The news from Beijing this week that the U.S. and China are committing to ambitious goals on climate change is, we think, monumental. No two countries are more important to tackling the problem than the largest carbon emitter over the past two centuries, the U.S., and the largest current emitter, China. While many observers are […]
The Senate races are getting a lot of attention this year. But what happens in statehouses also matters. Most directly, it matters for the folks who live there. But governorships are often proving grounds for politicians who later emerge on the national scene. Today, I’ll focus on a handful of races that look like they […]
Symposium in Sacramento, November 17
Please join us as the UC Berkeley School of Law, with stakeholders in the Mono Lake Cases, convenes a symposium in Sacramento on November 17, 2014, to mark the 20th anniversary of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Decision 1631. Panel presentations feature an cast of thought leaders, including: Marty Adams (Los Angeles Department of Water […]
What are the major deadlines for local groundwater management agencies, and when can—or must—state agencies act?
Many (including Legal Planet’s own Rick Frank) have examined the pros and cons of California’s new locally-focused groundwater management law. Such analyses will continue to be critically important as state and local players move forward with the nitty-gritty of actual implementation, and the legislation’s practical, on-the-ground (and under-the-ground) implications become clearer. In this post, however, my goal […]
Considerations for State Regulators Tackling EPA's §111(d) Proposed Rule
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 […]