Truth be told, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017-18 Term has been an unsually quiet one for environmental and natural resources law. Until now. This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a last-minute addition to the Court’s current docket. Washington v. United States, No. 17-269, a case the justices only accepted for review in January, […]
It’s been eight months. What’s happened since the storm?
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the U.S. on August 25, 2017. That probably seems like ancient history to many Americans who live outside the area. The storm has certainly dropped out of the national media. It’s not easy to find information about how storm recovery is proceeding. But here’s where I could find. Let’s start […]
Setback reveals tough politics behind restrictive housing policies & potentially guides new path forward
Yesterday afternoon, SB 827 (Wiener) was killed in its first committee. Though a number of legislators acknowledged California’s severe housing shortage, few were willing to risk the political backlash of taking on the local government lobby. The bill needed 7 votes on the 13-member Senate Transportation and Housing Committee but only got 4. Here were […]
When land-use deregulation gets characterized as regulation, and why
Perhaps the biggest topic in land-use law and housing affordability in California over the past couple of months has been a piece of legislation introduced by State Senator Wiener, SB 827. Ethan has blogged quite a bit about the bill – the basic concept of the legislation is to eliminate or significantly restrict a number […]
New Pritzker Brief Highlights Barriers to, Recommendations for, Getting to Zero Carbon Emissions by 2025
In 2013, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced that the system’s ten campuses and its central office would cut their carbon emissions to zero by 2025. The goal is one of the most ambitious organizational goals in the country. To help implement the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, the President appointed a Global Climate Leadership Council […]
Personal Reflections on the Raging Debate Over Trump’s Utah Monument Reductions
One of most highly visible disputes arising out of the Trump Administration’s multifaceted efforts to roll back and nullify the natural resources policies of previous administrations is the decision by President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Zinke to substantially reduce two national monuments in Utah created by former President Obama under the Antiquities Act. President Trump’s December […]
I posted earlier about an FDA move to remove nicotine from cigarettes in the hope of preventing addiction. FDA is also moving forward on some food nutrition issues. That makes FDA’s Commission, Scott Gottlieb, an oasis of sanity within the Trump Administration. First, as of May, FDA will begin enforcing a regulation requiring restaurants to […]
The mid-terms will have significant implications on environmental policy.
We would all like to think of law as insulated from day-to-day politics. That separation is difficult to maintain today, given the extent of polarization on environmental issues. It is worth looking ahead a few months, then, to see what the future may hold. With that in mind, I’ve collected a bit of information about […]
Free daylong conference at UCLA on Friday, June 8th will examine the prospects, pitfalls & policy needs
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach bring more goods into the U.S. than any other ports in the country. Yet together the ports are the single largest source of air pollution in Southern California. Harbor commissioners have adopted an ambitious plan to transition to cleaner fuels for goods movement in and around the […]
Novel energy technologies need special care and feeding if they are to develop and enter the marketplace.
An MIT professor has a great idea for a molten metal battery that could outperform lithium batteries. Of course, like many great ideas, this one might not pan out. But even if it does pan out technically, Grist explains one reason why it might never get to the commercial stage: “Ultimately, the thing that makes […]
A significant voluntary achievement, but no substitute for policy action.
On Monday, Apple made big headlines by announcing that “its global facilities are powered with 100 percent clean energy.” This is a major milestone, and it includes the company’s own renewable generation capacity of 626 megawatts—expected to increase to 1,400 megawatts when projects currently under construction are completed. This is enough generation capacity to power […]