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Parts Per Billion
19 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
EV Tax Breaks Can Save Carmakers, Mich. Lawmaker Says
Electric vehicles have slowly been gaining market share over the past few decades. But Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) says car buyer tax credits that recently expired must be reinstated to accelerate this trend.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, our weekly environmental podcast, Kildee speaks with Bloomberg Tax's Kaustuv Basu about how Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House are crafting a bill that would not only bring back these tax credits but also change who can take advantage of them. He also talks about how U.S. automakers need EV incentives to avoid once again falling behind their foreign competitors.
15 minutes | May 19, 2021
Electric Truck Batteries Too Heavy for Rickety Roads
The average road and bridge in the U.S. is in poor shape, and has been for some time. That could pose a serious obstacle for the makers of electric heavy-duty trucks—and for the states that have laws mandating their adoption in the coming decades.Currently, a battery that can power one of these trucks would add more than two tons to the weight the vehicle. And data about how much damage this could do to the country's highway infrastructure is spotty at best.On this week's episode, Bloomberg Law reporter Emily C. Dooley talks about her recent story on the electric truck industry. She says the industry, and electric vehicle regulators, are banking that technological advancements will make these batteries lighter in the coming decades. If not, Dooley says, electric vehicle adoption goals may be very, very difficult to achieve.
15 minutes | May 5, 2021
The Other Powerful Joe—Manchin—Rules on Climate Change
It's almost impossible for Democrats to pass any legislation through Congress without all 50 Democratic Senators signing on. That means Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), arguably the most conservative Democrat in the chamber, is very, very powerful.On this episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, we talk to Bloomberg Government's Kellie Lunney, who recently traveled to the Mountain State to learn about what Manchin's constituents want him to do to on fossil fuels and other climate policies. Lunney says Manchin, and his also-very-powerful counterpart, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), may not actually block every piece of climate legislation that the Senate will consider.
13 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
'Tiger King' Suits: New Spin on Old Environmental Laws
The Endangered Species Act typically wasn't used to go after people who run wild animal petting zoos. But that was before "Tiger King."Today on our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, Bloomberg Law's Maya Earls talks about how the Netflix show has led activist groups, and even some federal agencies, to think differently about how to use decades-old environmental statutes in new ways.
17 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
What's Regan Going to Do and How Is He Going to Do It?
Michael Regan is the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency and Bloomberg Law's Stephen Lee had an exclusive interview with him this week.On this episode of our weekly podcast, Parts Per Billion, Stephen tells us what he learned from speaking with Regan and about the background of this not very well known cabinet official. Stephen also talks about why Regan is prioritizing tighter limits on auto emissions, an about face from the policies of his predecessor.
13 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
The Law Firm That Cashed in on Fossil Fuel Failures
Record-low prices gave the fossil fuel industry a horrible year financially in 2020. But Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm that handled a huge percentage of the industry's bankruptcy filings, made money hand over fist.On today's episode of Parts Per Billion, we hear from Bloomberg Law reporter Roy Strom, who analyzed a database of large bankruptcy filings and found that this firm soared above its rivals in 2020 thanks to the energy industry's slump.
13 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Texas Freeze Led to Pollution, But Likely No Fines
Industrial sites in Texas spewed much more air pollution than normal as a result of the frigid temperatures there last month and the ensuing infrastructure failures.What kind of liability will these sites face from these emissions? Probably not much, according to Bloomberg Law's Jennifer Hijazi. The environmental reporter joins our weekly podcast, Parts Per Billion, to talk about the "act of God" provisions in state and federal air pollution regulations that shield emitters from penalties and fines, and about whether these provisions may tighten under the Biden administration.
17 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Texas Energy May Stay the Course Even After Freeze
To an outsider, it seems like the state of Texas now has no choice but to make huge changes to its energy policies, with last week's freeze-induced power outages and utility failures becoming nothing short of catastrophic. But Rachel Adams-Heard isn't too sure about that.The Bloomberg News energy reporter and Texas native says, after the state finishes cleaning up from this disaster, it may very well decide the costs of bolstering its power grid against another deep freeze are simply too high.On this episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, Rachel talks about all the system failures that led to last week's catastrophe and why the Lone Star state must decide just how far it's willing to go to prevent this from happening again.
17 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
Florida and Georgia Fight Winner-Take-All Water War
The first argument on the Supreme Court's docket when it returns Feb. 22 from its winter break Feb. 22 is a fight over water rights between Florida and Georgia.Bloomberg Law Florida correspondent Jennifer Kay says the dispute is so contentious that, if the states were sovereign countries, warfare might be the only way to resolve it.The heart of the conflict is a watershed that spans across both states. Florida says Georgia is using so much freshwater that it's making a famous oyster habitat too salty. Georgia denies this, and says a ruling against it would damage its agriculture industry.For this week's episode of our environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, Jennifer breaks down the heart of the conflict, and we hear from people living in these states who will be most affected no matter what the justices decide.
14 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Biden May Give Wall Street More Climate Data, and Fast
President Biden's nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission hasn't even been confirmed by the Senate yet. But Bloomberg Law's Andrew Ramonas says the agency may not wait for a permanent leader to begin pushing companies to disclose more climate change information to their investors.On this episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, we hear from Andrew about climate disclosure actions the SEC can take in the coming days and weeks. And Andrew also talks about how environment-minded investors are positively giddy about the policy changes a Biden administration could make.
