Sand Trap

You can add sand to your list of global environmental crises.

You already know about the climate crisis,  fisheries collapse, ocean acidification, and the biodiversity crisis.  Now you can add a fifth one: the global sand crisis. The demand for sand is exploding due to burgeoning construction in China and other developing countries. The result: water bodies are being devastated by massive dredging operations. Lake Poyang […]

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Actual True Story: Trump Admin. Proposes Bold New Regulation

Yes, it’s hard to believe. But it actually did happen.

On Thursday, the FDA made a stunning announcement about a new regulation for cigarettes.   Given that this is the Trump Administration, you might have thought they were going to require school lunch programs to hand out cigarettes or something. But no. FDA is proposing — or more accurately, is proposing to issue a proposal — […]

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Will Pruitt join Sessions In Expanding the Federal Government’s Attack on California?

California Vehicle Emissions Standards At Stake

It’s no secret that the Trump Administration has it out for California.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions just sued the state for its refusal to aid Immigration and Customs Enforcement in detaining undocumented immigrants.  Donald Trump just claimed that highly popular Governor Jerry Brown is doing a terrible job, despite Brown leading California out of a […]

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The Disagreeable Mr. Pruitt

The list of his six worst traits starts with paranoia and ends with unbounded ambition.

I’m sure that Scott Pruitt has his good side. Probably he loves dogs. But his bad traits are, well, pretty hard to overlook. Here are some of the main characteristics of the man who is now charged by statute with protecting our environment: Paranoia. As Grist says, “in just his first year, he has reportedly […]

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CLEE Launches California Climate Policy Dashboard

New resource offers snapshot of state’s climate laws, programs, and regulators

The Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley School of Law has launched the California Climate Policy Dashboard, a new web resource offering an overview of the key laws, programs and agencies driving California’s pioneering effort to tackle climate change, including: The landmark greenhouse gas emission reduction laws, AB 32 and […]

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Contentious California Beach Access Case Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

Longstanding Martins Beach Controversy May Well Capture Justices’ Attention

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term is already shaping up as a big one for environmental law in general and the longstanding tension between private property rights and environmental regulation in particular.  The Court has already agreed to hear and decide two cases next Term raising the latter set of issues: one involves the question […]

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Global market for ecosystem services surges to $36 billion in annual transactions

New article in Nature Sustainability tracks global payments for ecosystems services

In the early 1990s, New York City began paying for land management in the Catskills watershed to ensure safe drinking water for the city, avoiding the cost of building an expensive water treatment plant. New York City provides just one example of a growing number of programs – called payments for ecosystem services (PES) – […]

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Going Private

A new book argues that businesses and individuals can take the lead in reducing emissions.

Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change, by Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan, is an ambitious effort to demonstrate the promise of non-governmental efforts to reduce emissions. They argue it is a mistake to pin all our hopes to one climate strategy like a national cap-and-trade system. For this reason, they argue that […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Political Will to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Post #9 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the ninth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] I said at the outset of these blog posts that political will and the issue of scale are bigger […]

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Red-State Utilities Go Green

Utilities are moving away from coal & toward renewables, even in GOP states.

Even in Republican states, there has been a regulatory movement to expand the use of renewables. (see this report for more.) Perhaps even more surprisingly, some utilities and generating companies that now use a lot of coal are voluntarily turning to renewables. Here are some recent examples: Ohio. In February, AEP explained that “Our customers […]

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Supreme Court to Decide Another Major Property Rights Case

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term is shaping up as a most consequential one when it comes to the intersection of environmental regulation and constitutionally-protected property rights. Today the Court agreed to hear and decide an important “regulatory takings” case: Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, No. 17-647. (Recently, Legal Planet colleague Holly Doremus wrote […]

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