Litigation

The Top 10 Things to Be Thankful For (Environmental Version)

It hasn’t been a good year, to say the least. But there are some things to be thankful for.

Overall, it’s been a pretty lousy year since last Thanksgiving.  If you care about the environment, there are a lot of things NOT to be thankful for, or rather one big thing in the form of He Who Must Not Be Named. But there are also some  things for which we should feel thankful, many  of […]

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Environmental Law Professors File Amicus Brief in Defense of Technology-Forcing in the California Supreme Court

Professors oppose efforts to limit the Legislature’s authority to enact laws protecting the public health and safety of CA residents

My colleague Sean Hecht and I, along with eleven other California environmental law professors, filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court this week in support of the California Legislature’s authority to enact technology-forcing statutes. The underlying case, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., et al. v. State of California,  involves a gun control law […]

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Public Lands Watch: Resilient Federal Forests Act

Bill to reduce environmental protections for timber management on federal lands passes House

The Resilient Federal Forests Act (RFFA), H.R. 2936—which would curb environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a variety of forest management activities on National Forest and BLM lands—passed the House November 1. (We previously wrote about a version of this bill in committee here.) NEPA requires agencies to consider whether proposed […]

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A Major Defeat for Property Rights Advocates

Hardly anyone noticed a decision last June limiting the rights of property owners against regulators.

Murr v. Wisconsin was a sleeper case decided by the Supreme Court last June. But it deserves a lot more attention than it has gotten. As I discuss in a new paper, Murr was a major defeat for property rights advocates and a big win for land use planners and environmentalists. Murr has escaped much […]

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San Francisco Tests Supreme Court’s “Hole” In Prop 13 & 218 Restrictions On Local Tax Increases

Ambiguity in California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland creates an opening for simple majority approvals

As I blogged in August, the California Supreme Court potentially “ripped a huge hole” in Prop 13 and 218, the two state constitutional initiatives that created a two-thirds majority requirement on local tax measures. In California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland, the court held that “general taxes” initiated by citizens is not bound by […]

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News Flash: 10th Cir. Rebukes Government Over Coal Leases

Today’s important ruling on standing, public lands, and climate change

In an important ruling this morning, the Tenth Circuit rejected the government’s assertion that it could ignore carbon emissions tied to renewing coal leases. In WildEarth Guardians v. BLM, the court also rejected the mining company’s attack on the standing of environmental groups to raise this claim.The mines in question are in the Powder River […]

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State of Play: Trump v. the Environment

Here’s a roadmap to what he’s done — and how things will probably unfold.

How has Trump impacted environmental law? What’s going to happen next? CLEE has issued a new report assessing the state of play in environmental law seven months of the Trump presidency. The report, 200 Days & Counting, reviews the Administration’s environmental proposals and offers a glimpse into what may be coming down the pike. The report focuses […]

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Setback for EPA in Regulating Gases with High Global Warming Potential

DC Circuit vacates 2015 rule on HFCs

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2015 EPA rule targeting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that are used as refrigerants and propellants for a variety of purposes as a substitute for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The court’s decision is a setback for President Obama’s […]

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California Supreme Court Issues Split Decision in CEQA Preemption Case

Justices Find CEQA’s Application to Public Railroad Projects Not Fully Preempted

The California Supreme Court has ruled in an important case that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is not fully preempted when it comes to publicly-owned railroad projects in the Golden State.  Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority.  In that decision, the justices forged a middle ground between the more extreme […]

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A Victory for Renewables

The Second Circuit has carved out some safe space for state renewable energy programs.

An important Second Circuit ruling in June should help clarify some of the lingering legal issues about state efforts to expand renewable energy. Judge Calabresi’s opinion in Allco Finance v. Dykes rejected claims that Connecticut’s policies interfered with interstate commerce and invaded an area of exclusive federal regulation. This will be a useful precedent for […]

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