Region: National

Will the NEPA Amendments Speed Up Permitting?

Probably not much. If at all.

I’ve blogged quite a bit about the challenges of interpreting the NEPA amendments, which snuck through as part of last year’s debt ceiling bill.  I haven’t said much about their impact.  Given the amount of energy infrastructure we need to build in the near future, a streamlined permitting process would be great. Alas, I don’t …

CONTINUE READING

Chevron Gets the Headlines, But State Farm May Be More Important

The abortion pill case could undermine the authority of agency’s expert judgments.

The Chevron doctrine requires judges to defer to an agency’s interpretation of a statute if that interpretation is reasonable. The State Farm case, which is much less widely known, requires courts to defer to an agency’s expert judgment unless its reasoning has ignored contrary evidence or has a logical hole. As you probably already know, …

CONTINUE READING

The New EPA Car Rule Doesn’t Violate the Major Questions Doctrine

They both relate to climate, but West Virginia v. EPA involved a very different regulation raising very different issues.

In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court struck down the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.  The heart of the ruling was that EPA had engaged in a power grab, basing an unprecedented expansion of its regulatory authority on an obscure provision of the statute.  Conservative groups have claimed since then that virtually every government regulation …

CONTINUE READING

How Can Cities Deliver Equitable EV Charging to the Curbside and Public Right of Way?

CLEE Report Cover Photo

New CLEE Report Presents Case Studies and Elevates Key Strategies

As California and other states transition to one hundred percent zero-emission new vehicle (ZEV) sales by 2035, local governments will play a crucial role in addressing inequities in the ZEV transition. Limited access to abundant and reliable charging equipment remains a key barrier to ZEV adoption for all, and city governments can lead efforts to …

CONTINUE READING

Critical Insights on the Mineral Boom: Part II

A vision to ensure enforceable community benefits from mineral extraction: Insights from the Emmett Institute’s “Powering the Future” symposium.

“Voice, agency, and meaningful compensation.” Those are the things that California Tribal Affairs Secretary Christina Snider-Ashtari said must be granted in exchange to some communities bearing the brunt of the energy transition and the new mineral boom, as recounted in Part One of this series. All week, my colleagues and I are sharing summaries, outcomes, …

CONTINUE READING

The Changing Politics of Coal

Coal has gone from a national conservative rallying cry to a niche state concern.

The “War Against Coal” was a major conservative theme eight years ago. Now it seems almost forgotten even by Donald Trump, who was once coal’s caped crusader.  But although protecting coal production is no longer much of a national issue, keeping coal-fired power plants open has percolated as an issue at the state level.  It …

CONTINUE READING

Critical Insights on the Mineral Boom

In the race for critical minerals, the challenges, tradeoffs, and potential winners are becoming clear. Insights from the Emmett Institute’s “Powering the Future” symposium.

A couple hundred miles north of the Las Vegas strip at Rhyolite Ridge you’ll find a dusty yellow wildflower called Tiehm’s buckwheat that grows nowhere else in the world. But this flower sits atop a massive, untapped lithium reserve that would help the U.S. transition to cleaner energy. Now, what if you had to choose …

CONTINUE READING

Replacing McConnell

If the GOP flips the Senate, who will lead them on environmental issues?

Who will lead the Senate in 2025?  The odds are that it will be a Republican. Democrats have a slim margin and face some close races, while all the GOP seats seem secure. That makes the question of who will replace Mitch McConell as GOP leader all the more important for climate and energy policy. …

CONTINUE READING

States May Be Warming to Green Amendments

At least 10 states, including New Jersey and California, are considering constitutional guarantees to a clean environment and stable climate after Montana’s landmark climate trial.   

Last week, New Jersey lawmakers and a variety of stakeholders crammed into a statehouse committee room for a relatively rare legislative hearing. This 2-hour hearing centered on New Jersey’s proposed green amendment, which committee chair Senator Bob Smith described as “a very controversial topic” as he gaveled in the meeting. This green amendment would add …

CONTINUE READING

Fifteen Years of Legal Planet

5700 blog posts later, we’re still speaking — if not “truth to power”— then our best approximation of truth, to anyone who’ll listen.

A decade and a half ago, the law school here announced the launch of a new environmental law blog by Berkeley and UCLA. The March 11, 2009 press release began: “The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley Law) and UCLA School of Law today announced the launch of a new blog, Legal Planet, …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING