Some U.S. Supreme Court decisions blow through American jurisprudence like a hurricane. Others slip into the law books quietly, like the proverbial cat’s paws. Today’s Court decision in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States falls into the latter category: largely overlooked by Court followers and the media, but with the potential to have […]
The regulatory process has become more opaque and less accountable. We need to fix that.
Every year, thousands of law students take a course in administrative law. It’s a great course, and we wish even more students took it. But there’s a risk that students may come away with a vision of the regulatory process that is increasingly disconnected with reality. Worse, the leading judicial opinions on the subject suggest […]
State Water Rights Reforms a Key Part of the Legislative Package
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This adage, attributed to Chicago Mayor and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, seems especially apt regarding emergency legislation enacted by California lawmakers and signed into law last weekend by Governor Jerry Brown in response to the worst drought in recorded California history. That […]
Decision favoring EPA seems likely
The venerable pastime of U.S. Supreme Court-watching always involves divergent opinions that, as Rick Frank noted, all should be taken with a grain (or even a pound) of salt. The outcome of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is decidedly uncertain, but I left the oral argument yesterday more optimistic than my Legal Planet colleague. […]
The EPA Could Well Lose This Challenge to Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the most important environmental law case of the current Term: Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. Based on those arguments–and, more importantly, the justices’ questions and comments–it appears that EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s […]
OIRA is staffed by under-trained, over-worked short-termers.
OIRA is an agency whose functions are as mysterious to most people as its name. It doesn’t help much to learn that OIRA stands for Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The phrase “regulatory czars” is more informative. OIRA runs the federal government’s regulatory process. Although agencies like EPA are required to have a lot […]
Smart growth alternatives would help end the vicious cycle of highway expansion and housing sprawl in San Diego region
Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) filed an amicus brief last week in a California Court of Appeal case with far-reaching implications for development, transportation, and California’s climate goals. The case, Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), challenges the State’s first Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy […]
The link between indoor grow operations and energy data
Now that the two states that just legalized marijuana sent their football teams to the Superbowl this year, it’s clear that the stars are aligning for legalizing marijuana nationwide. Sure, legalizing marijuana makes fiscal, moral, and practical sense, but what about the benefits to the environment? Well, it turns out that even the fight against […]
UCLA’s Emmett Center filed an amicus curiae brief yesterday in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court case that will determine whether EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions rules under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration section of the Clean Air Act are valid. Arguing on behalf of the South Coast Air Quality […]
Can inherently safer technology save us from chemical accidents and terrorists?
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Franklin’s comment, originally made in reference to home fire safety, is characteristically timeless. Today, many are looking to the principle of prevention as a way to reduce the incidence and severity of chemical plant disasters. The threat of chemical disaster […]