California

Scott Pruitt, Senator Harris and the California Question

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California leadership in peril?

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, elided many questions yesterday and made some somewhat surprising commitments to appease Senate Democrats in response to others (acknowledging that humans are at least partially responsible for climate change; saying he’ll use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases).  But his response to […]

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New Study: California Climate Policies Bringing Over $13 Billion To San Joaquin Valley

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Report commissioned by Next 10 and written by Berkeley Law’s CLEE and UC Berkeley’s labor center

Climate policies are under political attack, both in California and nationally. The common argument is that these policies hurt the economy and destroy jobs, particularly in disadvantaged communities. To assess those claims, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley Law and UC Berkeley’s Donald Vial Center on Employment in the […]

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Betting on Batteries

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Was the Aliso Canyon leak a blessing in disguise?

As reported on the front page of today’s New York Times, 2016 was the third straight year to set a record for highest temperature, the first time the Earth has seen three record-setting years in a row since WWII (1939, 1940, and 1941 each set records, but now 1941 only ranks as the 37th hottest year). […]

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How Prop 13 Has Wrecked California

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Time to roll back the 1978 tax measure

Prop 13 is supposedly the third rail of California politics. The 1978 ballot measure effectively froze property taxes in the state and ultimately ensured that any new tax increases require a 2/3 vote, whether in the legislature or among local voters approving a new city or county tax measure. It can only be undone if […]

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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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Yes, there’s some actual good environmental news this week

An illustration of how potential conflicts make ocean planning valuable. Credit: NOAA

Approval of regional ocean management plans, California planning for gray wolf return provide grounds for hope

It’s not exactly been the best of weeks for those of us committed to environmental protection, and it doesn’t look like the best of years coming up. But there is some good news, even in these difficult times. Two items in particular have helped lift the gloom for me this week. First, the National Ocean […]

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California’s internecine water war

California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer

Dianne Feinstein versus Barbara Boxer; maximizing water deliveries versus protecting the environment

If you thought California was immune to the season of political craziness, think again. California Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were elected to the Senate together in 1992. They are usually on the same side, but not always. Water is one of the issues on which they often part company. Feinstein is a water […]

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