General

To Be or Not to Be an Energy Utility

Questioning the continued existence of California’s largest energy utility

What can we do to ensure the safety of the massive electric and natural gas delivery systems that we rely on every day? Eight years after the horrific explosion and fire stemming from one of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) natural gas pipelines in San Bruno, California, the state’s legislators and utility regulators […]

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No Restrictive Language on Gene Drives

Convention on Biological Diversity

Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity reject a moratorium-like decision

The recent news in international environmental negotiations has been dominated by this month’s  Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. (See UCLA’s Ted Parson setting the stage, the New York Times article, and Carbon Brief’s detailed report.) The recent COP of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) flew somewhat under the […]

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What’s the Best Way to Motivate Climate Action?

Answers reside deep in the heart of Texas

Texans have a few things to teach policy advocates about the way to incite and bolster political will for climate action at the local level. This is not a claim based on a lack of climate action, but rather because of a new surge of it. The majority of Texans have begun to recognize the […]

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Assessing Los Angeles’ Steps Toward Transit-Oriented Communities

TOC A Year Later: Is It Working?

As my Legal Planet colleagues Meredith Hankins and Ethan Elkind have written, decreasing VMT by changing the way we think about urban development is a high priority, especially here in California.  Amid last year’s slew of housing-related initiatives, Los Angeles took its own stab at a two-birds-one-stone approach to sustainable, affordable residential development, adopting the […]

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We’re Never Going to Meet Our GHG Transportation Goals Unless We Radically Rethink Our Cities

Introducing an ongoing series focused on reducing vehicle miles traveled as a crucial climate mitigation strategy

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about vehicle miles traveled, or VMT. Specifically, why is it so hard to get people to think seriously about reducing VMT as a climate mitigation strategy? Building on my earlier ode to electric scooters, this post begins a semi-regular series on different aspects of VMT reduction strategies, beginning with […]

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Major Legislation Reintroduced To Limit Local Restrictions On Housing Near Transit

State Sen. Scott Wiener takes another stab at solving California’s severe housing shortage

Last year, State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) went right to the heart of California’s massive housing shortage in its job-rich centers with SB 827, which would have limited local restrictions on housing near transit. The bill went down in committee, a victim of election year politics and diverse opposition from wealthy homeowners, tenants rights […]

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Supreme Court Issues Narrow Decision in Dusky Gopher Frog Case, Leaving Key Questions About the Scope of Critical Habitat Unresolved for Now

Fifth Circuit Must Now Review Whether Designated Critical Habitat is “Habitat,” & Whether Agency’s Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Critical Habitat Designation Was Arbitrary

The U.S. Supreme Court filed its opinion in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service today. I’ve posted about this case previously here (when our clinic filed its brief on behalf of preeminent scientists) and here (on the day of the oral argument in the case). (Note that this blog post, like all my posts on this […]

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Don’t Believe Everything That You Read

CNN solar geoengineering tweet

Solar geoengineering is often inaccurately portrayed in the media

If you had followed the climate change news over the weekend, you might have been shocked to see headlines such as “Scientists Prescribe a Healthy Dose of Sulphate Particles to Promote Global Cooling on the Cheap.” CNN tweeted that “Harvard and Yale scientists are proposing that we tackle climate change by dimming the sun.” And […]

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Does the New National Climate Assessment Hurt the Trump Administration in Court?

The Report Could Affect a Number of Cases

The newly released Fourth National Climate Assessment is a bombshell.  It catalogues, in excruciating detail, the dire health, economic, and environmental consequences of unchecked climate change on every region of the United States. And although the Trump Administration appears to have tried to minimize the report’s political and public  impact by dropping it on Black […]

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Netherlands Government Appeals Historic Climate Change Ruling

Supreme Court building of the Netherlands

The Dutch Supreme Court will decide whether the government is obligated to cut emissions more

Last month, an appeals court in the the Netherlands upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Dutch government is legally obligated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more aggressively. This drew much international attention, as well as praise from environmental advocacy organizations. As expected, the government has announced that it will appeal this decision in the Urgenda […]

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