California

The Missing of Summer Lawns*

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It's Time to End the Wasteful Practice of Irrigating California's Residential Landscaping With Fresh Water

What a difference a drought makes. Once upon a time, a fundamental attribute of home ownership in California and the American West was an expansive, verdant lawn surrounding private homes, townhouses and apartment complexes. Indeed, some communities have historically imposed permit conditions or adopted local ordinances mandating the inclusion and maintenance of lush, healthy lawns […]

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As Oil by Rail Gains Momentum, Is California On Track to Protect Human Health and the Environment?

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A closer look at the data and key legal issues

California will soon see a surge in the number of trains carrying crude oil into the state, as oil production in North Dakota’s Bakken region and Canada continues to increase, sending more crude to California refineries. Last week, the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the safety of […]

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Berkeley and UCLA Law Students Take Top Spots at State Environmental Law Negotiations Competition

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Students bargain for environmental protection, economic benefits at annual event

Last Friday, the California Bar Association held its 15th Annual Student Environmental Negotiations Competition, at UCLA School of Law.  Negotiations competitions stand beside mock trial and moot court programs as means for students to gain experience with the kind of work they’ll be doing after law school.  The CalBar competition is open to all California […]

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Reduced VMT from Millennials: Good News From an Unlikely Source

Younger people are driving less, even controlling for the flat economy

Last week I reported on the Caltrans survey findings showing that Californians seem to be driving less. Too good to be true?  Perhaps.  My always-pessimistic colleague Brian Taylor suspects that this is more about the Great Recession than about real changes in driving habits. Brian and his colleagues at the University of California Transportation Center recently […]

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The Perils of Rail Transit and Democracy

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How Decentralized Decision-Making Can Screw Up Rail Planning and Implementation

Americans seem to love democracy but hate many of the results. We want governmental power to be decentralized, whether it’s across three federal branches or with local control over sometimes regionally oriented land use decisions. But when the inevitable compromise that is required to get majority approval means a less-than-perfect result, from Obamacare to budget […]

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Are Californians Finally Getting Out of Our Cars?

If Something Looks Too Good To Be True, Then It Probably Is

It looks like a miracle: Californians aren’t depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and  errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new survey by Caltrans. Although driving is still by far the most dominant mode of transportation  across the state, accounting for about three-quarters of daily trips,  researchers say a […]

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In Memoriam: Joseph L. Sax, Gentleman, Scholar, Giant of Environmental Law

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Visionary environmental advocate will be sorely missed, long remembered.

[Posted on behalf of all Legal Planet authors at Berkeley Law.] It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Joseph L. Sax, James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation (Emeritus) at Berkeley Law. Joe was our hero, our teacher, our mentor, our colleague, our friend. […]

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Upcoming Climate Practitioners’ Workshop at UCLA

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Explore recent legal developments in Federal and California greenhouse gas regulation for CLE credit

Why not earn your continuing legal education (CLE) credits while learning about recent developments in climate change law? Next Friday, March 14, 2014, the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law is co-hosting an all-day practitioners’ workshop that will explore cutting-edge developments in greenhouse gas regulation. “Navigating Climate Regulation on Dual […]

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California Enacts Emergency Drought Legislation

State Water Rights Reforms a Key Part of the Legislative Package

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This adage, attributed to Chicago Mayor and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, seems especially apt regarding emergency legislation enacted by California lawmakers and signed into law last weekend by Governor Jerry Brown in response to the worst drought in recorded California history. That […]

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How Responsible Are Americans for China’s Pollution Problem?

An online conversation from several perspectives

Yesterday, I participated in an online conversation at Chinafile.com on the question of “How Responsible Are Americans For China’s Pollution Problem?”  I post the lead comment by David Vance Wagner of the International Council on Clean Transportation along with my response.  Elizabeth Economy from the Council on Foreign Relations and Isabel Hilton of Chinadialogue.net (among […]

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