The venerable pastime of U.S. Supreme Court-watching always involves divergent opinions that, as Rick Frank noted, all should be taken with a grain (or even a pound) of salt. The outcome of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is decidedly uncertain, but I left the oral argument yesterday more optimistic than my Legal Planet colleague. […]
The EPA Could Well Lose This Challenge to Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the most important environmental law case of the current Term: Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. Based on those arguments–and, more importantly, the justices’ questions and comments–it appears that EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s […]
Big Stakes and Big Players in This Year's Biggest Environmental Case
On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the biggest environmental law case of its current Term, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. Legal Planet colleagues Ann Carlson and Dan Farber have already posted their thoughts on the case. Let me add mine. Utility Air Regulatory Group involves EPA’s authority to regulate stationary […]
The language of the statute relating to next week's argument is clear -- but there's a fly in the ointment.
The Supreme Court will be hearing argument next week in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. It’s basically a very simple statutory interpretation case, except for two things. First, it’s about climate change, and nothing about climate change ever seems to be simple and straightforward. Second, although the language of the statute, prior Supreme Court precedent, […]
Rather than prove they will be specifically harmed by increased carbon emissions, plaintiffs can use other kinds of harm as a basis for climate standing.
Plaintiffs got a Christmas present from the D.C. Circuit in the form of a pathway to prove standing in climate change cases. The Supreme Court has considered two cases dealing with standing to sue based on injuries caused by climate change. The Court found standing in one case 5-4 and split 4-4 in the second […]
Judge rules the downtown plan for transit-oriented growth is fundamentally flawed
Smart growth advocates are lamenting a judge’s decision yesterday to toss out the environmental impact report (EIR) on Hollywood’s years-in-the-making plan for higher-density growth around the city’s subway stops. Hollywood is one of the few communities in California willing to increase growth around transit stops and along transit corridors, and the demand for housing and […]
What Makes for Successful Social Movements, Especially in Environmental Politics?
Environmentalists celebrate the campaign to save Mono Lake as one the iconic triumphs in US environmental history. As well they should. But why did it succeed? It’s a critical question not just for environmentalists, but for any scholar or member of social movements. In a previous post, I have suggested that the identity of the […]
Judge rules the train needs a new business plan and project-level environmental review
California Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny dealt two setbacks to high speed rail yesterday that are likely to delay the project significantly. First, Judge Kenny ruled that the state committee that approved the disbursement of bond money for the project acted without sufficient evidence to justify the disbursal. California law empowers the High-Speed Passenger Train […]
Although they won't have immediate impacts, EPA's proposed rules for new coal plants will indirectly help shape the future of the industry.
There’s an uproar over EPA’s proposed rules for CO2 emissions from new coal plants, even though no one expects anyone to build a new coal plant for at least a decade. I’ve argued (here and here) that the industry won’t have standing to challenge the rules because they won’t have any imminent impact. In fact, […]
Auctions can proceed in one of the state's signature climate change programs
ARB’s winning streak in climate cases continues. A California superior court has rejected a prominent set of industry challenges to the state’s cap-and-trade program, upholding a significant element of California’s suite of programs to comply with AB 32 and to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020. (Opinion here.) The cases were filed by the […]