Regulation

Progressive Regulatory Reform

Suppose that, like conservatives, progreessives started thinking about reforming the regulatory system. What would that look like?

Until recently, you could be a very well informed American – a lawyer, even – without ever having heard of the Chevron doctrine.  That has changed enough that last month the New Yorker had a “Talk of the Town” essay discussing Kavanaugh’s views of the Chevron doctrine. The reason for the attention to Chevron is […]

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California Raises Its Ambition for a Low-Carbon Fuel Future

First in a Series About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program

[Post co-authored by Sean Hecht and Ted Parson] California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) has just enacted new regulations that strengthen the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS is a major component of California’s greenhouse-gas control strategy, but receives surprisingly little attention, compared to other policies like the statewide cap-and-trade system and the renewable […]

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Mitigating Increased Driving Miles From New Projects Under CEQA

New Berkeley Law/CLEE report released today; Webinar discussion on Tuesday, October 30th

California law now requires developers of new projects, like apartment buildings, offices, and roads, to reduce the amount of overall driving miles the projects generate. Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg, 2013) authorized this change in the method of analyzing transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), from auto delay to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). […]

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The Case for Co-Benefits

Ignoring co-benefits violates well-established legal principles.

The Trump Administration is moving toward the view, long popular in industry, that when it regulates a pollutant, EPA can consider only the health impacts of that particular pollutant – even when the regulation will also reduce other harmful pollutants. This idea is especially important in climate change regulation, because cutting carbon emissions almost always […]

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New Report Co-Authored with California Department of Insurance Analyzes Climate Risks to Insurance Industry

Climate change threatens the industry’s viability right when it is needed most. The new report from CDI and CLEE outlines key risks and opportunities for insurers, regulators, and residents.

Climate change presents a wide range of risks to California’s insurance industry, as Californians across the state contend with unprecedented wildfires, changing storm patterns, increased risks of flooding and sea level rise, and disruptions to business from agriculture to fisheries and beyond. Potential decarbonization of the economy and litigation based on climate-related damages further threaten […]

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California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

Court Rejects Claim That SGMA “Displaces” Public Trust’s Application to California Groundwater

The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District has issued an important decision declaring that California’s powerful public trust doctrine applies to at least some of the state’s overtaxed groundwater resources.  The court’s opinion also rejects the argument that California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) displaces the public trust doctrine’s applicability to groundwater […]

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Yoga Instructors Bend Coal Industry Out of Shape

Administration’s New Plan Will Do Nothing for Jobs

What could yoga tell us about the Administration’s Orwellian “Affordable Clean Energy” Plan, which my colleagues have eviscerated, and whose name resembles the Holy Roman Empire? Lots, actually: in particular, that it relies upon a false promise of job creation. An important piece last year by Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post detailed just how small […]

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The Clean Power Plan Replacement Comes With a Major Change to NSR (Part 1)

Important pre-construction environmental review for power plant modifications at risk

Last month, I discussed a proposal before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment to amend the Clean Air Act to weaken pre-construction review for modifications to equipment at large stationary sources. Since then, the Subcommittee voted H.R. 3128 out on a party line vote, and it’s currently waiting for the full House Energy […]

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The Costs, Benefits, and Health Impacts of EPA’s Proposed Replacement for the Clean Power Plan

EPA’s New Proposed Rule Will Cost Billions of Dollars, Largely in Health Impacts and Avoidable Mortality

As my colleagues Cara Horowitz and Meredith Hankins, and others, including the New York Times, have reported, the Trump EPA today proposed a replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan, which was a plan to transform our electrical grid away from coal (with associated health and climate benefits). The essence of the new proposal is to replace […]

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The Trump Administration Is On An Environmental Losing Streak

Courts Continue to Strike Down Anti-Environmental Actions

While the Trump Administration’s assault on the environment  is alarming, courts are continuing to hand the administration  an impressive string of losses that mean that, at least in the short term, the assault is much less effective than the administration’s claims of deregulating the economy would lead us all to believe.    In just the […]

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