The Emergence of Climate Law Courses

It's an increasingly widespread law school course.

The U.S. legal system has only begun to address climate change in the past ten or fifteen years. It was inevitable that this subject would infiltrate basic environmental law courses, especially given that there have now been three Supreme Court cases on the subject.  But climate change is now increasingly the subject of separate courses […]

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Why Michael Mann’s Defamation Suit Against Climate Denialists Is the Right Move

Michael Mann

With the facts on his side, there's no reason to hide

Dr. Michael Mann, one of the country’s leading climate scientists, has been harassed, threatened, and berated for his views that human actions are contributing to global climate change. But not just from anonymous commenters on websites — from leading publications like the National Review Online. After being compared to Jerry Sandusky and having the credibility […]

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Closely Confined Chickens, Interstate Conflict & the Dormant Commerce Clause

Is Proposition 2, California's Pioneering Animal Welfare Law, Unconstitutional?

Last week witnessed a most interesting constitutional showdown between sovereign states in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.  At issue is animal welfare legislation California has enacted both at the ballot box and through its elected representatives.  The enemy combatants are a coalition of midwestern states led by Missouri, aligned against the State of California, with […]

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Transit-Oriented Projects In California Won’t Be Penalized For Traffic Impacts Anymore

brt

Governor's Office Releases New Environmental Review Guidelines

Back in 2013, there was significant discussion about reforming the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), with the business community and its attorneys arguing that CEQA is nothing more than a litigation tool for opponents of new projects. Some environmentalists and labor unions countered that CEQA is necessary for decision-makers to adequately assess the environmental impacts […]

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The Hydrology of the Public Trust

Drought

The Public Trust Doctrine Gives California Regulators the Authority to Monitor Groundwater Pumping

A couple of weeks ago, Rick reported that California might finally be ready to institute some form of statewide groundwater regulation. (The original California Water Act regulating surface water is now more than 100 years old, and when it was enacted, many observers thought that groundwater regulation was just around the corner: hey, what’s a century […]

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U.S. Agricultural Policy, Climate Change, and Existing Legal Authority

USDA Report Cover

New research from Berkeley Law finds that the U.S. Department of Agriculture can act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is much in the news these days, as it implements the massive and always-controversial farm bill, works to improve access to national forests, strives to enhance the U.S. position in international agriculture markets, and wrestles to contain this season’s extensive wildfire activity. What is less obvious to many is […]

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FDA Discretion and Animal Antibiotics

pigs at the trough

FDA has stalled for 30 years in regulating antibiotics in animal feed. A court says that's O.K.

The FDA seems to be convinced that current use of antibiotics in animal feed is a threat to human health. But the Second Circuit ruled recently in NRDC v. FDA that EPA has no duty to consider banning their use.  That may seem ridiculous, but actually it’s a very close case legally.  The court’s discussion of Massachusetts […]

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Water and Climate Change, Backwards

California State Water Project Irrigation Canal: Do We Want More Cement?

Will Conserving Water Contribute to Global Warming?

All of us (except Republicans and adherents of Movement Conservatism) know that climate change is dangerous for rising temperatures, but also because of its effects on other natural resources.  Most significantly, it is hardly news that increasing and variable temperatures will reduce, for example, the Sierra snow pack and cause greater evaporation, eventually leading to […]

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Hydrogen “Fool” Cells Vs. Electric Vehicles

mercedes-f-cell-hydrogen-car

The debate over the best clean vehicle technology

California recently committed to spending $50 million on 28 public hydrogen fuel cell charging stations, throwing gasoline (bad pun) on the fire of a growing debate: electric vehicles vs, hydrogen fuel cells as the carbon-free vehicle technology of the future. California policy makers seem to think it may be both, based on their spending to […]

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Back in the Fast Lane

San Diego Trolley

New Pritzker Brief from UCLA Law on Making Public Transit Work

Fellow blogger Ethan Elkind has spent a lot of time researching the history, politics, and future of transit in California.  Earlier this year he published Railtown, a fascinating portrait of the fight over development of the L.A. Metro rail system, revealing the degree to which that development has been driven by good old-fashioned politics and even intrigue […]

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Mining for Votes In Coal States: Paul Ryan On Climate Change

Paul_Ryan_VP_announcement

Whatever you think of his budget proposals, his climate views are irresponsible.

For years, Paul Krugman has been decrying Paul Ryan’s reputation as a reputable analyst of budget issues.  That’s not my area of expertise, and I’m agnostic on that issue.  But Ryan’s views about climate change don’t bespeak serious thought about the issues. The Christian Science Monitor reports that last Ryan spoke about climate change in […]

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