California

California’s AB 313–A Solution in Search of a Problem

Governor Brown Should Veto Ill-Conceived Bill That Would Undermine State Water Board’s Enforcement Authority

Overall, the California Legislature had a most productive year when it comes to environmental issues.  It extended until 2030 the cap-and-trade program that’s a centerpiece of the state’s ongoing efforts to reduce California’s aggregate greenhouse gas emissions.  It passed the mis-named “gas tax” legislation, which not only provides funding to rebuild California’s once-proud but now […]

Continue Reading

Is CEQA the problem?

Developing a better understanding of how land-use law and housing production interact in California

On Friday, the Governor signed a package of housing bills intended to help address the soaring costs of housing in many metro areas in California. Follow-up coverage of that bill package has (rightly) indicated that those bills are a drop in the bucket in terms of addressing California’s housing crisis. One theme that emerges in […]

Continue Reading

Zinke’s Report Recommends Downsizing or Loosening Restrictions in 10 National Monuments

Report Lacks Details on Boundaries but Recommends Management Changes to Permit Wider Range of Uses

Late last night, the Washington Post reported that Secretary Ryan Zinke had recommended making changes–by downsizing and/or by loosening restrictions–to a total of 10 national monuments. The list of monuments goes beyond what had been reported last month. The Post released a leaked copy of Zinke’s recommendations that were submitted to President Trump on August […]

Continue Reading

State of Play: Trump v. the Environment

Here’s a roadmap to what he’s done — and how things will probably unfold.

How has Trump impacted environmental law? What’s going to happen next? CLEE has issued a new report assessing the state of play in environmental law seven months of the Trump presidency. The report, 200 Days & Counting, reviews the Administration’s environmental proposals and offers a glimpse into what may be coming down the pike. The report focuses […]

Continue Reading

The CEQA Exemption that Ate LA

A bold attempt to get a huge exemption from state’s marquee environmental law

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a state law that requires full analysis, public disclosure, and where feasible, mitigation of environmental impacts from state and local government projects, including permits for private development.  I’ve written before about the problematic nature of exempting specific projects from CEQA.  In general, my concern is that once you […]

Continue Reading

How To Pay For Energy Efficiency Retrofits — Evening Conference At Berkeley Law On Sept 21st

Free event on Thursday, Sept. 21st from 5-7pm, will feature Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister & Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff

California has ambitious goals to make our existing buildings more energy efficient, through improvements such as wall and ceiling insulation and efficient appliances and fixtures. We simply cannot meet our long-term climate goals without more progress on this front. But these smart investments require upfront money, and it’s not clear yet how the state can […]

Continue Reading

Webinar: Net Economic Impacts Of California’s Major Climate Programs On The Inland Empire

Free on-line event will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 12th, from 10-11am

Following the state legislature’s landmark approval extending California’s cap-and-trade program through 2030 by a supermajority vote, Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & The Environment (CLEE) and our research partners have completed the first comprehensive, academic study of the economic effects of existing climate and clean energy policies in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Together with […]

Continue Reading

High Time to Fix California’s Affordable Housing Crisis

California Political Leaders Announce Historic Housing Accord

The Sacramento Bee reports that California Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic leaders of the State Senate and Assembly have reached an 11th-hour agreement to address California’s chronic, steadily growing affordable housing crisis.  (The California Legislature’s 2017 session concludes in mid-September.)  That’s good news indeed–and a most welcome (if overdue) proposed fix to one of […]

Continue Reading

Did The California Supreme Court “Rip A Huge Hole” In Prop 13 & 218?

New decision could lower voter threshold for local government taxes by voter initiative

UPDATE: This post has been modified from its original version to reflect some ambiguity in the court’s decision that I missed on first read. California local governments have long been stymied in efforts to raise taxes for basic infrastructure and services by California’s constitution.  Two voter-approved constitutional amendments, Prop 13 and Prop 218, require that […]

Continue Reading

The Trump Administration’s Arbitrary Review of National Monuments

Zinke’s review has been anything but transparent

Last Thursday, Secretary Zinke submitted a report to President Trump, recommending changes to national monuments. Although Trump’s Executive Order in April called for a “final report” within 120 days–the deadline was Thursday–the Interior Department’s press release called the report a “draft.” And as Holly Doremus explained on this blog, it has still not been made […]

Continue Reading