California

Referendum Politics: California’s Pioneering Plastic Bag Ban on Hold

Plastic bag ban

Out-of-State Bag Manufacturers Succeed in Qualifying Referendum Measure for 2016 Ballot

California’s recently-legislated ban on disposable plastic bans–the first in the nation–will not take effect on July 1, 2015 as the new law mandates.  That’s because industry opponents of the legislation have  qualified for the November 2016 election a referendum measure that seeks to repeal the new law. Last fall I wrote on this site about […]

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Let’s Strengthen California’s Climate Goals

seal-of-california

Tackling the post-2020 era

A few days ago, I wrote a post taking issue with the idea that AB 32’s emissions limit expires in 2020.  Here’s a follow-up.  Even with AB 32’s influence beyond 2020, California is right to want to do more.  Through the leadership of Senators De Leon, Pavley, and others in the legislature, there’s a package […]

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Accelerating Cost-Effective Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Learning from Local Implementation

bike lane bioretention

A new Berkeley Law report

California decision makers focused on responding to the current drought might question whether stormwater deserves a slice of their attention right now. Although it might be tempting to relegate stormwater planning, management decisions, and infrastructure improvements to a back burner until drought concerns cool off, doing so would be counterproductive. Below, I explain why stormwater management is relevant […]

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Prioritizing Livestock Emissions

800px-2789694551_37beafc438_b_-_Grass_Fed_Beef_-_Ryan_Thompson_-_Flickr_-_USDAgov

How do you solve a problem like manure?

Under AB 32, California’s climate change law, “greenhouse gas” is defined to include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and some fluorinated gases. But the bulk of the state’s efforts to date have focused primarily on the first. CO2 is undeniably the primary offender: It accounts for about three quarters of annual global emissions, and is […]

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AB 32 and post-2020 climate goals

Big Sur California Untitled

What does California's Global Warming Solutions Act say about emissions after 2020?

I have heard some references, recently, to AB 32 “expiring” in 2020.  It’s easy to understand where this idea comes from: California’s premiere climate change law was passed in 2006 and sets a goal for the state to return to 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by a deadline of 2020.  Moreover, one of the […]

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Improving Transportation Spending In California

Moving Dollars Cover

Joint UCLA / UC Berkeley Law Report Released Today

California spends approximately $28 billion on transportation infrastructure each year.  But are we spending that money as cost-effectively as possible?  And given the major impact that transportation investments have on our land use patterns and the amount of driving we need to do, are we spending this money in ways that align with California’s environmental […]

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Clean Energy Data Legislative Briefing In Sacramento

Knowledge Is Power Cover

Lunch event will be held on Tuesday, February 24th

UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law will be hosting a free legislative lunch briefing next Tuesday on expanding access in California to clean energy data, the subject of the Knowledge is Power report that the law schools released last month.  The energy data could include improved customer access to long-term usage patterns, utility statistics […]

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The California Supreme Court’s Unprecedented Focus on Environmental Law

Cal Supreme Courthouse

California's Highest Court Has Far More Environmental Cases Pending Than Ever Before in Its History

The California Supreme Court, perhaps the most influential state supreme court in the nation, has of late become unusually and intensely focused on environmental law.  More than ever before in its history, the California Supreme Court currently has before it a large docket of environmental cases that, individually and collectively, promise to alter the legal […]

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California Supreme Court to Decide Whether the Mining Law Preempts State Ban on Suction Dredge Mining

Court's Decision May Affect State's Ability to Regulate Activities on Federal Lands

The California Supreme Court recently accepted a case that may make it more difficult for the state to protect the environment from the damaging impacts of mining. At issue is the state’s ban on suction-dredge mining in streambeds. Californians engaged in suction-dredge mining have vigorously fought against the state’s ban, and a panel of the […]

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Rain-Free January Portends Continued California Drought of Increased Severity

Severe Reduction in Sierra Snowpack Another Sign That State's Worst Drought Just Gets Worse

January 2015 ends with a most dubious distinction: it’s been the driest January in recorded California history.  That’s especially bad news, considering that January has traditionally been the wettest month of the year in the Golden State. According to National Weather Service and California Department of Water Resources (DWR) statistics, the alarming precipitation figures for Northern […]

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