Back in the halcyon days of 2012 when EPA, NHTSA, California, and the automakers crafted a grand bargain to adopt national vehicle emission standards, California agreed that compliance with vehicle emission standards adopted at the federal level would be “deemed to comply” with California’s standards. Now, as it becomes clear that the federal government intends […]
Can Congress prevent state and federal courts from hearing WaterFix lawsuits?
The journey of California’s proposed delta tunnels project (also known as California WaterFix) has been anything but straightforward and already faces a slew of ongoing legal challenges.[i] Last week, Congress added a different kind of twist when the proposed Department of Interior budget for FY 2019 was introduced in the House Appropriations Committee. The relevant […]
The California Energy Commission’s new mandate receives mixed reviews.
The recent decision of the California Energy Commission to require the inclusion of rooftop solar photovoltaics on most new homes has engendered praise from some quarters, and criticism from others. Some see this new policy as a positive force, helping to reduce the cost of solar and contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. […]
Controversial issue to be discussed at upcoming UCLA conference on zero-emission freight at Southern California’s ports
Automation threatens to eliminate many manufacturing jobs around the world, as robots now perform factory line tasks that used to be done by humans. Now the technology is starting to be deployed through self-driving vehicles in places like ports, with similar results. It’s an issue we’ll discuss at the upcoming free UCLA/Berkeley Law conference on […]
Justices Uphold Water Board’s “User Pays” Fee System Against Constitutional Attack
The California Supreme Court has handed the State Water Resources Control Board a major legal win, rejecting an industry challenge to the “user pays”-based system of funding the Board’s water pollution control system. In doing so, the Supreme Court has fended off yet another constitutional challenge to the manner in which environmental regulatory fees are […]
Rolling back the CAFE standards is going to be a heavy analytic lift at best.
The Trump Administration has begun a review of the second phase of fuel efficiency standards adopted by the Obama Administration. Ann Carlson has already blogged about the harmful effects of such a rollback. A new paper by researchers at Resources for the Future sheds some additional light on the situation. Although the study does not […]
Setback reveals tough politics behind restrictive housing policies & potentially guides new path forward
Yesterday afternoon, SB 827 (Wiener) was killed in its first committee. Though a number of legislators acknowledged California’s severe housing shortage, few were willing to risk the political backlash of taking on the local government lobby. The bill needed 7 votes on the 13-member Senate Transportation and Housing Committee but only got 4. Here were […]
When land-use deregulation gets characterized as regulation, and why
Perhaps the biggest topic in land-use law and housing affordability in California over the past couple of months has been a piece of legislation introduced by State Senator Wiener, SB 827. Ethan has blogged quite a bit about the bill – the basic concept of the legislation is to eliminate or significantly restrict a number […]
Free daylong conference at UCLA on Friday, June 8th will examine the prospects, pitfalls & policy needs
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach bring more goods into the U.S. than any other ports in the country. Yet together the ports are the single largest source of air pollution in Southern California. Harbor commissioners have adopted an ambitious plan to transition to cleaner fuels for goods movement in and around the […]
First Significant Amendments Released to Landmark Bill That Would Allow More Homes Near Transit
California State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 827, which would relax local restrictions on housing adjacent to transit, is a revolutionary step in the history of California land use. The initial version of the bill was clearly an opening salvo, reflecting a general statewide principle that locals should no longer squash housing in prime transit areas, […]