A Win-Win Energy Law in Illinois

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Illinois’s Future Energy Jobs bill shows that cooperation across party lines is possible.

It went pretty much unheralded by the national media, but in December Illinois adopted a major new energy lawl — and with strong bipartisan support.  Each side had some things to celebrate. The Republican Governor touted the impact of the bill on utility bills.  According to the Governor, the “contains a guaranteed cap that energy […]

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Obama’s Final Words on Climate Change

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Final words as President, that is.

In his Farewell Address, President Obama had this to say about climate change: “Take the challenge of climate change.  In just eight years, we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil, doubled our renewable energy, and led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet.  But without bolder action, our children […]

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Guest Blogger David Spence: Another Take on the Tillerson Nomination

Hearings on the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State are scheduled to begin on January 11th.  The nomination puts Tillerson and his company at the vortex of a whirlwind of public grievances about ExxonMobil’s positions on climate science and Russian influence over American politics and policy.  While […]

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The Perils of Inexperience

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The Scott Pruitts of the Trump cabinet face some tricky challenges.

There’s even a name for it in sports: “rookie error.” That’s the kind of mistake that talented players make when they’ve been bumped up into the big time.The big issue for appointees like Pruitt is to avoid that kind of mistake — and in the meantime, to accomplish their agendas. By all accounts, Scott Pruitt […]

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Explaining Oil’s Political Clout

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There’s an obvious explanation. But it’s false.

Let me start with two obvious points – only one of which is true. The first is that the oil industry has huge political influence. The second is that its clout reflects the industry’s economic heft. The first point is definitely true. As Political Wire recently observed: “Nearly every to top level appointment in Trump’s cabinet […]

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The Ninth Circuit’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

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Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket

In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law.  That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]

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The California Supreme Court’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

CEQA, Property Rights, Preemption & Clean Water Act Highlight Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket

While 2016 was a quiet year for the U.S. Supreme Court when it came to environmental law, the same cannot be said for the California Supreme Court.  To the contrary, 2016 continued a pronounced and significant trend by the California Supreme Court justices in recent years to hear and decide numerous important environmental law issues […]

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2016: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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“But except for that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” It’s an old joke, for all I know going back to 1865. That was 2016,too, in a way. Like Mrs. Lincoln’s evening at Ford’s Theater, 2016 contained a lot of good things, some bad things, and then disaster. Here’s a list of each. The […]

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Whoops, We Almost Forgot to Ask You For Money!

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In otherwise grim times, Berkeley & UCLA are supporting California’s forward environmental progress.

Unlike a lot of blogs, we don’t plague you with requests for money.  But it’s that time of year And this is your last chance for a deductible 2016 gift to support positive change in a really negative time for our country. Legal Planet is a joint product of the Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy, […]

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Update on the Litigation Over EPA’s Rule Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Power Plants

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County (Sherco) Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, near Becker, Minnesota, Tony Webster.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

UCLA Faculty File Amicus Brief on Behalf of Technological Innovation Experts

Late in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued New Source Performance Standards to control greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. This regulation is a companion to the more-often-discussed Clean Power Plan rule, which addresses greenhouse gas emissions from existing sources in the power generation sector. Last […]

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