California

Tragedy of the Commons–California Drought-Style

Garrett_Hardin

State Farmers Planting New Almond Orchards Despite Critical Water Shortages

Traveling through California’s drought-striken San Joaquin Valley repeatedly over the past year, I’ve been surprised and disheartened to see that Valley farmers continue to convert their agricultural fields to newly-planted almond orchards.  (My anecdotal observations have been confirmed by various recent press accounts.)  This development is a striking, current example of Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of […]

Continue Reading

Sacramento Judge Halts California Regulator’s Efforts to Impose Water Cutbacks

Court Rules Water Board's Administrative Process Violates Water Users' Due Process Rights

A Sacramento judge has thrown a wrench into the California State Water Resources Control Board’s efforts to impose water cutbacks on several of the state’s senior water rights holders.  In a July 10th order, Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ruled that the Water Board’s administrative process, designed to implement drought-based water reductions, violates the due […]

Continue Reading

Clem Shute to be honored by California bar

Clem Shute (photo by Liza Heider

Boalt alum will follow Joe Sax as second recipient of environmental law lifetime achievement award

This just in, courtesy of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger — Clem Shute (Boalt ’64) will be honored this fall with the second Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Environmental Law. (The first Award, of course, went to the late Joe Sax.) Clem richly deserves this prestigious award. He has been a major player […]

Continue Reading

A Water Rights Database For California’s Future

eWRIMS_screenshot

A proposal to modernize information for management of water resources

In April, a group of us (Richard Roos-Collins, Michael Kiparsky, Nell Green Nylen, Michael Hanemann, and Holly Doremus) wrote a document arguing for the need to develop a more complete and functional source of legal information on California’s water rights. Since then, this proposal has been circulated widely among the California water community. In the spirit of […]

Continue Reading

Saving California’s Beaches

Isla Vista

New expert report offers recommendations for shoreline armoring management

As California’s beach goers and residents well know, erosion and climate change are already impacting the California coastline. Eighty percent of California’s coast is actively eroding, and the latest science projects that sea levels may rise up to 5 additional feet along much of the coast by the end of this century. Higher sea levels […]

Continue Reading

Breaking News: Supreme Court Rules Federal Agricultural Program a Taking

Justices Uphold California Raisin Growers' Fifth Amendment Challenge

The United States Supreme Court today ended a David-and-Goliath-style, 10-year legal battle between a pair of California raisin growers and the federal government, declaring that the government triggered a compensable taking of the growers’ private property when a federally-controled agricultural board ordered seizure of a portion of their crop.  The Court’s decision can be accessed […]

Continue Reading

Why Paris won’t be Copenhagen

Christiana Figueres at UCLA

Christiana Figueres, head of the UN climate convention, makes the argument at UCLA

As Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2010, Christiana Figueres jokes that it has been her job to “put 195 countries in a better mood” after the overhyped Copenhagen talks in 2009.  The Emmett Institute hosted a lunch at UCLA with Ms. Figueres earlier this week, in which she assured California stakeholders that this year’s Paris […]

Continue Reading

Does Pope Francis Really Hate California’s Cap-And-Trade Program?

pope-francis_2541160b

Encyclical take a negative view that may be misplaced

As Dan and Jonathan noted, the Pope weighed in on Thursday with strong moral arguments in favor of addressing climate change. But in his landmark encyclical, he apparently bashed cap-and-trade as a means of addressing carbon pollution: “The strategy of buying and selling ‘carbon credits’ can lead to a new form of speculation which would […]

Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Housing Ordinance

2105-SupremeCourtGroupPhoto

Unanimous Court Rejects Developers' Takings Challenge to San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Measure

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision issued today, rejected state developers’ efforts to nullify the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance.  That decision, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, is critically important for both state land use policy and for constitutional principles governing private property rights and the proper scope […]

Continue Reading

CEQA and the Drought

Republicans are using the drought as an argument for CEQA exemptions

One thing that the deep drought in California has prompted is more discussion of water storage projects like dams. Part of that discussion has been arguments that environmental review pursuant to CEQA should be “streamlined” for water storage projects. A bill to streamline environmental review for two dam projects died in the Assembly this year. […]

Continue Reading