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Fencelines

The Supreme Court rules on how to define a parcel of property under the Constitution

The Supreme Court ruled today on Murr v. Wisconsin, a takings case that could have potentially had a major effect on land use regulation.  The Supreme Court has ruled that a “taking” of private property exists if the state prohibits all economically beneficial use  of property.  Naturally, lawyers have gleefully litigated the question of how […]

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Public Lands Watch: BLM Methane Rule

BLM delays compliance date for certain provisions of the rule

As we reported earlier, the Obama Administration promulgated a regulation restricting the emissions of methane from oil and gas operations on federal public lands.  Efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn that regulation failed last month.  Now the Interior Department is delaying compliance with certain provisions of the rule indefinitely, citing pending litigation […]

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Trump Administration Seeks Ninth Circuit Review in Pioneering “Atmospheric Trust” Case

U.S. District Judge Has Denied Government’s Effort to Dismiss Cutting-Edge Public Trust/Climate Change Case

Back in August 2015, I blogged on a then newly-filed federal lawsuit in which a coalition of children and their legal guardians sued the federal government to challenge the government’s proposed approval of a controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed to be located on the Oregon coast.  That lawsuit contends that approval of the project would […]

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National Monuments Update

Interior Department releases interim report, recommends changes to Bears Ears National Monument

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released his interim report yesterday on Bears Ears National Monument, recommending that President Trump re-draw the monument’s boundaries. Secretary Zinke’s report misreads both the Antiquities Act and President Obama’s 2016 Proclamation that created Bears Ears National Monument, and any move by President Trump to downsize the monument without an act of Congress […]

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California Members of Congress Seek to Eviscerate State Water & Environmental Laws

H.R. 23 Would Preempt California State Water Law & Supersede Federal, State Environmental Statutes

Quite understandably, the attention of the media, environmental organizations and the general public has been focused on the myriad misadventures of the Trump Administration, now rumbling and stumbling through its fifth month.  And, as recounted on Legal Planet since mid-January, those contretemps include a great deal of environmental mischief emanating from the Executive Branch. But it […]

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In Defense of Nicaragua

In the flurry of news articles, editorials, and think pieces on the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, one fact has been cited widely as evidence that this is a bad move: the only other countries not part of the Accord are Syria and Nicaragua. The insinuation, of course, is that both of these […]

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The Way Trump Withdraws From the Paris Agreement Is Almost As Important As Whether He Does

Withdrawal from the UNFCC would say “we don’t even want to talk about climate change, let alone do anything about it”

If, as news outlets are reporting, the Trump Administration makes good on its campaign promise to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, one thing to watch for is how it withdraws. If Trump takes the dramatic step of withdrawing from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (as opposed to simply withdrawing from the Paris […]

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The states are stepping up on climate change

Will it be enough?

In just the last week, two economically and politically important states, New York and Virginia, took major steps toward reducing their contributions to climate change. On Tuesday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) signed an executive order directing the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to develop and propose a regulation to the State Air Pollution Control Board “to […]

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Guest Blogger Alex Jackson: The Way Forward on Cap-and-Trade

Incorporate Elements of SB 775 and AB 378 to Build on a Proven Program

California is in the process of defining the next chapter of its world-renowned climate leadership. Having pioneered a set of policies over the past decade that have put the state on course to meet its greenhouse gas emissions limit in 2020, lawmakers now face the question of what role the state’s cap-and-trade program should play […]

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Look Out Below!

U.S. Supreme Court Signals Interest in Key Environmental Law/Federal Preemption Case From California

The U.S. Supreme Court today signaled that it is seriously considering whether to review an important environmental law case from California–one in which the California Supreme Court previously ruled that California’s ban on environmentally-damaging suction dredging in state rivers is not preempted by federal law. The case is People v. Rinehart, U.S. Supreme Court No. 16-970. […]

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