Land Use

Whither WOTUS?

Trump ordered agencies to reconsider Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Easier said than done.

President Trump ordered EPA and the Army Corps to review the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule, which sets expansive bounds on federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands. The agencies have sent the White House a proposal to rescind the WOTUS rule and revert to earlier rules until they can come up with a replacement. In my […]

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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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Where To Build Housing In California Through 2030

Join Berkeley Law’s Free Webinar On Wednesday, May 17th, 11am to Noon

California isn’t building enough housing to meet jobs and population growth, and what housing is getting built is happening too much in sprawl areas on greenfields. While this greenfield-focused development may please pro-sprawl conservatives, it will worsen traffic and air pollution and keep the state from meeting its long-term environmental goals. To discuss where and […]

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Finally, some good news from Congress

The Senate voted 51-49 Wednesday morning against considering a resolution to repeal Obama-era regulations targeting methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal lands. The Senate was considering whether to vote on rolling back the rule under the Congressional Review Act, which allows the Senate to repeal rules within 60 days of enactment. Three […]

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The California Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket: A Tale of Two Arguments

Justices Seem Likely to Reach Environmentally-Friendly Result in One Case, But Reject Environmentalists’ Claims in Other

Last week I posted a preview of three key environmental law cases that were scheduled for argument over two days in the California Supreme Court.  I attended the arguments in two of those cases, held in San Francisco last Thursday.  Here’s an account of what transpired, along with my predictions of the likely outcomes in […]

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It’s Environmental Law Week at the California Supreme Court

Justices to Hear Oral Arguments in Three Major Environmental Cases This Week

The California Supreme Court currently has approximately twenty pending environmental cases on its docket.  This week, the Court’s justices will hear oral arguments in three of the most important of those cases.  Taken together, these looming decisions raise important issues concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), federal preemption, climate change mitigation and adaptation, private […]

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Where Should We Build New Housing In California To Meet 2030 Climate Goals?

New Report From UC Berkeley’s CLEE and Terner Center, Commissioned by Next 10, Released Today

California isn’t building enough housing to meet population growth, while the new housing that does get built is happening too often in the wrong places, like on open space far from jobs. Meanwhile, new climate legislation for 2030 will likely rely on the average Californian reducing his or her driving miles by allowing residents to […]

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Understanding why California housing costs so much

Is the problem CEQA, local land-use regulations, both or neither?

Housing costs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles continue to get a lot of attention in the press and academic literature.  This New York Times article highlights this recent paper from Ed Glaeser at Harvard and Joe Gyourko at Penn – the paper’s analysis concludes that land-use regulations have significantly increased the price of […]

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How Prop 13 Has Wrecked California

Time to roll back the 1978 tax measure

Prop 13 is supposedly the third rail of California politics. The 1978 ballot measure effectively froze property taxes in the state and ultimately ensured that any new tax increases require a 2/3 vote, whether in the legislature or among local voters approving a new city or county tax measure. It can only be undone if […]

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The Ninth Circuit’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket

In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law.  That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]

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