EPA issued a new regulation last week that mandates a reduction in ozone levels to 70 ppm from the current 75 ppm (originally set by the Bush Administration). The new regulation was immediately attacked by industry and environmentalists. According to industry, the regulation will be a job-killing burden on the economy. According to environmentalists, […]
A new report highlights twelve western states' efforts to restore stream flows using environmental water transfers
Unnaturally low flows in rivers and streams throughout the western United States have threatened fish and other aquatic species for decades. But restoring flows has proved a significant and complex challenge. A recent report prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation by Stanford University’s Water in the West Program documents twelve western states’ efforts […]
Buried provision in the bill codifies long-term climate goals in the context of vehicle electrification
Today Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 350 (De Leon), a landmark bill that pledges California to a 50% renewable goal by 2030, as well as a doubling of energy efficiency in existing buildings by that date. Despite the environmental win, it’s been well-reported by the media and others that California’s environmental leaders got beaten pretty […]
Next 10 releases Berkeley Law study on transit-oriented development
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 […]