You Have the Right to Generate Your Own Electricity

Rooftop Solar

Preserving an implicit right in the face of electric utility resistance

Do people have the right to generate electricity for their own use and still remain connected to the grid? Of course they do. You see it every day. Without prior registration or a background check, anyone can go into a hardware store and buy a diesel generator. Homeowners and businesses can install rooftop solar photovoltaics […]

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Happy World Toilet Day!


For Billions of People, Sanitary Facilities Are No Laughing Matter

It may seem silly to observe World Toilet Day, but as the motto of the World Toilet Organization (which was founded on November 19, 2001) reads: it’s no joke. Literally billions of people lack proper toilet facilities, and it can have severe impacts. Consider this recent testimony from a woman who grew up without one: To […]

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A gift from the Montreal Protocol parties to the Climate Convention

montreal protocol oewg meeting

Montreal Protocol parties agree to negotiate amendment to limit HFCs

Last week, the parties of the Montreal Protocol took an important step to broaden their treaty’s chemical controls to contribute to limiting climate change. The chemicals at issue are the HFCs, or Hydrofluorocarbons. (Like the other halogenated chemicals relevant to ozone depletion, the acronym tells you the chemical composition of the class of chemicals. The […]

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The Ninth Circuit Takes EPA to Task (Twice)

Monsanto pesticide to be sprayed on food crops.

EPA's pesticide registration efforts trigger forceful response

Judge McKeown of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently wrote of the EPA, “Although filibustering may be a venerable tradition in the United States Senate, it is frowned upon in administrative agencies tasked with protecting human health.”  Yikes.  What did the EPA do to elicit such a reaction from a federal judge? The short […]

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Law Schools Doing Good

How Law Schools Serve the Public

Most people probably think of law schools, when they think of them at all, as places that train future lawyers.  That’s true, and it’s important, but law schools do a lot more.  Faculty scholarship makes a difference –law review articles laid the foundation for many of the ideas now guiding judges (both on the Right […]

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What Do You Know About Interior: Test your knowledge

Inspired by Dan Farber’s recent quiz about EPA, here is a similar challenge for the Department of Interior. The questions go from easier to harder (and more obscure). The last question will really test your knowledge. But first some quick history. The Department of the Interior was created by Congress in 1849. As the Department’s […]

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Japan Removes Whaling from ICJ Jurisdiction

In a decision that surprised many, almost 18 months ago the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s whaling activities in the Southern Ocean were not justified under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied soon after that “as a state that respects the rule of law […]

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What Do You Know About EPA? Test Your Knowledge.


Much of what most people think they know about EPA is wrong.

This test involves a few basics about EPA.  See how much you know. 1.  What President established EPA? A.  Kennedy. B.  Johnson C.   Nixon D.  Clinton 2.  When is cost a factor in issuing EPA regulations? A.  Whenever allowed by law. B.   Under Republican Presidents. C.   Only for minor regulations. D.   […]

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California Supreme Court Continues to Expand Its Environmental Docket

California Supreme Court

Justices Considering Unprecedented Number & Variety of Environmental Law Issues

At the beginning of 2015, I posted on this site an analysis of the California Supreme Court’s environmental law docket.  My conclusion was that California’s highest court was showing unprecedented interest in environmental law–as demonstrated by the fact that it then had pending nine cases arising under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and 20 […]

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Dueling California Drought Relief Bills Debated on Capitol Hill

Dry fields and bare trees at Panoche Road, looking west, on Wednesday February 5, 2014, near San Joaquin, CA.  (California WaterBlog)

Stark Differences Emerge Between Competing House and Senate Bills

What can and should the federal government do to assist the State of California in weathering the worst drought in recorded state history? While the U.S. House of Representatives is embroiled in a chaotic political debate over selection of a new House Speaker, the more deliberate consideration of new legislation continues apace in the Senate. […]

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