Section 7 status quo reinstated

Last week, Interior Secretary Salazar and Commerce Secretary Locke issued a press release announcing that they were withdrawing the Bush administration’s midnight rules relaxing the ESA section 7 consultation requirements. (Background on the Bush rules is here, here, and here.) The notice formalizing that decision has now been published in the Federal Register. As Congress …

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Marketing climate change policies

Writing in the New York Times last week, John Broder reported that ecoAmerica, described as “a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington,” has been researching the best rhetoric to build political support for legislation addressing greenhouse gas emissions. I confess that this story makes me a bit queasy.   As an academic, I’m committed …

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You do need a weatherman to know which way the political winds blow

When I was in Spain in 1993, an older man there complained to me about an unusual rain storm during the normally-dry summer. “It’s the fault of you Americans and radiation from your nuclear bomb,” he told me, half-teasingly. Little did he know that he was proving the thesis of a new study by NYU …

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Has the Court Made it Harder to Prove Environmental Crimes?

Today’s Supreme Court decision relating to identity theft, Flores-Figueroa v. United States, may indirectly make it more difficult to prosecute environmental crimes.  The decision suggests that the prosecutor might have to prove additional facts about the defendant’s state of mind in an environmental case, such as awareness that a given chemical is on a prohibited …

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Supreme Court Narrows Hazardous Waste Liability

The Supreme Court decided an important Superfund case today, BURLINGTON NORTHERN & SANTA FE RAILWAY.  CO V. UNITED STATES.  The case narrowed a theory under which companies can be held liable for clean-up costs as “arrangers” of waste disposal. It also made it easier for lower courts to divide up liability between defendants, rather than …

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Jack Kemp’s Death

Jack Kemp died a few days ago.  He had served as a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise institute, where he worked on environmental matters:Jack Kemp is a distinguished fellow at CEI. The CEI page on him states: His work at CEI centers on promoting rational, free-market environmental policies. He has spoken out against the Kyoto …

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New and Noteworthy from the Ecology Law Quarterly

The latest issue of ELQ — full content available free here — is  centered on two broad themes: 1)  learning from other states, countries and international experiences and 2) the failures of administrative law as an environmental management tool. The issue includes the following articles: * The Transformation of Modern Administrative Law: Changing Administrations and …

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Another Batch of Free On-Line Classes

In case, the headline is misleading: no, we don’t give credit to on-line viewers.  Maybe someday soon Berkeley Law will get into the distance education business, but not yet.  So you won’t get credit, but you’ll still learn a lot. Law 271.71 – International Environmental Law – Cymie Payne (Spring 2009): http://webcast.berkeley.edu/course_details_new.php?seriesid=2009-B-49982|2009-B-49985&semesterid=2009-B Law 272.1 – …

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Sharing the Burden of New Transmission Lines to The Sun and the Wind

The sense of urgency for building new electric transmission lines to transport large quantities of solar and wind power has spurred a national debate about the proper role for the federal government and the states in siting those lines.  Although land use decisions such as these usually reside in the states, many worry that states …

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California Air Pollution–We’re Number One!

California officials and residents take justifiable pride in the state’s continued leadership when it comes to controlling greenhouse gas emissions. But a recent report by the American Lung Association demonstrates that California still has a long, long way to go in addressing conventional air pollutants–especially in Southern California. According to the American Lung Association’s just-issued …

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