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Environment and Energy

Environmental Governance and Climate Resilience 2020: Wildfires

The Bill Lane Center for the American West revived its Workshop on Wildfire Management, originally planned for mid-March, via a virtual format. Speakers explored the challenges of preparing for and responding to wildfires during the coronavirus pandemic for a practitioner audience. During our June 25 panel, we discussed training and safety among first responders battling wildfires during a pandemic. Our June 30 keynote featured Dr. Sarah McCaffrey of the U.S.

Igniting a Culture of Change: Evaluating the Los Trancos Community Maintenance District Home Hardening and Defensible Space Incentive Program

The state of California has experienced an increase in catastrophic wildfires in recent years, impacting our homes, environment, and economy. Wildfires, like the Tubbs Fire that burned in Northern California in 2017, are difficult to prevent, but as community members, we can ensure our homes are equipped to reduce wildfire risk and minimize destruction of our communities.

Key Legal Issues Impacting the Clean Energy Transition

Legal issues affecting the deployment of clean energy solutions are arising across the U.S. energy landscape. The Trump administration is scaling back industry-wide restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, raising fundamental questions about Clean Air Act authority to drive down carbon emissions. Meanwhile, new clean energy and fossil-fuel-based infrastructure projects (e.g. gas pipelines; wind/solar projects) are encountering disparate regulatory treatment at the hands of federal and state agencies, raising contentious legal issues across a number of statutory frameworks.

Sophomore College Students Explore Clean Energy Technology and Policy in Hawaii

Before the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, the Bill Lane Center and the Precourt Institute for Energy sponsored a Sophomore College course exploring the practical, social, technical, and political issues surrounding energy production and use in Hawaii. Hawaii is at the forefront of technical changes in the electric grid and the uses of electricity, with an aspirational goal for 100% carbon-free electricity in 2045.

Why are California's Oils Some of the World's Dirtiest: A Panel with the Oil-Climate Index Team

Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C as early as 2030. In an effort to limit the earth’s temperature rise beyond this point, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has developed pathways to decarbonize energy supplies. Meeting these targets will be a tall order for the oil and gas sector. Massive reserves remain worldwide to manufacture transport fuels and countless consumer products. In California, where the oil industry took off 150 years ago, the climate impacts of petroleum are among the largest in the world.

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