Guest Contributors Gabi Rosenfeld, Owen McAleer, and Adrianne Davies say AB 779, a bill they worked on with State Assemblymember Lori Wilson, will address inequities in groundwater adjudications.
Earlier this month, California’s Legislature passed a slate of bills that cover a range of environmental and climate issues. Among those was Assemblymember Lori Wilson’s AB 779, a bill we helped create to improve the groundwater adjudication process for all water users. Adjudications legally determine groundwater rights but can take years and cost millions of …CONTINUE READING
SB 253 and SB 261 would be first-in-the-nation laws meant to pull back the curtain on emissions and climate risks.
After a hard-fought battle, the California Legislature passed the second of two nation-leading corporate climate accountability bills yesterday afternoon. The bills, SB 253 and SB 261, are important transparency measures that would, for the first time, allow Californians to meaningfully assess the carbon footprint of thousands of companies—and what those companies plan to do about …CONTINUE READING
Newsom’s infrastructure package makes a big change for California species protection
Last week, the Newsom administration announced a budget trailer bill package it said was designed to facilitate the deployment of historic federal infrastructure funding for climate-friendly projects. The package consists of 11 separate trailer bills, dealing with a variety of topics ranging from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to state contracting rules. Unsurprisingly, the …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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, …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING