Regulatory Policy

Interpreting Michigan v. EPA

Four Corners Coal Plant

The opinion seems likely to have very limited repercussions.

In bringing the mercury rule to the Supreme Court, industry was hoping for a ruling that EPA had to balance costs and benefits (and could only include benefits relating to mercury).  What they got was far less than that.  Here, I’d like to address some key questions about the opinion. 1.  When does EPA have […]

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Mercury Rising: The Court Reverses EPA’s Regulation

supreme-court

This was not a great decision for EPA, but it could have been much worse.

The Court has just now decided the Michigan case, involving EPA’s mercury regulation.  As Ann Carlson explained in an earlier post, a lot was at stake in the case.  The Court ruled 5-4 against EPA.  This passage seems to be key to the Court’s reasoning: One would not say that it is even rational, never mind […]

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Breaking News: Supreme Court Rules Federal Agricultural Program a Taking

Justices Uphold California Raisin Growers' Fifth Amendment Challenge

The United States Supreme Court today ended a David-and-Goliath-style, 10-year legal battle between a pair of California raisin growers and the federal government, declaring that the government triggered a compensable taking of the growers’ private property when a federally-controled agricultural board ordered seizure of a portion of their crop.  The Court’s decision can be accessed […]

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Republican Change We Can Believe In

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.): Tilting at Windmills?

Sen. Bill Cassidy's Bill Would Ditch Wasteful Ethanol Subsidy

As readers of this page know, I am extremely fair and balanced: I criticize each party if it does something wrong, and praise each if it does something right. If one of those parties happens to do wrong things close to all the time, well, that’s not my fault. But let us now praise a […]

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California Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Housing Ordinance

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Unanimous Court Rejects Developers' Takings Challenge to San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Measure

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision issued today, rejected state developers’ efforts to nullify the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance.  That decision, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, is critically important for both state land use policy and for constitutional principles governing private property rights and the proper scope […]

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Flame Retardants, Furniture, and Polar Bears

couch on fire

One woman’s search for a toxics-free couch in California

A year and a half ago, I found myself in a position that has caused so many people to rethink the world around them: impending parenthood. One of the many changes I decided to make in advance of welcoming our little bundle of joy was to procure a couch without flame retardants. Flame retardants have […]

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Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transport Fuels

LCFS Poster

The Performance and Prospects of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

Transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in California, responsible for about 37 percent of the state’s total emissions. This distinction makes the sector a prime target for regulation. But with tens of millions of emitting tailpipes, fuels sourced from out of state and around the world, decades-long vehicle lifespans, and many other […]

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A (Sometimes) Beautiful Equilibrium

John Nash

John Nash's contribution to game theory illuminates environmental issues.

John Nash and his wife died yesterday in a cab crash while returning from a trip to Norway to receive a major mathematical prize.  He is best known to the public because of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which described his struggle with mental illness.  His concept of the Nash Equilibrium is basic to a […]

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Abalones and Gulls and Judges, Oh My!

Logo of the Abalone Alliance (and a possible trademark violation)

Comparing the Mono Lake Committee with the Abalone Alliance

For several months now, I have been looking for a good comparison case to the Mono Lake Committee, whose work is one of the great success stories of the modern environmental movement. Why did the Mono Lake Committee succeed when other organizations failed? Lots of organizations had good causes and dedicated leaders: what made Mono […]

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Tracking Coastal Adaptation

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Implementing CA’s Innovative Sea Level Rise Planning Database

Higher sea levels are already affecting California’s 3400 miles of coastline, millions of coastal residents, economy, buildings, and critical infrastructure. Yet, oddly enough for a state that is a worldwide leader in climate change mitigation, California has only recently begun to focus seriously on sea level rise adaptation. Recent reports have cited a lack of preparedness […]

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