Yesterday, EPA announced its decision to extend the comment period on the Clean Power Plan—the agency’s proposed rule to regulate power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(d)—until December 1, 2014. The comment period was originally scheduled to last 120 days, until October 16th. You can find a list of compiled […]
New State Groundwater Legislation a Key Step Forward, But No Immediate Fix or Long-Term Panacea
The California Legislature, in the waning hours of its 2014 session, enacted legislation creating a first-ever statewide system of groundwater management. The three-bill package (SB 1168 [Pavley]; SB 1319 [Pavley]; and AB 1719 [Dickinson]) is expected to be signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown before the end of this month, and will take […]
Net zero buildings for everyone?
In last night’s California gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Neel Kashkari proposed a major reform to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires environmental review of new projects. But rather than gutting CEQA completely, a la State-Senator-turned-Chevron-lobbyist Michael Rubio, Kashkari proposed to give all projects the same breaks that the Sacramento Kings received in last […]
Electric vehicle pioneer to announce its siting decision today
Some California environmentalists may be celebrating now that Tesla has apparently decided to build its $5 billion “gigafactory” in Nevada instead of California. Lawmakers here had toyed with the idea of weakening the state’s signature environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to help expedite review on the factory and therefore encourage Tesla to […]
Will UARG Persuade the Supreme Court to Overturn New Air Quality Standards?
“UARG” sounds like the name of a monster in a children’s book or maybe some kind of strangled exclamation. But it actually stands for Utility Air Regulatory Group, which represents utility companies in litigation. UARG did well in two important Supreme Court cases last year, winning part of the case it brought against EPA climate change […]
Is Proposition 2, California's Pioneering Animal Welfare Law, Unconstitutional?
Last week witnessed a most interesting constitutional showdown between sovereign states in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. At issue is animal welfare legislation California has enacted both at the ballot box and through its elected representatives. The enemy combatants are a coalition of midwestern states led by Missouri, aligned against the State of California, with […]
A Reply to Megan Herzog
In my recent CNN op-ed and in her previous post, Megan Herzog and I agree that the Supreme Court has properly interpreted the Clean Air Act (CAA) to apply to the emission of greenhouse gases. We just disagree about the correct manner in which to reach that conclusion. Judges and scholars generally favor an originalist […]
Is Increased Reliance on the Public Trust Doctrine an Essential Part of Effective State Adaptation Policy?
I often tell students in my Climate Change Law and Policy course that adaptation–that is, how we can best adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change–is the poor stepchild of the debate over greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. By that I mean that climate change mitigation (i.e., how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) generates far more […]
Prospects Good for Passage of Landmark Groundwater Legislation
California, which prides itself as being a national and international leader in so many areas of environmental policy, lags woefully behind other jurisdictions when it comes to at least one subject area: groundwater regulation. Alone among the Western states in the U.S., California lacks any statewide system of groundwater regulation and planning. (Until a few […]
Debating the Relationship between the Healthcare Fight and Climate Regulation
Last week, conflicting federal court decisions regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA or “Obamacare,” set the nation abuzz. In Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation providing federal subsidies to low-income taxpayers who purchase health insurance through a […]