The White House Council of Economic Advisers has been making noise in the past year about how local restrictions on housing across the country has created a national economic drag. But now the council has come out swinging against these “not-in-my-backyard” local policies. In a new “Housing Development Toolkit” [PDF], the White House summarizes how […]
Hopeful Findings from a New Metro Survey
My nominee for Greatest Article Title Of All Time is Don Pickrell’s 1992 piece in the Journal of the American Planning Association. Pickrell argued that while planners and local governments poured money into light rail, it never got the hoped-for ridership. The title? “A Desire Named Streetcar.” Well, as it turns out now, Los Angeles […]
Suggestive Links Between Gender Equity and Sustainability
I suppose that the holy grail of environmentalism, and environmental scholarship, is integrating equity concerns with global priorities. The environmental justice movement has sought to do this, sometimes with success and sometimes less so. Now Jennifer Duncan of Landesa, one of the most innovative think tanks focusing on land rights and the Global South, thinks […]
Do Local Land Use Regulations Violate the Fair Housing Act?
One of the great things about studying land use is that it comprises so much of modern life. That creates some disciplinary problems: one UCLAW colleague who shall remain nameless (but comes from Pennsylvania) told me several years ago that he didn’t think land use was part of environmental law at all. (He has since […]
Court in People v. Rinehart Upholds State Moratorium on Suction-Dredge Mining
Last year, as I discussed in a prior post, the California Supreme Court granted the State of California’s petition for review in the case of People v. Rinehart. I’m pleased to say that today, the Supreme Court has issued a unanimous opinion, authored by Justice Werdegar, in favor of the state’s moratorium on suction-dredge mining on federal lands. […]
The GOP favors the Old West of ranching, logging, mining, and oil. The Democrats have a different view.
The Democratic and Republican parties have very different ideas about the 640 million acres of land owned by the federal government, mostly in the West. It’s not just that the party platforms disagree about the balance between preservation and resource exploitation. It’s also that Democrats have a much different vision of the future of the American […]
Some unusual topics for a presidential campaign
While preparing a comparison of the candidates’ environmental positions, I saw some interesting positions by Hillary Clinton that didn’t fit neatly into the comparison. They deal with topics that aren’t usually covered in national campaigns: city parks, animal welfare, and improved stewardship by ranchers and farmers. I’ve written previously about the importance of city parks. […]
Docket so far limited to a significant takings case, Murr v. Wisconsin
So far, the docket for the U.S. Supreme Court’s term beginning in October includes no significant statutory environmental case. It does include an important takings case that could limit or expand the land use powers of all levels of government to protect wetlands, endangered species habitat, and other ecologically sensitive parcels. Whether the Court ultimately […]
We need to protect city parks, not just rural wilderness.
“The few green havens that are public parks” is a phrase from the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Overton Park case. The case involved a plan to build a highway through the middle of a major park in Memphis. The Court put a heavy burden on the government to justify the project: “The few green havens […]
New CLEE report identifies 470,000 acres of ideal land for solar PV, with 4pm webex briefing with state officials
To achieve California and the post-Paris world’s climate goals, we’re going to need a whole lot more renewable energy. Given current market trends, much of it will come from solar photovoltaic (PV), which has gotten incredibly cheap in the last few years. But deploying these solar panels at utility scale will mean major changes to […]