Is Local Control A Good Thing? It’s Complicated . . .
This Post was Co-Authored by Sharon Jacobs and Dave Owen. For many decades, most people in the United States have obtained their electricity from a large investor-owned utility company (IOU). They had no real choice. Much of U.S. energy law was built on the belief that the best way to provide electricity was to give …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
The Environmental Law Clinic joins other local, state, and federal governments, as well as NGOs, in urging the Ninth Circuit to take a second look at the case.
Yesterday, the UCLA Environmental Law Clinic filed a brief in the California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley case on behalf of seven law professors: our own William Boyd, Dan Farber and Sharon Jacobs at UC Berkeley, Jim Rossi at Vanderbilt, David Spence at UT Austin, Shelley Welton at UPenn, and Hannah Wiseman at Penn State. (The …CONTINUE READING
In a petition seeking review of the decision, the City of Berkeley says that the opinion from a Ninth Circuit panel takes federal preemption too far.
The City of Berkeley just filed a petition for en banc review in its long-running litigation in defense of an ordinance it passed that restricts natural-gas infrastructure in new construction. This litigation has been watched by many in the climate-policy world because of the popularity of laws like Berkeley’s; it took on new relevance for local-authority …CONTINUE READING
Local control over land-use regulation means local governments focus more on the harms than the benefits of housing
As governments in California and across the United States wrestle with how to address soaring housing costs, a significant flashpoint has been the issue of local control. Most land-use regulation in the United States is done by local governments: cities, counties, towns, villages. In California, much of the legislation intended to increase housing production has …CONTINUE READING
How to Make a Good Bill Even Better
(This post is co-authored by U.C. Davis Law School Professor Chris Elmendorf) Last week, as President Trump harrumphed about the faux emergency on our nation’s Southern border, California State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced a potentially transformative bill that addresses California’s real emergency: the ever-escalating cost of housing in the state’s economically productive metropolitan regions. As …CONTINUE READING
With cities and counties struggling to emerge from the down economy, clean energy development has been an economic and environmental bright spot. As Berkeley Law and UCLA Law discuss in the 2009 report “In Our Backyard,” California possesses numerous opportunities to deploy solar and wind energy facilities in existing urbanized areas, such as along highways …CONTINUE READING
One of the most cost-effective ways to fight climate change is to make homes and businesses more energy efficient. Yet this is also one of the most difficult goals to achieve. In UC Berkeley and UCLA Law’s 2010 report “Saving Energy,” we found the key barriers to be the highly individualized nature of retrofitting buildings …CONTINUE READING
Flashy and expensive new transit projects, such as the Los Angeles subway or San Francisco’s proposed Central Subway, get a lot of media attention. But cities and counties have a lot of discretion to improve their existing public transit systems in sometimes relatively low-cost ways. The benefits, as we discuss in a UCLA / Berkeley …CONTINUE READING
The California Supreme Court today issued a significant decision interpreting and applying California’s most important environmental law–the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. The issues in Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach were: 1) whether a Southern California beach community was required to prepare an environmental impact report (EIR) under CEQA …CONTINUE READING