The Federal Government Has *Always* Shaped the Energy System

Obama was criticized for intruding the federal government into energy policy. But that’s nothing new.

To hear some of the debate, you’d think that the Obama Administration breached some longstanding barrier that left energy policy to the states and the market. If there ever was such a barrier, it disappeared over a century ago, with the onset of World War I.  Ever since then, the federal government has been actively […]

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Bringing South Carolina into the Sunshine

A dedicated state legislator, against the odds, opened the door to solar energy in the Palmetto State.

Solar energy is poised to make an appearance in the state, in good part due to the efforts of a single Republican state legislator. That will be a big change: South Carolina has had essentially no wind or solar power, although nuclear accounts for half of its electricity. The state senator, Chauncey (“Greg”) Gregory, hails […]

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Wetlands, WOTUS and California

California Regulators Can and Should Adopt Strong State Wetlands Protection Rules

For the past year, an overriding concern of many Californians has been whether and how state legislators and regulators can fill the environmental law and policy gap left by a Trump Administration that is in the process of reversing a host of Obama-era environmental rules and that has otherwise largely abandoned the field of environmental […]

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The Top 10 Things to Be Thankful For (Environmental Version)

It hasn’t been a good year, to say the least. But there are some things to be thankful for.

Overall, it’s been a pretty lousy year since last Thanksgiving.  If you care about the environment, there are a lot of things NOT to be thankful for, or rather one big thing in the form of He Who Must Not Be Named. But there are also some  things for which we should feel thankful, many  of […]

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Pineapples and Preparing for the Future at COP23

Guest post by Eric Sezgen, UCLA Law student

As Alex’s previous blogpost states, there was a sense of urgency at this COP. Urgency had observable consequences all around the conference and was not only embraced but enhanced by Fiji’s presidency. You could see this even in the COP’s logo. Whereas the COP logo is usually a sleek and trendy design to look good […]

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Of Dreamliners and Drinking Water

pipes

Michael Kiparsky and Christian Binz

As we have written previously, potable water reuse (recycling water to augment water supplies) is a promising way to diversify urban water supply portfolios. Direct potable water reuse (DPR), the injection of highly purified wastewater into drinking water systems, is among the newest, and most controversial, methods for augmenting water supplies. DPR is garnering increasing […]

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‘Let the Sunshine In’: The Fight for Solar in the Tar Heel State

Despite utility opposition and conservative state legislature, the law is slowly shifting toward solar energy.

In North Carolina, renewable energy is more a distant dream than a reality. The state has a modest renewable portfolio standard (10-12% by 2018 or 2021, depending on the utility). Right now, the state is at only about 7%, with the remainder split more or less equally between coal, gas and nuclear. It has old-fashioned […]

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Public Lands Watch: National Park Fee Increases

Park Service proposes to more than double fees at popular parks for peak times

On October 24, the National Park Service published a proposal to hike entrance fees in 17 of the most popular parks—including Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon—during peak visitation seasons. The per-vehicle fee during peak season would rise to $70 from the current range of $25 to $30. The plan would also raise the per-person […]

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Environmental Law Professors File Amicus Brief in Defense of Technology-Forcing in the California Supreme Court

Professors oppose efforts to limit the Legislature’s authority to enact laws protecting the public health and safety of CA residents

My colleague Sean Hecht and I, along with eleven other California environmental law professors, filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court this week in support of the California Legislature’s authority to enact technology-forcing statutes. The underlying case, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., et al. v. State of California,  involves a gun control law […]

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Seeking Salvation at the COP

Guest post by Sunjana Supekar, UCLA Law student

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”  These words, attributed to famed anti-racist activist Angela Davis, permeated my thoughts as I walked through the halls of the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (referred to as the “COP,” for conference of parties). The major question for this year’s […]

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