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 […]
What will shake the energy world this year?
In our energy law classes at Cal, we like to start the day by talking about Energy in the News. The media never fails us. Every day, there are multiple energy-related stories of significance touching on resource development, new technologies, policy shifts, jobs, regional politics, prices, international relations, or the environment. Once you start looking […]
The federal Endangered Species Act turned 40 this past weekend. On December 28, 1973, then-President Richard Nixon signed into law what has proven to be the nation’s most controversial environmental law. So it’s an especially appropriate time to alert Legal Planet readers that a major, recent conference on the ESA sponsored by the U.C. Davis […]
As Tom McGarity documents in his recent book, Freedom to Harm, the American food safety system is in disarray. You’d think we’d all be wiped out by food poisoning. Yet, the rate of sickness caused by bad food seems to have remained constant since the mid-nineties. What’s going on? McGarity and others are right about the […]