Misleading Attacks On California’s New Transportation Analysis Under CEQA

Big Law Firm Holland & Knight Misrepresents New State Guidelines

Last year, the California legislature passed badly needed reform to change how agencies evaluate a project’s transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) was tasked with coming up with new guidelines for how this analysis should be done going forward.  As I blogged about, the […]

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A Hidden Property Gem From Justice Jackson

Robert Jackson

Where Do Property Rights Come From?

Although it is never fun to do new class preparation, I like teaching new classes because it forces me gives me the opportunity to learn new material and new areas of law. So it is this semester, when I will teach water law for the first time. In this case, not only have I learned […]

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The Wonders of Denialisms

Louis Pasteur

Are there no limits to the human capacity to deny scientific facts?

If you’re inclined to doubt science, why not start with the germ theory of disease?  After all, isn’t it implausible that illness, death, and even mass epidemics are caused by tiny invisible organisms that invade our bodies?  And what’s the evidence for that, really?  Just the findings of scientists who can get big grants from […]

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The Emergence of Climate Law Courses

Obama law school

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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