In a thoughtful, undramatic way, Breyer has turned out to be a valuable supporter for environmental regulation.
Given Justice Breyer’s announced retirement, it seems like a good time to assess his contribution to environmental law. When Bill Clinton nominated him for the Supreme Court, there was a great deal of uneasiness among environmentalists about Justice Breyer. As an academic, he had sounded a cautious note about government regulation, calling for more deliberation …CONTINUE READING
Sean Hecht and Ted Lamm co-author amicus brief on behalf of Clean Air Act expert Tom Jorling
This week, Sean Hecht and I filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA in defense of EPA’s authority to effectively regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Our client is Tom Jorling, a former Senate staffer and EPA official who was directly involved in drafting the Act …CONTINUE READING
How does Biden’s first year compare with Trump’s? Biden has been much more effective.
If you compare Biden’s performance with his promised agenda, the first year has been disappointing. If instead you compare him with his predecessor, Biden has done more to achieve his environmental goals. The difference is that Trump was judged on the basis of his rhetoric, while Biden is judged based on his achievement. Four years …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
How much is the Court likely to prune back EPA’s powers?
In a Friday post, I sketched some thoughts about how the Supreme Court’s vaccine mandate rulings might impact EPA’s power to control carbon emissions. I think it’s worth unpacking both the Court’s opinions a little more and the issues at stake in a pending climate change case, West Virginia v. EPA. The Court ruled in …CONTINUE READING
Some disasters come as shocking surprises. Climate change is the opposite.
Whatever you want to say about climate change, you can’t say we’ve been blindsided. The US has had decades to take action against climate change, and we spent nearly half that time deliberately making things worse. Scientists have had reasons for concern about climate change for over a century, and the first government report on …CONTINUE READING
Cases were few, but one judge was years ahead of her time.
In an earlier post, I tried to figure out when the legal academy first discovered climate changes. As it turns out, it was almost a decade later when the federal courts took notice. Those first climate change cases shed light on how new issues get litigated and how courts respond to new science. My research …CONTINUE READING
The scope of federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands remains as murky as ever.
The Biden Administration announced on Monday that it would not meet a February target date to issue a revised definition of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. It still plans to issue a revised definition later in the year. That sounds like a very technical issue. But it actually determines the extent to which …CONTINUE READING
The end of the gas car will eventually leave 100,000 stations behind.
Gas stations have been fixtures in our world for a century or more. There are even books of photos of picturesque gas stations, some futuristic, others quaint. We’re transitioning into a world dominated by electric vehicles. What does the future hold for these icons of the fossil fuel era? There are now about a hundred …CONTINUE READING
Here are the five biggest things to watch for.
There will be a lot going on this year in the environmental sphere. I wanted to focus on a few big things to keep an eye on, rather than trying to give a long, comprehensive survey. Here are the five biggest things to watch for: Midterm elections. As of now, things are looking very good …CONTINUE READING