If we build it, they will come. For many years, that was the mantra of rail transit planners. Just build the rail line, and development will happen around the stations. And then more people will ride, and the system will be a good investment. But in California, too often that hasn’t been the case. Much […]
Guess who invented the idea that property rights evolve with changing social values?
Today, evangelical Christians tend to be aligned with conservatives in defense of private property. But that was not always true. In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, evangelicals launched a major attack on property rights. As historian John Compton documents in a recent book, they also adopted the idea of the “living Constitution” to justify […]
CCS for coal power plants, but not natural-gas power plants?
This post is the third in a mini-series (see first and second posts) exploring likely legal challenges to the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for power-plant greenhouse gas emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(b), and how those challenges might affect the Clean Power Plan. In my first post on EPA’s New Source Performance Standard […]
Exploring Potential Challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard: PART II
This post is the second in a mini-series (see first post) exploring likely legal challenges to the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for power-plant greenhouse gas emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(b), and how those challenges might affect the Clean Power Plan. In my first post on EPA’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for […]
Ad. Law provides the process and institutions, while Torts and Property concepts underly the substance.
Environmental law is a formidable tangle of long, complicated statutes and sometimes arcane judicial doctrines. But underneath all that, I’d like to suggest, there’s a very simple structure, rooted in legal basics. The procedural and structural framework for environmental law is provided by administrative law, supplemented in a few areas like Superfund by ordinary civil […]
Climate change will require reconsideration of how we manage fire
It has been a brutal fire season here in California. It’s been brutal in part because of a historically bad drought. But unfortunately, the end of the drought (when it comes) will not be the end of our fire problems. Those fire problems are the result of long-term, human-caused trends that will only continue: climate […]
How did "Collective Action" turn into "No Action"?
In discussions of how to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions, one of the first things you usually hear (often the very first) is that cutting emissions is a global collective-action problem. To wit: it’s crazy for California (or the United States) to cut unilaterally, because it only works if everyone does it. Or more sharply, we […]
Some schools are still formulating their hiring plans, but others are clearly in the market.
Ax in past years, I’ve been collecting information about faculty openings in environmental, natural resources, and energy law. I’ll update this as I receive more information. Here’s what I’ve got so far: University of Delaware is seeking a Distinguished Named Professorship in Energy and the Environment. Environmental law scholars are encouraged to apply (UD has […]
What Does That Name Mean Now?
Stunning. But not shocking. That was my reaction to the massive fraud admitted by Volkswagen recently. Stunning in its sheer size and reach; half a million cars in the United States and another ten and a half million globally. Yet not very surprising given the fact that use of mechanical and digital cheat devices has […]
Exploring potential challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard: PART I
This post is the first in a mini-series exploring likely legal challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for power-plant greenhouse gas emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(b), and how those challenges might affect the Clean Power Plan. I will leave detailed exploration of the Clean Power Plan for later posts, but suffice […]
Influential Attacks on California's Environmental Impact Law Aren't Supported By the Data
Every August, as the California legislative session comes to a head, lobbyists attempt to gain support for dramatically scaling back California’s landmark environmental law, CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act). This year was no exception. Last month, the law firm Holland and Knight, which has been a leading force on this issue, issued a new […]