With gasoline prices relatively low — and natural gas supplies holding down electricity prices, at least in the United States — there has never been a better time to introduce progressive climate policies in the form of carbon pricing. Unfortunately, none of us should hold our breath waiting for that to happen.
Republican assertions that California's drought is really a manifestation of water mismanagement are red herrings. State water experts say the unbuilt dams touted by Republicans as solutions would add little to the state's consumption capacity. Besides, where would the water to fill these storage sites come from in the course of an extended drought?
To be fair, Jindal is no different from a long line of Louisiana politicians who have greased the skids for oil industry activity. But those politicians were not angling to become president of the United States. Jindal is. Could the governor be trusted to give a national constituency a better deal than he gave his own state's citizenry in relation to the oil industry?
I have always viewed the federal government as an essential cog in the organized effort to curb pollution and resource degradation. It was therefore alarming to me that President Ronald Reagan's tart observation that "the 10 most frightening words in the English language are 'I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help'" was beginning to make sense.