Environmental Justice

California’s Proposed Drinking Water Program Reorganization: A Primer

Photo credit to Darwin Bell.

What would the shake-up mean for those who currently lack affordable access to safe drinking water?

A shake-up of California’s struggling Drinking Water Program is in the works.  What follows is a little history, context, and a few thoughts on what it will likely mean for drinking-water stakeholders—in particular those who have the hardest time accessing safe drinking water.  A history of problems for the Drinking Water Program Last April, Jonathan […]

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An Ounce of Prevention

BenFranklinDuplessis

Can inherently safer technology save us from chemical accidents and terrorists?

As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Franklin’s comment, originally made in reference to home fire safety, is characteristically timeless.  Today, many are looking to the principle of prevention as a way to reduce the incidence and severity of chemical plant disasters. The threat of chemical disaster […]

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When Cooking Can Kill

Cookstove  Use in Darfur

Cookstoves are a major threat to health in developing countries, while also wreaking environmental damage.

Cooking dinner, as it turns out, is one of the most serious public health and environmental problems in the world. There’s a common misperception that environmental concerns are just a First World luxury.  But the cookstove example shows that the global poor, too, are in need of better, more efficient, less polluting energy sources. Here […]

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What are California Legislators Thinking About Cap-and-Trade?

seal-of-california

CA Senate Hearing at UCLA Focuses on Ways to Spend Auction Revenue

Today, UCLA’s Emmett Center and IOES hosted a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation with Senators Pavley, Correa, de Leon, deSaulnier, Lieu, and Assemblymember Bloom attending.  The hearing featured testimony on climate science, on AB 32 implementation, and on opportunities to invest revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions in ways that […]

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The State Senate’s proposal for CEQA reform

The State Senate recently passed its version of CEQA reform.  Having looked over the bill, it’s much better than I feared.  What seems to be the most important change is a move towards adopting standard setting in CEQA – i.e., making generalized determinations about what levels of certain kinds of impacts are “significant” such that […]

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Court Casts Doubt on Constitutionality of Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, Upholds Cost Sharing for Transmission Lines

In an important victory for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — and in my view for renewable energy more generally — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has upheld a FERC order that helps finance transmission lines to carry renewable energy from rural areas to urban centers in the midwest and […]

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Some Overdue Environmental Justice In Time for Shavuot

The Jewish festival of Shavuot, which begins at sundown this evening, commemorates the Israelites’ receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.   Shavuot is thus the paradigmatic lawyers’ holiday given its focus on law and justice.  This connects nicely with the other two great pilgrimage holidays found in the Jewish Bible, giving us a trinity (so […]

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Environmental Justice, Metrics & California’s San Joaquin Valley

This week the California Environmental Protection Agency issued a disturbing but worthwhile report on environmental justice issues in California. That report confirms what many environmental justice advocates and state residents already assumed: that the San Joaquin Valley is–far and away–the most environmentally-challenged region of the state. According to the CalEPA press release accompanying the report, […]

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