Politics

SB 827 and the Concept of Deregulation

When land-use deregulation gets characterized as regulation, and why

Perhaps the biggest topic in land-use law and housing affordability in California over the past couple of months has been a piece of legislation introduced by State Senator Wiener, SB 827.  Ethan has blogged quite a bit about the bill – the basic concept of the legislation is to eliminate or significantly restrict a number […]

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Tales From the Front: A Field Trip to the Utah Monuments

Personal Reflections on the Raging Debate Over Trump’s Utah Monument Reductions

One of most highly visible disputes arising out of the Trump Administration’s multifaceted efforts to roll back and nullify the natural resources policies of previous administrations is the decision by President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Zinke to substantially reduce two national monuments in Utah created by former President Obama under the Antiquities Act. President Trump’s December […]

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2018 Elections: An Overview

The mid-terms will have significant implications on environmental policy.

We would all like to think of law as insulated from day-to-day politics. That separation is difficult to maintain today, given the extent of polarization on environmental issues. It is worth looking ahead a few months, then, to see what the future may hold. With that in mind, I’ve collected a bit of information about […]

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The Whittling Of SB 827 Begins

First Significant Amendments Released to Landmark Bill That Would Allow More Homes Near Transit

California State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 827, which would relax local restrictions on housing adjacent to transit, is a revolutionary step in the history of California land use. The initial version of the bill was clearly an opening salvo, reflecting a general statewide principle that locals should no longer squash housing in prime transit areas, […]

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Enquiring Minds Want to Know (Ryan Zinke edition)

Depending on the Fall elections, Secretary Zinke could face some difficult oversight sessions.

Control of the House matters for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly because of the power to conduct investigations. We can’t be sure of how the election will come out, of course, but if the Democrats do take the House, they may have some questions for Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Here are a […]

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Enquiring Minds Want to Know (Scott Pruitt edition)

If the House flips, Pruitt had better be ready for some tough questioning.

Control of the House matters for a number of reasons. It would allow the Democrats to block any further “reconciliation” bills (budget bills that can’t be filibustered). It would increase their leverage in negotiations. But at least as importantly, it would empower them to conduct investigations. Here’s a list of some of the question they […]

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Actual True Story: Trump Admin. Proposes Bold New Regulation

Yes, it’s hard to believe. But it actually did happen.

On Thursday, the FDA made a stunning announcement about a new regulation for cigarettes.   Given that this is the Trump Administration, you might have thought they were going to require school lunch programs to hand out cigarettes or something. But no. FDA is proposing — or more accurately, is proposing to issue a proposal — […]

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Will Pruitt join Sessions In Expanding the Federal Government’s Attack on California?

California Vehicle Emissions Standards At Stake

It’s no secret that the Trump Administration has it out for California.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions just sued the state for its refusal to aid Immigration and Customs Enforcement in detaining undocumented immigrants.  Donald Trump just claimed that highly popular Governor Jerry Brown is doing a terrible job, despite Brown leading California out of a […]

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The Disagreeable Mr. Pruitt

The list of his six worst traits starts with paranoia and ends with unbounded ambition.

I’m sure that Scott Pruitt has his good side. Probably he loves dogs. But his bad traits are, well, pretty hard to overlook. Here are some of the main characteristics of the man who is now charged by statute with protecting our environment: Paranoia. As Grist says, “in just his first year, he has reportedly […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Political Will to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Post #9 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the ninth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] I said at the outset of these blog posts that political will and the issue of scale are bigger […]

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