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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Justices Reject Property Owners’ “Regulatory Takings” Challenge to Seawall Permit Condition
The California Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited decision in Lynch v. California Coastal Commission, rejecting a lawsuit brought by San Diego beachfront homeowners claiming that permit conditions imposed by the Coastal Commission triggered a compensable taking of their private property rights. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Carol Corrigan concluded that the homeowners had forfeited […]
The D.C. Circuit slaps down an abuse of power by Trump’s EPA.
On Monday, the D.C. Circuit dealt a setback to Scott Pruitt’s deregulation efforts in Clean Air Council v. EPA. The case involved a tricky procedural issue. But the substance was simple: EPA, under Pruitt, had abused a reconsideration procedure under the Clean Air Act to stay a regulation for 90 days, when it had no […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]