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Jonathan Zasloff's Posts

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TRIPping out: A first step in making the US-India climate dialogue real

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away -- well, no, actually two months ago in Washington, D.C., President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Singh inked something called the U.S.-India Climate Dialogue. It was a pretty transparent attempt to salvage something from the fact that India would never agree to binding emissions cuts (and probably the U.S. wouldn’t, either). And what was this Dialogue supposed to do? Your guess is as good as mine, but here’s one place to start: the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights accord, better known as TRIPS. TRIPS intimately concerns climate change because intellectual property …

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The U.S.-India climate ‘partnership’

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Singh of India walk along the Cross Hall of the White House towards the East Room for the arrival ceremony.Photo and caption: The White HouseAt least that’s what the White House is calling it. (Okay, okay: Technically, the White House calls it the “Green Partnership to Address Energy Security, Climate Change, and Food Security.”).  Does it mean anything? Maybe. Essentially, it provides for some technical assistance to improve governance capacity and scientific knowledge, and some new initiatives to foster R & D. It also takes the sensible position that the developed countries will adopt …

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Does Schwarzenegger care more about tea partiers or the planet?

Like any Hollywood actor, and like any politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger likes to talk a good game. And on climate, he talks a lot. He loves to promote inconsequential gab-fests like the Governors Global Summit on Climate Change. But when the rubber hits the road, will he actually, you know, do anything about it? Whether a bill on his desk gets a signature will tell us whether he is real or all puffery. That bill is SB 406, by state Senator Mark Desaulnier. SB 406 would allow regional planning organizations to impose a $1-2 extra vehicle license fee in order to …

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Connecticut v. AEP: Public nuisance ruling may boost chances of EPA CO2 regulations

The Second Circuit's recent decision in Connecticut v. AEP, in which a coalition of state attorneys general sued electric power producers to cap and then reduce their carbon emissions, allows the public nuisance case to proceed and gave the environmental plaintiffs virtually everything they wanted. It should also give pause to those of us tempted to see judges as purely political: it was decided by Judges Peter W. Hall, a George W. Bush appointee from Vermont, and Joseph McLaughlin, a George H.W. Bush appointee from New York. Damn liberals. (The third panel member, one Sonia Sotomayor, is now busy with …

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