On Tuesday, the California Court of Appeal in Sacramento heard oral arguments in the most formidable legal challenge to the State of California’s ambitious, multifaceted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That challenge takes the form of two cases, consolidated on appeal: California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board and Morning Star Packing v. California Air […]
Will Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Prompt Long-Awaited Decision in Key Property Rights Case?
In his wide-ranging, long-awaited and (to put it mildly) colorful press conference last week, President Trump promised to announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court within two weeks of taking the oath of office. On this pledge, at least, I believe him. Indeed, I’ll be surprised if he waits that long. Senate Republicans refused to […]
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 […]
CEQA, Property Rights, Preemption & Clean Water Act Highlight Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket
While 2016 was a quiet year for the U.S. Supreme Court when it came to environmental law, the same cannot be said for the California Supreme Court. To the contrary, 2016 continued a pronounced and significant trend by the California Supreme Court justices in recent years to hear and decide numerous important environmental law issues […]
UCLA Faculty File Amicus Brief on Behalf of Technological Innovation Experts
Late in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued New Source Performance Standards to control greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. This regulation is a companion to the more-often-discussed Clean Power Plan rule, which addresses greenhouse gas emissions from existing sources in the power generation sector. Last […]
Meet your new best friend: gridlock, litigation delays, and red tape.
Inertia isn’t something we think about very often. Still less often is it something we feel grateful for. But it’s what prevents us from being tossed around by every passing wind. At this precise moment, that’s something we should hold precious. It’s ironic that environmentalists should now be grateful for all the features that hold […]
Constitutional Issues Loom Large in Future, Likely Federal-California Legal Confrontations
Sensing political storm clouds ahead, California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday issued a statement on the presidential election results that concludes: “We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time–devastating climate change.” Several of my Legal Planet colleagues have recently posted thoughtful commentary on what Donald Trump’s […]
U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects Challenge to TRPA’s Regional Plan
This week the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) won a major legal victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A unanimous three-judge panel of that court rejected environmentalists’ challenge to TRPA’s adopted Regional Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin in Sierra Club v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The Ninth Circuit decision effectively […]
Over 110 years, Presidents of both parties have worked to save national monuments.
Let’s take a break from the bitter partisan warfare and celebrate a bipartisan triumph: preserving numerous national monuments by presidents of both parties. This effort includes creation of 1.6 million square miles of marine preserves by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. It’s impressive just how many of our Presidents have been involved in […]
Join My KALW Radio Conversation Tonight With Authority Chair Dan Richard At 7pm
California’s high speed rail system has been moving at a low speed since voters approved a bond issue to launch it in 2008. That ballot measure authorized a bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles and eventually Anaheim, at speeds of 220 miles per hour and stops in Central Valley cities like Fresno and […]