California

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

Flame Retardants, Furniture, and Polar Bears

couch on fire

One woman’s search for a toxics-free couch in California

A year and a half ago, I found myself in a position that has caused so many people to rethink the world around them: impending parenthood. One of the many changes I decided to make in advance of welcoming our little bundle of joy was to procure a couch without flame retardants. Flame retardants have […]

Continue Reading

BREAKING: SB 32 and SB 350 both pass in the Senate

Key elements of California's new climate legislation package clear major hurdle

For those following the fate of this year’s suite of California climate legislation, Senator Pavley’s SB 32 and Senator De Leon’s SB 350 were brought to a vote in the Senate this morning and both passed easily.  I wrote about these bills here.  SB 32 would enshrine California’s goal, already set forth in executive orders, of reducing […]

Continue Reading

Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transport Fuels

LCFS Poster

The Performance and Prospects of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

Transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in California, responsible for about 37 percent of the state’s total emissions. This distinction makes the sector a prime target for regulation. But with tens of millions of emitting tailpipes, fuels sourced from out of state and around the world, decades-long vehicle lifespans, and many other […]

Continue Reading

Legal Responses to the Santa Barbara Refugio Oil Spill

Refugio_Oil_Spill_in_Santa_Barbara

Exploring potential penalties and damages

Last Tuesday, a 24-inch underground oil pipeline on the beautiful Santa Barbara County coastline burst for reasons as of yet unknown. Over the course of several hours, an estimated 101,000 gallons of crude oil spilled down a storm drain, on the shoreline, and into the Pacific Ocean. As of late last week, oil had spread […]

Continue Reading