country home in New York. “It threatens the air we breathe,” says Redford.   read more »

Gas Crushes Coal

Coal electricity declined by 12.5 percent in 2012, mostly driven by the switch to natural gas, which increased by almost the exact same amount (217 terrawatt-hours) as coal declined (216 TWh), according to new annual numbers released by the US Energy Information Administration.

Wind electricity increased as well — by about one-tenth (20.5 TWh) as much as gas. Solar increased a little more than one-hundredth as much as gas (2.5 TWh).  read more »

Uniting a Fractured Republic: Innovation, Pragmatism, and the Natural Gas Revolution

Over the last four years, emissions in the United States declined more than in any other country in the world. Coal plants and coal mines are being shuttered. That's not from increased use of solar panels and wind turbines, as laudable as those technologies are. Rather it's due, in large measure, to the technological revolution allowing for the cheap extraction of natural gas from shale. By contrast, Europe, with its cap and trade program, and price on carbon, is returning to coal-burning.  read more »