Then and Now

How has environmental law changed in the last 38 years? A lot … and not that much.

I recently happened to remember a funny incident from 1980. The first edition of what was then the Findley & Farber casebook went to the publisher in October of 1980.  I remember vividly encountering a colleague in the hallway who asked cheerily if the book had gone to the printer. When I said yes, he […]

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Netherlands Government Appeals Historic Climate Change Ruling

Supreme Court building of the Netherlands

The Dutch Supreme Court will decide whether the government is obligated to cut emissions more

Last month, an appeals court in the the Netherlands upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Dutch government is legally obligated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more aggressively. This drew much international attention, as well as praise from environmental advocacy organizations. As expected, the government has announced that it will appeal this decision in the Urgenda […]

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A Catalogue of Game Changers

We’re making progress on addressing climate change, and I’m hopeful that we’ll continue doing so. Yet it’s not clear whether the path we’re currently on will make progress fast enough to avoid very serious risks.  So what would it take for us to make a quantum leap in this effort?  I wouldn’t hazard a prediction […]

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From the Wildfire Files

Wildfires are getting worse and worse. Here’s what we know about the situation.

I don’t normally do this, but given the terrible wildfires now hitting the state, I thought it was worth doing a reprise of some posts on the subject from earlier this summer. Of course, there’s more information in the original posts, if you want to click over to them. Spreading Like Wildfire In 2017, wildfires […]

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Guest Bloggers Deborah Gordon and Frances Reuland: Is California Extraordinary? Its Oil Resources Certainly Are

Facts About California’s Oil and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Despite ongoing federal rollbacks to environmental regulations, California has the right to set its own clean air standards because it is truly extraordinary. Truth be told, the compelling circumstances that first set in motion California’s vehicle emissions standards remain entirely valid. And there are four recent conditions, related to California’s oil supply, production, and refining, […]

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An Ax, Not a Scalpel

Trump’s “take no prisoner’s” deregulatory strategy carries big litigation risks.

Some people, it would seem, prefer using an ax to a scalpel. That’s the Trump Administration. That strategy can be a great way to cut down a tree, but it doesn’t work so well for surgery. And there’s always the chance of cutting off your own foot. In many environmental domains, the Administration seems set […]

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Key Senate Races: Retrospective

The toss-up races came out 50/50, with the pro-environmental candidates winning 4 out of 8 elections.

In a post last March, I explained the environmental stakes in eight toss-up Senate races. We now know how those races came out.  Vindicating the laws of probability, the results of the toss-ups were evenly divided between the two parties. In terms of the overall election picture, I said: “The odds are that the Republicans […]

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Post-election climate policy options

Options for newly empowered state governors, legislators and US House Representatives to advance climate policy

This post is co-authored by Dan Farber and Eric Biber. Democrats took control of the US House of Representatives in the election last week, took full control of six state governments (Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maine, and Illinois), took governorships in seven states (including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas), and made significant gains in […]

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New Report: Improving Landscape-Level Planning for Solar PV Development

New UC Berkeley/UCLA Law report details policy changes to help achieve new SB 100 renewable energy goals

A new report from UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law, A New Solar Landscape, identifies key reforms for California to enact at the state, regional, and local level to increase the pace and optimal siting of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) development. With the passage of SB 100 (de León, 2018), California now requires electric […]

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Do Androids Dream of Endangered Sheep?

Imagine there were self-aware AIs. Would they care about the environment?

With the election behind us, I thought it might be a good time to take a step back and do some musing about less impending issues. Unlike most of my posts, this one is more on the speculative side. The title of this post is a riff on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a novel by […]

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Sessions Out, Whitaker In: What Might the DOJ Shakeup Mean for Environmental Enforcement?

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News broke this afternoon that Trump has forced Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to resign — naming Sessions’ chief of staff, the Marbury v. Madison critic and sports take tweeter Matthew Whitaker acting AG. This move obviously has some pretty horrifying implications for the country at large, but it’s worth thinking about how the […]

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