General

Registration Opens for 2015 Yosemite Conference–The Nation’s Top Environmental Law Event

Yosemite brochure

This Year's Yosemite Conference Promises to Continue a Tradition of Excellence

Registration is now open for the 2015 edition of the State Bar of California’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite.  That conference, held each fall, is unquestionably the premier environmental law-related event in California.  I would go so far as to argue that it’s actually the top such program in the entire United States. The Yosemite Conference […]

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And a Child Shall Sue Them: Ambitious New Climate Lawsuit Filed Against Obama Administration

James Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Will This Litigation Be More Successful Than Earlier, Related "Atmospheric Trust" Lawsuits?

Late last week, attorneys representing children from around the nation filed a provocative new lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the Obama Administration is violating the children’s constitutional rights by not taking far more dramatic steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change concerns. The newly-filed complaint in the lawsuit, Juliana ex rel. […]

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Coal States File Premature Petition to Block Clean Power Plan

CO2_smoke

AGs Sue For Tactical and Political Reasons Even Though Their Legal Case is a Loser

Attorneys General from 15 states, led by West Virginia, filed a petition in federal court yesterday to block the Clean Power Plan (CPP) from going into effect.  The filing seems to be more tactical and political than a serious legal claim:  the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to publish the rule in the Federal Register […]

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U.C. Campuses Top Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” Rankings

UC Logo

U.C. Irvine, U.C. Davis Rank 1 & 2 as Nation's Greenest University Campuses

The Sierra Club has released its latest rankings of the “greenest” colleges and universities in the United States, titled “Cool Schools 2015.”  The University of California fares extremely well in that survey, with four of its campuses placing in the top 10 of the Sierra Club poll.  U.C. Irvine nabbed the top spot in the […]

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Politics v. Legality and the Clean Power Plan

wind farm

EPA's Final Plan Changes State Targets, With New Winners and Losers

When the President released the final version of the Clean Power Plan last week, it contained a number of big alterations to the draft plan.  One of the most significant changes  was the way each state’s greenhouse gas emissions target was calculated.  The bottom line is that — generally — states more heavily reliant on […]

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CA Supreme Court Rejects California State University’s CEQA Dodge–Again

SDSU

Justices Hold CSU Can't Pass the Buck re: Environmental Mitigation Measures Tied to Campus Expansion

In an important decision issued last week, the California Supreme Court forcefully rejected the California State University’s efforts to avoid paying for mitigation measures needed to offset the adverse environmental impacts associated with CSU’s ambitious expansion plans.  That’s welcome if predictable news from a court that has in recent years been protective of the state’s bedrock […]

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California Governor Jerry Brown: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

Gov. Brown in Rome, July 2015, Associated Press

Brown's National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists

California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy.  He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive.  Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state […]

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A Case of Reverse Causation?

CO2_smoke

Tomorrow's Emission Determine Today's Social Cost of Carbon

Here’s the weird thing: the social cost of carbon today, depends significantly on the year-by-year emissions of carbon in the future, which we obviously don’t know. (Because it depends on our own future actions!)  It takes some explanation to show why that’s true and how it matters. If you know a bit about climate policy, you know […]

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Guess What? The Clean Power Plan Isn’t Going to Destroy America After All.

Let's Destroy the Environment!

Compliance isn't turning out to be that much of a burden.

Here’s the headline from the Washington Post: “Outrage over EPA emissions regulations fades as states find fixes.”  Senator Mitch McConnell has been telling all and sundry the plan will be a disaster and states should refuse to have anything to do with it.  But even in his home state, according to the Post, the Clean […]

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Tragedy of the Commons–California Drought-Style

Garrett_Hardin

State Farmers Planting New Almond Orchards Despite Critical Water Shortages

Traveling through California’s drought-striken San Joaquin Valley repeatedly over the past year, I’ve been surprised and disheartened to see that Valley farmers continue to convert their agricultural fields to newly-planted almond orchards.  (My anecdotal observations have been confirmed by various recent press accounts.)  This development is a striking, current example of Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of […]

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