Environment roundup

  • Coming to other towns soon: new stormwater regs ban car wash fundraisers at schools in Arlington, Va. [ArlNow]
  • Krugman hides the ball on coal-fired utility regs [David Henderson]
  • Coming in September: book on Chevron/Ecuador case by Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Paul M. Barrett [Business Roundtable]
  • Simplified narrative of “business versus environmental regulation” obscures so much [Tim Carney, Washington Examiner]
  • Environmental disclosure panel from Vermont Law School “Disclosure Debates” [video, summary by Caitlin Stanton for VLR’s Environmental Health, links to all videos, background]
  • California: “Attorney General Posts 2013 Proposition 65 Settlement Numbers” [Cal Biz Lit]
  • “Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson” [Cato panel with Andrew Morriss, Richard Tren]


  • On a different environmental topic. A study was released last week by the University of Texas that reports that the cause of the Antarctic ice sheet melt is not global warming but an increase in the activity of the volcanos under the ice sheet. It was reported by the major news outlets but in a way to make sure nobody saw it. Search for Antarctic Volcanos and scroll down.

  • RE: new stormwater regs ban car wash fundraisers

    People pull into these car washes / fund raisers for a few reasons. First, they want their car washed. Secondly the kids can wash it faster than going home and doing it. Third, giving the kids some money for their work is a good idea and supports a good cause.

    This regulation seems oddly similar to the “broken window fallacy.”

    Whether done at a fund raising car wash or in front of someone’s home, the water, the chemicals, etc – all the stuff the regulations are trying to prevent from flowing into the storm drains – are still going to flow into the storm drains, just from more disbursed locations.

    Maybe this is the first step in regulating washing cars altogether. Maybe the end goal is to regulate that people can only wash their cars at licensed car washes that the government can regulate.

    (Geez, I hope I didn’t give them any ideas.)

  • A followup to my comment:

    Here is a story from the Daily Caller in 2013:

    It’s hard to wave your spirit fingers when the city shuts down the cheerleading squad’s fundraising car wash to protect the environment.

    This is what happened to Lincoln High School cheerleaders trying to raise money to attend a national competition in April. The San Jose Mercury reports that local environmental officials warned the high school cheerleaders that their car wash violated the city’s water discharge laws.

    “We had a visit from the city of San Jose Environmental Services Department who said that the car washes at Hoover [Middle School] are in violation of water discharge laws, therefore we had to cancel this and all future car washes,” said an email that was sent out to neighborhood email lists on Oct. 18.

    “Anything that is not storm water or rain water is considered a pollutant,” said Jennie Loft, acting communications manager for San Jose’s Environmental Services Department. “If it goes into a storm drain, that pollutant will harm wildlife and habitats in the creeks. Water goes directly from the storm drains into our creeks.”