Saving California’s Beaches

New expert report offers recommendations for shoreline armoring management

As California’s beach goers and residents well know, erosion and climate change are already impacting the California coastline. Eighty percent of California’s coast is actively eroding, and the latest science projects that sea levels may rise up to 5 additional feet along much of the coast by the end of this century. Higher sea levels […]

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Interpreting Michigan v. EPA

Four Corners Coal Plant

The opinion seems likely to have very limited repercussions.

In bringing the mercury rule to the Supreme Court, industry was hoping for a ruling that EPA had to balance costs and benefits (and could only include benefits relating to mercury).  What they got was far less than that.  Here, I’d like to address some key questions about the opinion. 1.  When does EPA have […]

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MATS Rules Declared Invalid in Michigan v. EPA, 5-4

Antonin_Scalia_2010

Opinion by Scalia Based on Meaning of "Appropriate"

The U.S. Supreme Court today struck down EPA’s rules governing toxic emissions from power plants.  My first take on the opinion, by Justice Scalia, is that while the outcome is bad for the agency, the reasoning appears not to be a radical departure from existing doctrine, with one worrisome tidbit thrown in.  Justice Scalia used […]

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Mercury Rising: The Court Reverses EPA’s Regulation

supreme-court

This was not a great decision for EPA, but it could have been much worse.

The Court has just now decided the Michigan case, involving EPA’s mercury regulation.  As Ann Carlson explained in an earlier post, a lot was at stake in the case.  The Court ruled 5-4 against EPA.  This passage seems to be key to the Court’s reasoning: One would not say that it is even rational, never mind […]

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Will Obama Get a Fourth Major Victory Tomorrow in Michigan v. EPA?

Decision Expected Tomorrow, Written by Someone Other than Scalia

Though the monumental decisions on health care and marriage equality are behind us, tomorrow remains another big day in the Supreme Court.  Three cases remain undecided:  Glossip v. Gross (whether Oklahoma’s execution methods are unconstitutional); Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (whether a state commission can draw Congressional electoral lines) and Michigan v. […]

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Justice Roberts Relied on Utility Air Regulatory Group in Upholding Obama Subsidies

Antonin_Scalia_2010

The Chief Uses Scalia's Words Against Him and I Can't Resist Saying "I Told You So"

Today’s opinion in King v. Burwell  is a victory for common sense, not to mention for the millions of people who get subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to pay for health insurance.  In determining that the subsidies for health insurance extend not only to states that established their own exchanges but also to individuals served […]

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What’s at Stake in Michigan v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court Hazardous Air Pollutant Case?

powerplant

Decision expected in next few days

Although  King v. Burwell (the Affordable Care Act case) and Obergefell v. Hodges (the same sex marriage case) are garnering more attention, sometime between tomorrow and Monday  the Supreme Court will also hand down its decision in Michigan v. EPA.  In the Michigan case, the Court will decide whether EPA’s Clean Air Act rules to regulate hazardous air pollutants […]

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The Horse Manifesto

law books

"The Law of the Horse" is a disparaging term for a legal field. We should embrace it.

It’s fairly common to refer to environmental law or energy law as being like the Law of the Horse – implying that they are somewhat ersatz legal fields. For those who are not familiar with the reference, The Law of the Horse was apparently the title of a legal treatise that collected all the cases […]

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Drought and the Supreme Court

Sam Fox School Distinguished Alumni Awards S13

Does the Court's Decision in the Raisin Case Imperil Water Management?

When I first read Rick’s writeup of the Supreme Court’s decision in USDA v. Horne, concerning the federal government’s Depression-era system of “marketing orders” that required farmers to set aside a percentage of their raisin crop in a government-controlled account, I was worried about water. And that’s not just because I always worry about water. Horne turned on […]

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Breaking News: Supreme Court Rules Federal Agricultural Program a Taking

Justices Uphold California Raisin Growers' Fifth Amendment Challenge

The United States Supreme Court today ended a David-and-Goliath-style, 10-year legal battle between a pair of California raisin growers and the federal government, declaring that the government triggered a compensable taking of the growers’ private property when a federally-controled agricultural board ordered seizure of a portion of their crop.  The Court’s decision can be accessed […]

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Why Paris won’t be Copenhagen

Christiana Figueres at UCLA

Christiana Figueres, head of the UN climate convention, makes the argument at UCLA

As Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2010, Christiana Figueres jokes that it has been her job to “put 195 countries in a better mood” after the overhyped Copenhagen talks in 2009.  The Emmett Institute hosted a lunch at UCLA with Ms. Figueres earlier this week, in which she assured California stakeholders that this year’s Paris […]

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