legislation

200 Days and Counting: Legislation

What are the prospects for major environmental legislation in the near future?

From the perspective of environmental law, one of the most important questions is whether full Republican control of Congress and the White House would lead to fundamental changes to significant environmental laws.  These are the kinds of changes that would be most important over the long-run, from a legal perspective.  Laws are hard to pass …

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Feds Argue California’s Shark Fin Ban Is Preempted in Third-Party Litigation

In 2011, the State of California enacted a ban on the sale, possession and trade of shark fins.  California’s ban follows similar laws passed by Hawaii, Washington and Oregon over the past few years.  The legislation, codified as California Fish & Game Code sections 2021 and 2021.5, followed years of advocacy by marine conservation groups, …

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Waxman/Whitehouse carbon tax draft

On Tuesday, Representative Waxman, Senator Whitehouse, Representaive Blumenauer and Senator Schatz released their proposal for a carbon tax bill. They are currently seeking feedback on the draft proposal, which is accordingly short on details. The Waxman/Whitehouse proposal is to require downstream emitters (mainly power plants and other emitters) to purchase annual “carbon pollution permits” per …

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Klamath dam removal bill introduced in Congress

On November 10, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced the Klamath Basin Economic Restoration Act in Congress (H.R. 3398 / S. 1851). The bill would approve two Klamath agreements and give the go-ahead to potentially remove four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River. As we have discussed previously on LegalPlanet, this set …

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Good crisis, bad crisis

The Gulf oil spill illuminates two aspects of crisis response: the strength and the limits of its power to motivate reflexive, rapid action. Crisis can motivate too much or too little. Consider first the limits of crisis as a driver of action. It’s long been commonly thought that high-profile events were important in catalyzing the …

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California’s Salmon Crisis – Searching for Solutions

All the available scientific evidence indicates that California’s salmon populations are in deep trouble: several sub-species are currently listed as threatened or endangered under federal and state endangered species laws; the commercial salmon fishing season off the Northern California coast will be shut down for the second year in a row; and the resulting economic …

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