Regulation

The Perils of Inexperience

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The Scott Pruitts of the Trump cabinet face some tricky challenges.

There’s even a name for it in sports: “rookie error.” That’s the kind of mistake that talented players make when they’ve been bumped up into the big time.The big issue for appointees like Pruitt is to avoid that kind of mistake — and in the meantime, to accomplish their agendas. By all accounts, Scott Pruitt […]

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The Ninth Circuit’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

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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 […]

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Update on the Litigation Over EPA’s Rule Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Power Plants

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County (Sherco) Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, near Becker, Minnesota, Tony Webster.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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 […]

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Will Deregulation Grow the Economy?

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The Trump plan of deregulation and tax cuts has been tried. It didn’t work.

President-elect Trump has promised to unleash economic growth by cutting taxes and regulation. In terms of regulations, he has said: “One of the keys to unlocking growth is scaling-back years of disastrous regulations unilaterally imposed by our out-of-control bureaucracy. “Regulations have grown into a massive, job-killing industry – and the regulation industry is one business […]

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Revised SLCP Strategy Demonstrates the Impact of SB 1383

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Many in the environmental community, myself included, heralded the passage of SB 1383 in the California legislature. This bill is the first state law to target short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and it codified the reduction goals that ARB had adopted as part of its general GHG reduction agenda. This is not a trivial accomplishment – […]

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Trump’s Public Statements Aren’t Relevant in Assessing His Likely Climate Policy

The Media Need to Take Trump’s Advisors, and Their Policy Proposals, More Seriously Than They Take Trump’s Off-the-Cuff Comments

The media need to get their act together when they report and editorialize about President-elect Donald Trump’s public statements.  Chief among many failures in reporting on the campaign was the tendency of major newspapers and television outlets to focus on candidates’ rhetoric, symbolism, and character, to the virtual exclusion of governance and policy. This contributed […]

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Something Else to Be Thankful For — Inertia!

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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 […]

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Environmental Law under Trump: A Threat Assessment

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Environmental law may face attack on many fronts during the Trump Administration. As we were all forcefully reminded last week, predictions are always uncertain. Trump’s own intentions are not yet clear, and there are many permutations that could affect the end result. Rather than trying to predict exactly what will or won’t happen, it may […]

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What Will Trump Do? Maybe Not What We Expect.

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If he cares about 2020, he’ll have to do some recalibrating.

To be honest, no one really knows what Trump will do. Maybe not even Trump. The obvious is often the safest best. In this post, I’m going to speculate about another, slightly less dire, possibility. He may take the most obvious path – which would mean ripping the heart out of our environmental laws. For instance, he […]

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What Does a Trump Presidency Portend for California’s Environmental Policies?

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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 […]

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