Endangered Species Act

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 …

CONTINUE READING

Deconstructing the Supreme Court’s First Environmental Law Decision of the Year (Sort Of)…

…And Newly-Arrived Justice Barrett’s First Majority Opinion

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first environmental law-related decision of its current Term–U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club.  I say “environmental law-related” because the heart of the case concerns whether certain federal government documents are disclosable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  But the case …

CONTINUE READING

Deja Vu All Over Again

There’s a new GOP Platform, same as the old one.

It appears that the GOP won’t have a new platform this year. Instead, they’re going to stick with their 2016 platform. You could see that as steadfastness or a lack of new ideas. In the environmental arena, 2016 is still where the GOP is stuck today, celebrating fossil fuels and rejecting climate action. Here are …

CONTINUE READING

Trump’s Latest Deregulatory Ploy: Emergency Waivers

Shaky legal authority, poor analysis, dubious benefits. What else is new?

In an Executive Order issued last Thursday, Trump told agencies to use emergency waivers to avoid environmental safeguards. The order is legally shaky and unlikely to accomplish much.  Still, it provided a nice photo op. Maybe he should have signed it in front of a church. I’ll talk later about the specifics, but first I’d …

CONTINUE READING

Analyzing the revisions to the ESA regulations (Part V)

Overall, the revised regulations increase agency discretion, particularly to avoid consideration of climate change

This is the  fifth post in a series.  The first post is available here.  The second post is available here.  The third post is available here. The fourth post is available here. Overall, the biggest takeaways from the proposed regulations are that (a) they are intended to substantially increase the discretion the agencies have in …

CONTINUE READING

Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part IV)

The most important revisions to the regulations affect how federal agencies avoid harm to endangered species under Section 7 of the ESA

This is the  fourth post in a series.  The first post is available here.  The second post is available here.  The third post is available here.  The final regulations I am discussing in this post are available here. These are by far the most significant, but also the most complicated changes to the regulations.  Section …

CONTINUE READING

Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part III)

Regulations would make it easier for agency to avoid protections for threatened species

This is the third post in a series.  For the first post, see here.  For the second, post, see here.  The regulations I am analyzing in this post are available here. Section 9 of the ESA prohibits any person from “taking” a listed species – take is defined in the statute rather broadly, to include …

CONTINUE READING

Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part II)

Regulations would make it harder to protect species and habitat because of climate change

This is the second in a series of posts.  For the first post, see here.  The regulations I am analyzing in this post are available here. The ESA has a system by which it determines what species warrant protection under the Act, and therefore should be listed as either endangered or threatened.  In theory at …

CONTINUE READING

Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Intro)

Trump Administration revisions would make significant changes to how Act operates

The Trump Administration in August finalized some significant revisions to the regulations implementing the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Those revisions got a fair amount of press coverage, much of it fairly negative, even apocalyptic in tone.  See this NY Times editorial “The Species Act, Endangered”.  I’ve (belatedly) tried to do a thorough review of …

CONTINUE READING

Why is Newsom vetoing SB 1?

Comparing the Governor’s statements with the text of the bill

The California legislature recently passed SB 1, which would translate into state law a range of federal environmental and worker safety standards that were in place before the inauguration of President Trump to protect against federal roll backs in those areas.  However, Governor Newsom has indicated he will veto SB 1, on the grounds that …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING