California

Getting to Implementation

The Status of Local Climate Action in California

This post is co-authored by CLEE Climate Policy Fellow, Hanna Payne In the arc of climate action, we are firmly in the era of implementation. As climate change accelerates, communities across the state are experiencing the effects of a changing climate. To avoid the worst of these impacts, it is critical that we rapidly implement …

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What’s New About Income-Graduated Fixed Charges?

California is in the process of making income-graduated fixed rates a part of ratepayers’ electric bills. This is the second post in a series that follows that proceeding.

California’s new income-graduated fixed charge (IGFC) policy makes two major moves. The IGFC 1) unbundles costs from volumetric rates and shifts a portion of those costs into a separate fixed charge and 2) imposes the fixed charge on the basis of income. The IGFC has been described as unprecedented—but just what is new about this …

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California Enacts Major Water Law Reform Legislation–But More Changes Are Needed

California State Capitol Building (credit: Wikipedia)

New law explicitly authorizes State Water Board to require water users to verify their water rights

The California Legislature has enacted and Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law SB 389, an important water law reform measure authored by State Senator Ben Allen. California has one of the most antiquated and outdated water rights systems of any Western state.  To put it bluntly, California currently faces a 21st century water supply …

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How to Address Sea Level Risks in California Real Estate Transactions

A new UCLA report recommends policies to improve California’s real estate hazard disclosure laws to inform potential buyers of serious sea level rise risks.

It’s an increasingly common sight on California’s coast: beach houses being swallowed by the rising sea. The threat of flooding and erosion is increasing throughout the United States as a warming atmosphere makes precipitation events more extreme and contributes to sea level rise. In fact, the U.S. coastline is projected to see an average of …

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UCLA Clinic Submits Amicus Brief in Kern Oil Ordinance Case

Kern County’s efforts to increase drilling could jeopardize the survival of the Temblor legless lizard. The case demonstrates why environmental review must keep pace with emerging science and new information.

The UCLA Environmental Law Clinic has submitted an amicus brief in a case that challenges Kern County’s (the “County”) repeated efforts to streamline oil and gas development without proper regard for myriad environmental harms. The Clinic filed its amicus brief on behalf of Professor H. Bradley Shaffer, Ph. D., one of California’s leading experts on …

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How Much Credit Can California Take for the Electric Vehicle Revolution?

New CLEE report responds to criticism over how the state quantifies policy impacts.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is the state’s lead agency on zero-emission vehicle policy, from its first-in-the-nation mandate on automakers to produce zero-emission models to its wide-ranging incentive programs, among other policy approaches. But in 2021, the California State Auditor released a report criticizing how CARB measures the effects of its zero-emission vehicle policies. …

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How Sackett Will Hurt Endangered Species In California

And what the state can do about it

Others have already posted about the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision that significantly cuts back on the geographic scope of Clean Water Act Section 404 regulation protecting wetlands.  Understandably, there has been a lot of attention to the direct effects of that change, which means that federal permitting will no longer apply to many wetlands in …

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UCLA Clinic Submits Amicus Brief in Water Rate Design Case

A trial court decision invalidated the City of San Diego’s tiered water rates. This amicus brief by the Environmental Law Clinic on behalf of California Coastkeeper Alliance and Los Angeles Waterkeeper argues a reversal is needed to pursue conservation and equity.

Court challenges to the use of tiered water rates in California are threatening the state’s own water conservation and affordability goals. That’s what’s at stake in a case called Patz v. City of San Diego.   Climate change is intensifying California’s hydrologic variability and exacerbating the state’s water supply challenges. Dwindling water supplies have led …

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Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) and Offshore Wind

Wind turbine installation in Colorado. Photo credit: Dennis Schroeder, NREL

Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) can provide tools for California communities negotiating offshore wind development impacts

Offshore wind is one of many renewable industries taking off in California as the state accelerates infrastructure investment and development to meet its climate targets. The California Energy Commission has adopted planning goals of 2-5 GW of offshore wind (OSW) by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045. Other state goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions …

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Stakeholder Engagement in California Offshore Wind Development

State leaders have an opportunity to forge a national example on stakeholder engagement and energy justice.

As California continues to develop plans for floating offshore wind (OSW) implementation, state leaders have an opportunity to forge a national example on stakeholder engagement and energy justice. California can achieve this, not just by (for example) incorporating environmental justice (EJ) principles into agency analysis and planning or by increasing consultation with tribal entities, but …

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