California

Surviving the Trump Research Funding Drought

green-energy-research

A Model for State Support of Climate and Energy Research

Federal funding for research on renewable energy and climate change is likely to take a nose-dive under Trump. For instance, a senior advisor recently announced that NASA’s earth sciences research program would be scrapped. In a previous post, I argued that state governments should help pick up the slack. Doing so could have economic benefits […]

Continue Reading

The U.S. Goes Right, California Goes Left

Flag-of-California

Significant progressive wins in the Left Coast on election night

We all know election night took a turn to the right at the national level. But here in California, the results were all about the progressives. The California legislature saw Democrats get major pickups to move forward on a progressive agenda, although as KPCC radio reported, they may have just failed to achieve a 2/3 […]

Continue Reading

What Does a Trump Presidency Portend for California’s Environmental Policies?

103000982-gettyimages-488230964_240x240

Constitutional Issues Loom Large in Future, Likely Federal-California Legal Confrontations

Sensing political storm clouds ahead, California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday issued a statement on the presidential election results that concludes: “We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time–devastating climate change.” Several of my Legal Planet colleagues have recently posted thoughtful commentary on what Donald Trump’s […]

Continue Reading

Could A Trump Presidency Actually Slow Climate Change?

trumpwarming

A Trump-induced recession could temporarily slow global emissions

This might sound crazy, but Donald Trump’s presidency could actually have a temporarily positive impact on climate change. How? Nothing reduces emissions like a recession, and according to economists, Trump’s stated policies are likely to cause one. Specifically, if Trump follows through on his promise to start a trade war with countries like China, he […]

Continue Reading

Another Job For California: Energy & Climate Research

greenenergy300x300

If Trump guts research funding, California should step into the breach.

During the campaign, Trump said he would save $100 billion by cutting climate programs.  His campaign staff referred as support to a report, which said that 75% of the funding was energy related and included  “about 68 percent for energy technology, 23 percent for science, 8 percent for international assistance and 1 percent for adaptation […]

Continue Reading

California’s Big Land Use And Transportation Initiatives To Watch Today

mission-meridian-01_article_slideshow_01

Measures in both San Francisco and Los Angeles could have a big impact on the future of the state

Yes, there’s a lot happening today in the national election. Lost in the shuffle though are three big initiatives before some California voters that could have a big impact on the state’s transit and development future. Measure RR to restore BART: this is an unusual transit measure because it’s one of the first I’ve seen […]

Continue Reading

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Wins Big in Ninth Circuit

Emerald Bay, in south Lake Tahoe

U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects Challenge to TRPA’s Regional Plan

This week the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) won a major legal victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  A unanimous three-judge panel of that court rejected environmentalists’ challenge to TRPA’s adopted Regional Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin in Sierra Club v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.   The Ninth Circuit decision effectively […]

Continue Reading

UC Berkeley & UCLA Law Launch New Climate Policy Website

logo earth A

Register for a webinar on the new site’s features on Wednesday at 2pm, with a keynote by Mary Nichols

To meet the challenge of climate change, California and other governments will need to adopt a suite of policies affecting multiple sectors. Reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions will take reforms in energy, land use, transportation, and agriculture, to name just a few. Since 2009, UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law, with the generous support […]

Continue Reading

My Environmental Law Wish List For A California Legislative Super-Majority

State Capitol, Sacramento, California

Tuesday could give Democrats enough seats to make a major impact on environmental policies

The presidential election next week is making most of the news these days, but while the rest of the country flirts with electing Donald Trump as the next president, California is going its own progressive way. The Republican Party has been all but completely marginalized in this state, for a variety of demographic reasons and […]

Continue Reading

The Steadily-Dying Sierra Nevadas

Dying trees pepper the Yosemite landscape.

Drought, Bark Beetle Infestation, Climate Change Imperil Sierra Pine Forests

Like over 600 other environmental lawyers, professors, law students and regulators, I attended the 25th annual Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite last weekend.  As always, the Conference–sponsored by the California State Bar’s Environmental Law Section–was a big success, filled with inspirational speakers and thought-provoking panels. But the major topic of conversation–during the Conference proceedings, in […]

Continue Reading