What I Wish The Green New Deal Hadn’t Left Out

Greening our infrastructure is part of the solution, but so’s city planning.

While there’s certainly been no shortage of criticism of last week’s Green New Deal resolution, the common line hasn’t been that the resolution doesn’t try to cover enough ground.  On the contrary, it’s been called an everything-but-the-carbon-sink approach; even Trevor Noah devoted a few minutes of the Daily Show to gaping at the proposal’s efforts […]

Continue Reading

Donald Trump Creates the Green New Deal

Emergency Powers Can Be Very….Flexible

Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor today that Donald Trump will sign the new border compromise, then declare a National Emergency at the border, and use Presidential powers under the Emergency declaration to fund at least part of his border wall.  Demonstrating his central philosophical principle — party over country — McConnell announced his […]

Continue Reading

Breaking Up with Fossil Fuels

It’s not us. It’s you.

WORLD: Thanks for the card. . . . But I think we need to talk. FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY: About what? W: About us. FFI: About us?? Can’t it wait until some other time? This is Valentine’s Day, and I’ve made plans for us.  Big plans. W: No, I think we need to get some things […]

Continue Reading

More Tree-Huggers, Please

The Anti-Environmentalist Epithet Actually Derives From India’s Great Environmental Justice Movement

If you want to insult an environmentalist, the standard go-to is to dismiss them as a “tree-hugger.” But where does the term come from? The answer might surprise you: The term ‘tree-hugger’ originated not as an insult but as a protest tactic. It is said to date back to 1730, when a village of Bishnois […]

Continue Reading

One Cheer For “Corruption”

New Public Lands Bill Is A Triumph For The Environment — and an Attack on American Public Philosophy

Some unanticipated good news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments honoring heroes from Civil War soldiers to a civil rights icon. The 662-page measure, which passed 92 […]

Continue Reading

Governor Newsom Retreats On High Speed Rail

Revised Merced-Bakersfield vision in “State of the State” speech indicates reluctance to spend political capital

Governor Newsom’s “State of the State” speech today offered an abrupt scaling back of the state’s vision for its signature infrastructure project, high speed rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco: [L]et’s level about high speed rail.  I have nothing but respect for Governor Brown’s and Governor Schwarzenegger’s ambitious vision. I share it. And there’s […]

Continue Reading

Is the Green New Deal’s Ambition Smart Policy?

Some Lessons from Environmental History

At the the heart of the Green New Deal — which demands slashing U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 by shifting to 100 percent clean energy  — is a major conundrum.  Even the most enthusiastic proponents of ambitious climate policy don’t believe the goals are achievable, technologically let alone politically.  Stanford Professor Marc Z. Jacobsen, for […]

Continue Reading

New report on housing entitlement in LA

Report covers regulatory approvals for residential projects in four LA cities in 2014-16

I’ve blogged previously about work that a team here at UC Berkeley (Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and myself) have been doing on studying land-use regulation, environmental law, and housing production in California, to get a better sense of how regulatory processes may be driving the housing crisis in the state, and eventually to produce specific […]

Continue Reading

Emmett Institute Publishes Issue Brief on California’s Clean Air Act Vehicle Authority

Co-Authored by Ann Carlson, Meredith Hankins, and Julia Stein

Cross-posted to the American Constitution Society’s ACSblog As we have previously covered in past Legal Planet posts, in an outright assault on public health and the environment, the Trump Administration recently proposed rolling back national motor vehicle emission standards put in place by the Obama Administration. As part of this proposal, the Trump Administration also […]

Continue Reading

Bottoms-Up! An Emerging New Governance System (2)

Bottom-up appraches aren’t just fallbacks when top-down fails. They have their own strengths.

  There are some obvious advantages to top-down climate police, whereby a uniform global climate policy is adopted at the global level and then seamlessly implemented by nations, or whereby a similar process takes place at the national level.  Of course, this top-down model requires first global agreement on a uniform policy and then effective […]

Continue Reading