California and Other Western States See Barriers to Protecting Streams

By National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A new report highlights twelve western states' efforts to restore stream flows using environmental water transfers

Unnaturally low flows in rivers and streams throughout the western United States have threatened fish and other aquatic species for decades. But restoring flows has proved a significant and complex challenge. A recent report prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation by Stanford University’s Water in the West Program documents twelve western states’ efforts […]

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California Enshrines Renewables And Energy Efficiency 2030 Goals — And Maybe Greenhouse Gas Goals, Too

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Buried provision in the bill codifies long-term climate goals in the context of vehicle electrification

Today Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 350 (De Leon), a landmark bill that pledges California to a 50% renewable goal by 2030, as well as a doubling of energy efficiency in existing buildings by that date. Despite the environmental win, it’s been well-reported by the media and others that California’s environmental leaders got beaten pretty […]

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New Report: Grading California’s Rail Transit Station Areas


Next 10 releases Berkeley Law study on transit-oriented development

If we build it, they will come. For many years, that was the mantra of rail transit planners. Just build the rail line, and development will happen around the stations. And then more people will ride, and the system will be a good investment. But in California, too often that hasn’t been the case. Much […]

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The Future of Fire Policy

Climate change will require reconsideration of how we manage fire

It has been a brutal fire season here in California. It’s been brutal in part because of a historically bad drought. But unfortunately, the end of the drought (when it comes) will not be the end of our fire problems. Those fire problems are the result of long-term, human-caused trends that will only continue: climate […]

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What Does That Name Mean Now?

Stunning. But not shocking. That was my reaction to the massive fraud admitted by Volkswagen recently. Stunning in its sheer size and reach; half a million cars in the United States and another ten and a half million globally. Yet not very surprising given the fact that use of mechanical and digital cheat devices has […]

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Anti-CEQA Lobbyists Turn to Empirical Analysis, But Are Their Conclusions Sound?

Influential Attacks on California's Environmental Impact Law Aren't Supported By the Data

Every August, as the California legislative session comes to a head, lobbyists attempt to gain support for dramatically scaling back California’s landmark environmental law, CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act).  This year was no exception.  Last month, the law firm Holland and Knight, which has been a leading force on this issue, issued a new […]

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Last Week in Climate Change


Is climate action finally starting to develop momentum?

There was some good news last week for those of us who worry about the future of the planet,.  Both inside and outside of Congress, Pope Francis spoke about the need to protect the environment and address climate change.  Some conservative Catholics are eager to dismiss this as simply another misguided opinion by a left-learning Pope. But […]

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Mixed results in CA medical marijuana legislation

New state law to regulate medical marijuana makes important environmental progress, still much to be done

California is moving towards marijuana legalization. This is a good and important thing for a whole host of reasons, but one important reason is the environmental impact of unregulated and illegal marijuana cultivation on the environment – something that has been discussed both in the news and here on Legal Planet. Those impacts include diversion […]

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Should we allow electric bikes on hiking paths?

Pending state legislation would allow just that

Bicycling is great for the environment and your health. But it also can be a lot of work, especially when you have to go up a steep hill. That’s where electric bikes can be handy – and thanks to lighter motors and other innovations, they have really taken off. They’re particularly useful when you are […]

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California’s Effort To Set 2030 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fails


What are the implications for ongoing climate efforts?

In another, even bigger setback for the environmental community in California, SB 32 (Pavley), the bill to set greenhouse gas targets for 2030 and 2050, was pulled yesterday and will be tried again next year. The winners are the oil companies, who face tough regulations and competition from California’s climate efforts. The failure is a […]

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