California

California’s New Groundwater Law: An Interactive Timeline

Groundwater irrigation

What are the major deadlines for local groundwater management agencies, and when can—or must—state agencies act?

Many (including Legal Planet’s own Rick Frank) have examined the pros and cons of California’s new locally-focused groundwater management law.  Such analyses will continue to be critically important as state and local players move forward with the nitty-gritty of actual implementation, and the legislation’s practical, on-the-ground (and under-the-ground) implications become clearer. In this post, however, my goal […]

Continue Reading

California Becomes First State to Ban Disposable Plastic Bags

Other Single-Use Shopping Bags Also Restricted Under New Law

California has become the first state in the nation to ban major retail stores from providing single-use carryout plastic bags to their customers.  The new legislation similarly prohibits stores from selling or distributing recycled paper bags unless the store makes such bags available for purchase for no less than 10 cents per bag. The new law, […]

Continue Reading

Bay Area Tries to Screw the Poor

Peripheral Canal cartoon

It’s bad enough when folks from the Bay Area pretend that they are smarter and more sophisticated than everyone else. It’s bad enough that they trash southern California (inaccurately) for “stealing” its water from the Owens Valley while enjoying water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. But trying to undermine environmental justice while pretending to be […]

Continue Reading

Los Angeles Heat Waves, Electricity Use and Climate Change

Heat-Wave-Hot-Weather---24161103

It is 102 degrees in Los Angeles as I write this.  Not in the San Fernando Valley or in the communities east of Los Angeles whose temperatures are regularly several degrees higher but in downtown Los Angeles.  We’re in record heat territory and way above historical averages.  But temperatures aren’t the only records that are […]

Continue Reading

Groundwater Management Lite for California

New State Groundwater Legislation a Key Step Forward, But No Immediate Fix or Long-Term Panacea

The California Legislature, in the waning hours of its 2014 session, enacted legislation creating a first-ever  statewide system of groundwater management.  The three-bill package (SB 1168 [Pavley]; SB 1319 [Pavley]; and AB 1719 [Dickinson]) is expected to be signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown before the end of this month, and will take […]

Continue Reading

Cleaning The Grid With “Second Life” Electric Vehicle Batteries

UCSD "second life" EV battery demonstration project.  Courtesy of UC Regents/Rhett S. Miller.

Register now for a webinar on the forthcoming UCLA/UC Berkeley Law report, next Friday from 10-11am

As California faces an increasing need for more energy storage to integrate variable renewables and provide other grid services, used electric vehicle batteries could be a critical – and inexpensive – part of the solution. Sales of electric vehicles in the United States are heading toward a quarter million, with 100,000 of those purchases in […]

Continue Reading

Some lessons from l’affaire Tesla

There has been a lot of commentary over the decision by Tesla to make its multi-billion dollar investment in a new battery factory in Nevada, rather than California. There have been some criticisms that California did not do enough to lure Tesla here, and/or that its business climate is not supportive enough for investment, including […]

Continue Reading

Kashkari’s Unworkable Environmental Review “Reform” Plan

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari

Net zero buildings for everyone?

In last night’s California gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Neel Kashkari proposed a major reform to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires environmental review of new projects. But rather than gutting CEQA completely, a la State-Senator-turned-Chevron-lobbyist Michael Rubio, Kashkari proposed to give all projects the same breaks that the Sacramento Kings received in last […]

Continue Reading

Why Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory Could Be Bad For The Environment, Compared To A California Site

628x471

Electric vehicle pioneer to announce its siting decision today

Some California environmentalists may be celebrating now that Tesla has apparently decided to build its $5 billion “gigafactory” in Nevada instead of California. Lawmakers here had toyed with the idea of weakening the state’s signature environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to help expedite review on the factory and therefore encourage Tesla to […]

Continue Reading

Misleading Attacks On California’s New Transportation Analysis Under CEQA

A little less of this, please

Big Law Firm Holland & Knight Misrepresents New State Guidelines

Last year, the California legislature passed badly needed reform to change how agencies evaluate a project’s transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) was tasked with coming up with new guidelines for how this analysis should be done going forward.  As I blogged about, the […]

Continue Reading