Litigation

Public Prosecutors Zero In on SoCal Gas, Porter Ranch Disaster

Aliso Canyon

California Attorney General, L.A. District Attorney File New Enforcement Prosecutions

The massive leak from Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon natural gas field in northwestern Los Angeles County was discovered on October 23rd of last year and, more than three months later, shows no sign of abating.  Public prosecutors have pretty clearly lost patience with SoCal gas and its ineffective remediation efforts to date.  This […]

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An Inconvenient Logic

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Justice Scalia's argument in the FERC case contradicts his attack on Obamacare.

They say consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. If so, Justice Scalia is in good shape. His argument last week in the FERC argument was totally inconsistent with his argument against the constitutionality of Obamacare. Both cases involve change in the incentives to enter a market in the first place. In the Obamacare case, […]

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EPA Wins the First Round in Clean Power Plan Litigation

CCP series

…But this is just the beginning—and the Supreme Court will have a say

As we reported last week, on January 21st, a D.C. Circuit panel denied Clean Power Plan opponents’ request for a “stay”—or temporary suspension—of the rule pending judicial review. Read the court order here. We have discussed the Clean Power Plan litigation at length on Legal Planet. As a quick refresher, the Clean Power Plan is […]

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DC Circuit Denies Stay of Clean Power Plan

  The DC Circuit issued a judgment denying the request for a stay in the case challenging the Clean Power Plan, West Virginia v. EPA. The decision simply states that the petitioners failed to meet the “stringent requirements for a stay pending court review.” The court ordered the parties to submit a proposed briefing schedule by […]

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2016: The Year of Living Dangerously

living dangerously

2015 was a year of forward movement. Much of that could be in jeopardy this year.

We are at the start of a year of danger for environmental policy.  2015 saw many accomplishments in environmental law: the Administration issued the “waters of the United States” and Clean Power Plan regulations,  a Supreme Court ruling in favor of EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, and the Paris Agreement on climate change.  Much of this progress is […]

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California Supreme Court Hands Air District, Environmentalists Qualified Win

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Justices' Unanimous Opinion Addresses Key "Scope of CEQA" Issue

In a closely-watched case, the California Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision on the scope of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California’s most important and heavily-litigated environmental statute.  That decision is unlikely to fully satisfy either side in the litigation, though over the long-term it would seem to favor local regulators and their […]

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Roy Cohn and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Roy Cohn and friend, 1952

"Who Are Those Guys?"

I don’t care what the law says. I want to know who the judge is. — Roy M. Cohn I basically agree with Jim’s and Dan’s assessments of the substantive provisions of the TPP when it comes to environmental issues. (I have real problems with the Intellectual Property provisions, but that is another matter). For […]

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Should the Court Stay the Clean Power Plan?

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Opponents need to prove four things to get a stay. They may be unable to prove any of those.

Opponents of EPA’s landmark climate rule, the Clean Power Plan (a/k/a 111(d) regulation), are seeking to stay the effectiveness of the rule.  A stay is a variety of preliminary injunction, and the Supreme Court laid down four requirements for such orders in Winter v. NRDC: “A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish [1] that he is […]

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“Necessary and Appropriate”

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EPA has now formally proposed its response to the Supreme Court's opinion in Michigan v. EPA

Although the Paris talks are justifiably getting the lion’s share of the attention, there have been other significant environmental actions recently. One of those involves the EPA’s effort to reduce toxic emissions from power plants (particularly coal-fired plants). The Clean Air Act gives special treatment to toxic emissions from power plants. Other sources are regulated […]

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The Ninth Circuit Takes EPA to Task (Twice)

Monsanto pesticide to be sprayed on food crops.

EPA's pesticide registration efforts trigger forceful response

Judge McKeown of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently wrote of the EPA, “Although filibustering may be a venerable tradition in the United States Senate, it is frowned upon in administrative agencies tasked with protecting human health.”  Yikes.  What did the EPA do to elicit such a reaction from a federal judge? The short […]

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