UCLA Law releases new environmental blueprint for California

In the looming battle over California’s budget, will there be room for environmental protections?  What should Governor Brown’s top-priority environmental initatives be?  UCLA Law released today “An Environmental Blueprint for California,” giving our view of the priorities Governor Brown should focus on to ensure the state’s environmental health in ways consistent with its economic prosperity. 

California faces difficult choices ahead.  Our new blueprint recognizes that clean energy, clean water and clean air require the devotion of significant resources but argues that they come with even larger benefits.  We conclude that Governor Brown must strengthen California’s foundation for environmental protection by protecting and restoring funding for important environmental initiatives, improving environmental monitoring, and prioritizing the effective enforcement of existing law.  The report includes additional recommendations for ensuring climate and energy security and promoting renewable energy opportunities, as well as for protecting and improving California’s environmental quality.

There’s a lot here, so over the coming weeks my report co-authors Sean Hecht, Rhead Enion and I will explain our recommendations in further detail.  Comments welcome on what we got right or what you’d improve.

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Reader Comments

One Reply to “UCLA Law releases new environmental blueprint for California”

  1. The Blueprint appropriately points out the importance of adequate CEQA review, but it should also acknowledge that current CEQA practice can often be counterproductive from an environmental perspective. This is especially the case regarding residential and mixed-use infill development. Localized impacts related to automobile traffic and parking are often invoked as justifications for project changes or mitigation measures that reduce density and promote automobile use. At the same time, it’s too easy to dismiss as speculative the adverse cumulative effects of reducing density and facilitating automobile-dependent development. Sure, CEQA already includes provisions intended to streamline review of urban infill development, but they’re too cumbersome. I encourage you to explore ways to revise CEQA so that it facilitates transit- and pedestrian-oriented communities instead of perpetuating ever more low-density, automobile-dependent development.

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About Cara

Cara Horowitz is the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. The Emmett Institute was founded as the f…

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