Region: California

New Report: How to Reduce Rail Transit Construction Costs and Timelines

New CLEE study recommends options for better project delivery in California and beyond + expert webinar January 27

A new study from the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley School of Law released today identifies the primary factors underlying cost and schedule overruns for rail transit construction and presents policy recommendations to overcome key barriers. Improving rail transit delivery is critical for meeting climate and equity goals, given …

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Everyday Christmas: The Gift of the Commons

Clean air. Clean water. We receive these public goods every day without payment

One of the Christmas classics is the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, Stewart’s character, is despondent about his life but then learns how much he has unknowingly helped others and how grateful they are. It’s heartwarming, if also a bit corny. There’s a flip side to that story: the need to remember …

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Remembering Electric Vehicle Pioneer Ryan Popple, 1977-2021

Former Proterra CEO was a major contributor to UC Berkeley/UCLA Law EV report

Ryan Popple, former CEO and co-founder of electric bus company ProTerra, venture capitalist for transportation electrification, early Tesla employee, Iraq War veteran and father of three, passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 44, for reasons unknown. I had the good fortune to meet Ryan back in 2012, when UC Berkeley Law and …

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Yes, It’s That Time of Year Again

If you read Legal Planet, you know why the work we do matters.

Like everyone else, I’m sure you find fundraising appeals annoying. That’s why we only do them two days a year on Legal Planet.  But there couldn’t be a more important time for the work we do, given the urgency of the climate crisis and the ongoing policy disaster in D.C. Yes, we’re struggling to deal …

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What do U.S. states do at a COP, anyway?

Newsom’s out, but California and other states continue with robust delegations headed to Scotland

You’ve likely heard that the big annual United Nations climate conference is about to get underway in Glasgow, with nations around the world gathering together to try to advance international climate cooperation.  But it’s not just national representatives who will attend; many subnational jurisdictions, including California and other U.S. states, also send  significant delegations.  Although …

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Show Time: Stark message from the International Energy Agency

As the 26th Climate Conference (COP26) approaches, there is lots of discussion of the recent IPCC report. There will be a flood of other climate reports landing over the next couple of weeks, from international agencies, environmental groups, industry associations, and many others, all timed for maximum attention at the COP. But for a concrete …

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What power does the state have over land-use regulation in California?

State court concludes that state does have the authority to intervene in local regulation of land-use

A big court ruling in California land-use law happened last month – and it has really large implications for the state’s efforts to address California’s housing crisis. The lawsuit is a challenge by a pro-housing advocacy group (California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CARLA)) to a decision by the City of San Mateo to …

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Why Local Governments Underproduce Housing

Local control over land-use regulation means local governments focus more on the harms than the benefits of housing

As governments in California and across the United States wrestle with how to address soaring housing costs, a significant flashpoint has been the issue of local control.  Most land-use regulation in the United States is done by local governments: cities, counties, towns, villages.  In California, much of the legislation intended to increase housing production has …

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Reforming the California Endangered Species Act

Updating the state’s landmark biodiversity law for the twenty-first century

California has a rich heritage of biodiversity, with many species found nowhere else in the world (including the iconic giant sequoia trees).  But California’s biodiversity faces grave threats – pressures from development that eliminates habitat; water shortages that harm aquatic species in California’s rivers; and climate change impacts that are shifting and altering habitats, among …

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If not Berkeley, where?

Court order freezing UC Berkeley enrollment raises critical questions about how California provides for equitable growth in the state

This is my final post on the CEQA litigation over UC Berkeley enrollment. For earlier posts, see here (providing background information), here (discussing the implications of considering enrollment decisions to be within the scope of CEQA), and here (discussing whether to expand CEQA to cover socioeconomic impacts). In this final post, I want to explore …

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