Regulatory Policy

The Ebola Panic

Some politicians encourage panic about a small outbreak in Texas, while thousands in Africa are dying.

The National Lampoon once put out a mock edition of a newspaper from the fictional city of Dacron, Ohio.  There was a screaming headline reading: TWO DACRON WOMEN MISSING.  A much smaller subheading read: Japan destroyed by tidal wave.  We are now seeing something similar in the U.S. reaction to Ebola.  So far, only three cases […]

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California’s New Groundwater Law: An Interactive Timeline

Groundwater irrigation

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 […]

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Lessons From an Epidemic

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Ebola’s natural reservoirs are animals, if only because human hosts die to too quickly. Outbreaks tend to occur in locations where changes in landscapes have brought animals and humans into closer contact.  Thus, there is considerable speculation about whether ecological factors might be related to the current outbreak. (See here).  At this point, at least, we […]

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Solar Plus Storage May Be a Good Deal for Some

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One company says that photovoltaics with battery storage are cost-competitive for some businesses now.

A battery company called Coda Energy says that a combination of solar photovoltaics and onsite storage can be cost-competitive with utility electric service for some larger customers. That is according to an online article on greentechgrid. Solar is still a more expensive option for power production than fuels such as natural gas, and various energy […]

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California Becomes First State to Ban Disposable Plastic Bags

Other Single-Use Shopping Bags Also Restricted Under New Law

California has become the first state in the nation to ban major retail stores from providing single-use carryout plastic bags to their customers.  The new legislation similarly prohibits stores from selling or distributing recycled paper bags unless the store makes such bags available for purchase for no less than 10 cents per bag. The new law, […]

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Human Fingerprints on Australia’s Record Heatwave

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Australia — or at least Australia’s current government — downplays the danger of climate change.   But, as a famous physicist once said, “reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” Last summer in Australia (corresponding to the winter months up here) broke many, many records.  it was the hottest summer on record, […]

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Guest Blogger David Schraub: Vermont Environmentalists File FTC Challenge over “Double-Counting” RECs

David Schraub is the Darling Foundation Fellow in Public Law at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. Represented by Patrick A. Parenteau and Douglas A. Ruley of the Vermont Law School’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, four Vermont residents have petitioned the FTC to investigate alleged misleading marketing practices by Green Mountain […]

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2014 Senate Races and the Environment: Georgia and North Carolina

(Photos: Courtesy GOP.org, Democrats.org)

Two GOP candidates: a cipher on environmental issues and a Romney clone.

Last week, I looked at the Republican Senate candidates in the neighboring states of Arkansas and Louisiana.  This week, we turn to two other Southern neighbors, Georgia and North Carolina.  (Before you rush to email me that they’re not neighbors because South Carolina is between them, take another look at the map — Georgia and […]

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A Roadmap for State Comments on the Clean Power Plan

"Dear EPA..."

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 […]

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Groundwater Management Lite for California

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 […]

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