Environmental Law

Envt'l Law News Summer 2015, Vol. 24, No. 1

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Implementing the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard and Cap-and-Trade for Transportation Fuels to Reduce Carbon Emissions

by William Westerfield* and Anna Leonenko**


Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.

So begins the Synthesis Report of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).1 Measurements of the earth’s systems over the last 15 decades lead to the inescapable conclusion that human civilization is warming the planet at an accelerating rate, and these global changes are being observed in California. From 1985 to 2011, statewide average temperatures have increased by 1.7ºF, with the greatest warming measured in the Sierra Nevada.2 Sea level along the California coastline has risen about seven inches over the last century.3

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