General

The Emergence of Climate Law Courses

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It's an increasingly widespread law school course.

The U.S. legal system has only begun to address climate change in the past ten or fifteen years. It was inevitable that this subject would infiltrate basic environmental law courses, especially given that there have now been three Supreme Court cases on the subject.  But climate change is now increasingly the subject of separate courses […]

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Closely Confined Chickens, Interstate Conflict & the Dormant Commerce Clause

Is Proposition 2, California's Pioneering Animal Welfare Law, Unconstitutional?

Last week witnessed a most interesting constitutional showdown between sovereign states in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.  At issue is animal welfare legislation California has enacted both at the ballot box and through its elected representatives.  The enemy combatants are a coalition of midwestern states led by Missouri, aligned against the State of California, with […]

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U.S. Agricultural Policy, Climate Change, and Existing Legal Authority

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New research from Berkeley Law finds that the U.S. Department of Agriculture can act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is much in the news these days, as it implements the massive and always-controversial farm bill, works to improve access to national forests, strives to enhance the U.S. position in international agriculture markets, and wrestles to contain this season’s extensive wildfire activity. What is less obvious to many is […]

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Guest Blogger John Nagle: The Clean Air Act Applies to Greenhouse Gases Because of What Congress Said, Not Because of What Congress Intended

A Reply to Megan Herzog

In my recent CNN op-ed and in her previous post, Megan Herzog and I agree that the Supreme Court has properly interpreted the Clean Air Act (CAA) to apply to the emission of greenhouse gases. We just disagree about the correct manner in which to reach that conclusion. Judges and scholars generally favor an originalist […]

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Is California Finally Ready to Get Serious About Groundwater Reform?

Prospects Good for Passage of Landmark Groundwater Legislation

California, which prides itself as being a national and international leader in so many areas of environmental policy, lags woefully behind other jurisdictions when it comes to at least one subject area: groundwater regulation.  Alone among the Western states in the U.S., California lacks any statewide system of groundwater regulation and planning.  (Until a few […]

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Rand Paul and the Environment (Take 2)

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Guess what: he's no friend of the environment.

Yesterday I posted a confused discussion of Paul’s environmental views. (Probably due to brain lock from spending  too many hours puzzling over the numerical examples in EME Homer!) I wanted to replace it with a clearer description of his views, so I pulled it from the website.  Let’s try this again. This first thing to know about Senator Paul is […]

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Does Scalia’s Opinion in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA Help Protect the ACA?

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The UARG majority opinion says the context and overall structure of a statute help determine the meaning of statutory terms

The tax subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act to pay for health insurance are, of course, the subject of significant press coverage since dueling federal appeals courts came to different conclusions about who receives them this week.   The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held, in a 2-1 decision called Harbig v. Burwell, that an […]

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North Dallas Forty

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A North Dallas Representative sponsored the House bill to save inefficient light bulbs -- but he also advocates energy efficiency.

Yet again, House Republicans have passed a ban on enforcing efficiency regulations for light bulbs, taking a brave stance in favor of energy wastage. The amendment bans DOE from spending any money to enforce the restrictions.  They’ve done this repeatedly, for reasons that seem to have more to do with talk radio than with any actual […]

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The Role of Permits in the Regulatory State

The structure of permitting programs can make a big difference for the implementation of environmental law

Author’s Note: The following post is co-authored by Eric Biber and J.B. Ruhl, the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law and the Co-Director of the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Program at Vanderbilt Law School. This post is cross-posted at Reg Blog. Reg Blog, supported by the U Penn Program on Regulation is an […]

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Oil By Rail: Nine Things California Can Do to Increase Safety

While FRA Considers New Federal Regulations, States Can Ramp Up Prevention and Emergency Response

At a joint Senate and Assembly hearing last week on oil by rail safety in California, some lawmakers expressed frustration at slow federal action, and asked what California can do to increase public safety. My testimony focused on federal preemption issues, defining areas where the state can regulate, and those where it is preempted by […]

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