NEPA

Meet the new BOEMRE, same as the old MMS

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. The Minerals Management Service within the Department of Interior was responsible for overseeing offshore oil development in federal waters from its creation in 1982 until its demise earlier this year. MMS was always a troubled agency, to put it mildly, dogged by scandals and a revolving door with the industry it regulates. …

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Breaking News: Jerry Brown Sues FHFA and Fannie & Freddie over PACE

As I suspected, we’ve got a lawsuit over the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s position on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). (Background on PACE and the controversy here.)  California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced today that his agency is suing these entities in federal court over their unwillingness to …

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Offshore drilling and endangered species — Part 1

Cross-posted at CPRBlog The media have paid a lot of attention to the cavalier attitude of the former Minerals Management Service (now called the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement) toward the National Environmental Policy Act (I blogged about it here and here and Dan weighed in here). Less has been said, so …

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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision in Monsanto case

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision today in Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms,   a case involving Monsanto’s efforts to introduce Roundup Ready Alfalfa, a genetically modified crop engineered to tolerate the herbicide Roundup.   The Court, on a 7-1 vote (Stevens dissenting, Bryer recused), held in favor of Monsanto but did so in a way …

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We’ve Known the Risks in the Gulf for Forty Years

We’ve known all along that offshore drilling in the Gulf placed at risk exceptionally valuable and sensitive coastal areas.  We need look no further than a forty-year-old court decision on Gulf oil drilling, which made the dangers abundantly clear. In 1971, President Nixon announced a new energy plan involving greatly expanded offshore drilling.  In a …

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Will the BP Oil Spill Change Public Policy?

The oil spill catastrophe now engulfing the Gulf Coast brings home in incredibly vivid detail the ways in which human activity can damage the earth.  This is in stark contrast to climate change, for example, where the changes caused by accumulating greenhouse gas emissions are hard to see and where actions today will only affect the …

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EPA (indirectly) wins a turf war

Think the executive branch is one big happy family under the benevolent direction of (any) president? Think again. Power struggles over turf and substantive outcomes are frequent, and success in those struggles depends on a lot more than just who has the ear of the president at the moment. Sometimes it takes litigation, which has …

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Ninth Circuit reinstates Clinton roadless rule

Since the end of the Clinton era, there has been much confusion over the status of roadless areas in the national forests. Yesterday the Ninth Circuit weighed in, ruling in California v. USDA that the Bush administration had unlawfully revised the Clinton administration’s Roadless Rule, and reinstating that rule. The decision, which has been welcomed …

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An Invitation to Review the Supreme Court’s Environmental Record

This has been a blockbuster year in the U.S. Supreme Court for environmental law and policy. In the Term that concludes this month, the justices have decided five major environmental cases, involving many of the nation’s most important environmental laws. Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE), one of the sponsors of …

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Confronting Uncertainty Under NEPA

Quantifying risks with confidence is often difficult. For the past thirty years, agencies and courts have struggled with the treatment of uncertainty in environmental impact statements. This problem is all the more important today. Climate change will require innovative solutions – new energy technologies, new adaptation strategies. These innovations will inevitably pose risks, often in …

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