17 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
Climate Suits Pushing Tort Law Into Uncharted Waters
A group of big cities are seeking damages from the fossil fuel industry over the costs of climate change. These suits against some of the biggest names in the energy world are taking a very old legal idea—the tort—and trying to adapt it to a new environmental problem.On this week's episode of our environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, we hear from two lawyers involved in this litigation, one representing the plaintiffs and the other with the defendants.Plaintiffs' attorney Katie Jones, with the San Francisco-based firm Sher Edling, talks about the oil and gas companies' role in climate change and why they should be forced to remunerate her clients. And Gibson Dunn's Ted Boutrous, who's defending Chevron in these suits, says the plaintiffs' arguments push the idea of a tort claim way beyond its logical limits.
14 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
Election Plot Puts Environment Official in Spotlight
A little-known environmental official from the Trump administration made big headlines when it was reported he worked with the President in a failed attempt to oust the acting Attorney General earlier this month in order to bolster baseless claims of election fraud.The official, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, denied taking any actions against then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. But Bloomberg Law's Ellen Gilmer says these reports have seriously damaged Clark's career moving forward. For this week's episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, we hear from Ellen about how Clark got tied to the effort to delegitimize the election and whether he's now all but unemployable in the legal world.
15 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
After Flint, Uptick in Environmental Indictments Unlikely
The former governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder (R), was hit with criminal charges last week over his role in the drinking water contamination crisis in the town of Flint. He is fighting the case and his attorneys say the charges are "wholly without merit."Will this usher in a new era where elected officials could be thrown in prison if an environmental catastrophe occurs on their watch? Not likely, says Bob Percival, a law professor at the University of Maryland who leads the school's environmental law program. We spoke to Percival about why prosecutions like Snyder's are so rare for our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion.
15 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Supreme Court Fills Up Docket With Environmental Cases
The Supreme Court has not been shy about wading into some pretty thorny environmental disputes. Including the two cases it took up last week, the justices now have six environmental cases outstanding on their docket.On this episode of our weekly podcast, Parts Per Billion, we hear from Bloomberg Law's Ellen M. Gilmer, who summarized all of these cases and broke down their individual story lines. She also talks about arguments in a climate change case that the Supreme Court will hear one day before President-elect Biden will officially take office.
12 minutes | Jan 6, 2021
Carbon Capture Gets Federal Money, But Is It Needed?
Tucked away in the stimulus bill that the President just signed was nearly half a billion dollars for research into carbon capture technology.On this episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, we hear from Bloomberg Law's Bobby Magill about why this money was added into to the bill, where it will go, and why it probably won't make a significant dent in our climate change problem.
16 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
Save the Everglades, Eat Python for Christmas Dinner
Invasive Burmese pythons are becoming a real problem in Florida’s everglades, where they have no natural predators and are causing plummeting populations of native species like foxes and rabbits. State wildlife officials have encouraged the hunting of these massive snakes, but the problem still persists.Now, according to Bloomberg Law correspondent Jennifer Kay, officials are trying a different tack: convincing Sunshine Staters to start eating python meat.On the latest episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, Jennifer explains to us why Florida is getting increasingly desperate to eliminate pythons and whether encouraging Floridians to eat snakes could actually work.
15 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Biden Environmental Plan Rests on the Backs of Lawyers
The Biden administration is staffing up quickly and it seems like there's a new headline almost every day about the President-elect's choice for one cabinet position or another. But less attention is being paid to the lower-level attorneys, even though the new administration's entire environmental agenda largely depends on them.On this episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, we talk to Bloomberg Law's Ellen M. Gilmer about how these regulatory attorneys will be trying to help their agencies win in court and about how the attorneys can avoid getting a reputation as a sort of statutory killjoy.
19 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
Electric Vehicles Good for Climate, Bad for Taxation
Teslas and other electric vehicles may be helping to solve the problem of climate change, but they're also creating a new problem for state and federal transportation budgets. That's because these budgets are funded largely from revenue generated by taxes on gasoline.But if gas-fueled cars are being phased out, where will funding come from build new roads or even just to maintain existing ones? We posed this question to Sahas Katta, the CEO of an automobile tech startup who is working with several states on developing new ways to tax vehicle use. Katta spoke to Bloomberg Law correspondent Michael Bologna.
18 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
Firefighting Gear Opens a New Front in PFAS Legal War
Much of the litigation over toxic PFAS chemicals, at least thus far, has focused on the spraying of PFAS-laden firefighting foam. But now, a new avenue of lawsuits has opened up over the use of PFAS-coated firefighting gear.Bloomberg Law reporters Andrew Wallender and Fatima Hussein join our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, to talk about suits over these jackets, gloves, and other protective equipment. And they also explain why some of the firefighters filing the suits are now at odds with their own firefighting unions.
3 minutes | Nov 27, 2020
Introducing: Black Lawyers Speak
Despite decades of work to educate more Black lawyers, the percentage of Black associates and partners in firms across the U.S. remain very low, and well below those of other professional careers. Big Law firms across the board are ramping up social justice efforts as the nation engages in a renewed dialogue on race and equality. But some have accused firms of using minorities as “diversity props” to impress clients and misrepresent their inclusiveness to potential employees. So what are law firms doing to fix their lack of diversity?Hosts Adam Allington and Lisa Helem, along with reporters Ayanna Alexander, Ruiqi Chen, and Meghan Tribe, interviewed lawyers across the industry, from corporate general counsels to top Am Law 200 lawyers to current law students, each sharing their experience navigating the legal space as a person of color. We try to answer what law firms are doing to recruit more diverse classes of lawyers, and how they are addressing barriers to entry for Black lawyers.
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