Regulatory Policy

The Puzzling Persistence of Takings Litigation

housing bubble

Litigation rates dropped by only a little even when the real estate market collapsed.

Takings litigation is a bit of a puzzle. You would expect the amount of litigation to go up and down depending on the situation in the real estate market.  If there’s a lot of new construction, there are more opportunities for conflict between developers and regulators.  And if prices are high, so are the economic stakes, […]

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Lessons from Aliso Canyon, Part I

Equipment and machinery is seen on a ridge above a natural gas well known as SS25 in Southern California Gas Company's vast Aliso Canyon facility. Pressure on the company has been mounting as residents of nearby Porter Ranch deal with the odor resulting from a leak at the well which was discovered on October 23. 12/14/2015

Regulation of the Oil and Gas Sector

Since October 23, 2015, a leak in a natural gas well has been releasing methane gas near the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles. Although methane is invisible and odorless, gas companies add odorants to alert people to leaks, and it is these additives, usually mercaptans, that experts believe are causing the physical effects suffered by […]

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EPA Wins the First Round in Clean Power Plan Litigation

CCP series

…But this is just the beginning—and the Supreme Court will have a say

As we reported last week, on January 21st, a D.C. Circuit panel denied Clean Power Plan opponents’ request for a “stay”—or temporary suspension—of the rule pending judicial review. Read the court order here. We have discussed the Clean Power Plan litigation at length on Legal Planet. As a quick refresher, the Clean Power Plan is […]

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Big Win For Clean Technology In The Supreme Court Today

supreme court

Court validates federal rule to encourage more efficient electricy usage

The future of a clean electricity grid will require more decentralization based on clean technology, like solar and energy storage. Large industrial customers are investing in these technologies and also signing up to moderate their electricity demand in response to larger grid needs (i.e. reducing usage when electricity becomes expensive and dirty to produce). Smaller […]

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Legacy Goods and Environment Preservation

the future

The value of some goods like wilderness today depends on their futures.

Normally, economists imagine, equal experiences become less valuable as they recede further into the future.  But some types of goods don’t have that kind of relationship with future experiences.  They can become more valuable as they extend farther into to the future. Take this blog post, for example.  I’m really happy that you’re reading it […]

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The Perverse Growth of the “Job Killing” Meme

unemployment rate

As unemployment goes down and down, talk about "job killing regulations" goes up and up.

We’ve had a number of posts about the claim that regulations cause major job losses.  The evidence doesn’t support this claim.  (See this post from October). But the claim at least seemed understandable in the depths of the recession, when people were desperately worried about unemployment.  The weird thing is that as unemployment has gone […]

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Traitors, Militias, Welfare Moochers, or Lobbyists?

Cliven Bundy Cartoon

Those Who Took Over the Oregon Wildlife Refuge are Robbing the Rest of Us

The Internets are filled with excellent (and some not-so-excellent) commentary on the right-wing militia takeover of a building in Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge: I recommend this piece from the great Charles Pierce on the meta-political aspects. But the standoff is suffused with legal issues, and for Legal Planet readers, particularly environmental legal issues. At FiveThirtyEight, […]

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Key Environmental Developments Ahead in 2016

2016-Calendar-White

Here are seven of the most important developments affecting the environment.

2015 was a big year for agency regulations and international negotiations. In 2016, the main focal points will be the political process and the courts. Here are seven major things to watch for. The Presidential Election. The election will have huge consequences for the environment. A Republican President is almost sure to try to roll back most […]

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Newsflash: Senate Passes TSCA Reform

Photo credit: Jeffrey Dunn for Boston Lyric Opera © 2010

A New Chapter In the Effort To Reform Federal Chemical Regulation For the First Time in 40 Years

In a striking turn of events, last night the Senate passed a newly revised version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time in four decades. A summary of the bill’s provisions and analysis of the differences between […]

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California Supreme Court Hands Air District, Environmentalists Qualified Win

Sf_skyline_from_bay

Justices' Unanimous Opinion Addresses Key "Scope of CEQA" Issue

In a closely-watched case, the California Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision on the scope of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California’s most important and heavily-litigated environmental statute.  That decision is unlikely to fully satisfy either side in the litigation, though over the long-term it would seem to favor local regulators and their […]

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