Eberhard, Kristen


Kristen Eberhard is an Energy and Climate expert for Natural Resources Defense Council.

New Report Suggests Best Approach to Invest Cap and Trade Revenue

By Kristin Eberhard
Natural Resources Defense Council

California’s safest option for guarding against lawsuits over how it spends the billions anticipated from its landmark cap-and-trade program is to channel the auction revenue toward reducing greenhouse gas pollution and furthering the goals of its Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), according to a recent analysis.

The conclusion by the UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Center on Climate Change and Environment may put the brakes on some of the wide-ranging suggestions for using the state’s fee revenue.

Correcting 10 Common Misconceptions About California's Cap-and-Trade Program

By Kristin Eberhard
Natural Resources Defense Council

In the aftermath of the California Air Resources Board’s historic vote to adopt the nation’s first-of-its kind program to cap global warming pollution across California’s economy, understandably there are questions about what the program will accomplish and how it will get us there. Below, I will attempt to clear up 10 common misconceptions about the program:

Q1: Isn’t cap-and-trade dead?

A: For the moment, the federal government has stalled in its attempts to create a market to reduce global warming pollution. However, California and other states are moving forward with a plethora of clean energy policies. In California, one of these policies, accounting for about 20% of our global warming pollution reductions under AB 32, is cap-and-trade. This policy works in concert with other policies such as a Renewable Portfolio Standard and Clean Cars and Clean Fuels standards to ensure we reduce our pollution in the most cost-effective way possible.

Proposition 26 will not stop AB 32

By Kristen Eberhard
NRDC

California voters gave AB 32 and clean energy a strong vote of confidence last Tuesday by resoundingly rejecting Proposition 23. Close to 4.5 million people voted against Proposition 23 – more than voted for or against any other item on the ballot. No on 23 got more votes than the winning candidates for governor or US Senate or Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court (who was unopposed). Even counties that voted for Republican candidates voted against Proposition 23, including Butte County, home to the initiative’s author, Assemblyman Dan Logue from Chico. Proposition 23’s defeat was an undeniable victory for environmental and public health advocates and clean energy proponents.

However, the lesser-known and poorly understood Proposition 26 squeaked by under the radar.  The measure’s vague language and broad sweep have led many to ask: how will it impact AB 32?

Proposition 26: $1 billion Bad for our Air, Water and Health

By Kristen Eberhard
NRDC

Backers of Proposition 26 are trying to trick California voters into believing that Proposition 26 would not threaten the principle that polluters should pay for the harms they cause.  They tout a “legal analysis” that conflicts itself by simultaneously claiming Prop 26 does nothing to impact environmental regulation while also saying it will eliminate fees. The language of Prop 26 re-defines a tax broadly to include “any levy, charge, or exaction of any kind” which sweeps many environmental and public health fees and programs within its gambit.   

UCLA Law professors have analyzed the initiative, and concluded that Prop 26 would “undercut the principle that polluters should pay for harms they cause.”  How can Prop 26 backers say with a straight face that undercutting the “polluter pays” principle will not impact California’s ability to protect the health and environment of its citizens?

Here's Texas Again Trying to Impose Its Views on California

By Kristen Eberhard
NRDC

Apparently, it’s not enough that fossil fuel conglomerates are fighting implementation of AB 32, California’s landmark clean energy bill that will create thousands of jobs, pump up R&D on cleantech, slash global warming pollution, and put the state on the cutting edge of the global clean energy economy.  Now Texas and three other states with Attorneys General beholden to Dirty Oil and Big Coal have jumped on the high carbon bandwagon, vowing to sue California as a last-ditch effort to kill AB 32.

Battle Against Climate Change Goes Back to the States

By Kristen Eberhard
NRDC

The federal climate bill has been declared dead. What do we do now?

We turn back to our federalist roots. We make the states the laboratories of innovation while the federal government tries to get its act together. The World Resource Institute just issued a report analyzing possible progress towards meeting our emission reduction goals under existing state and federal authority. 

There’s some bad news: with our current set of tools, we can’t do enough to solve the problem. But there’s also good news: if we pursue our existing state and federal policies aggressively enough, we can stay on a reasonable path for the next five years, buying time to implement a comprehensive national plan.