An Invitation to Explore the Connections Between Constitutional & Environmental Law

These days, more and more of the most important environmental law disputes arise in the crucible of constitutional law.  Preemption, the Dormant Commerce Clause, the foreign powers doctrine, constitutional principles of standing to sue and the separation of powers doctrine are all doctrines of constitutional law that have been invoked in much of the most …


Goodbye CCELP, Hello CLEE

Three years ago, the U.C. Berkeley Law School launched a new research center devoted to environmental law and policy: the California Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CCELP).  From its inception, CCELP has worked on a variety of energy matters.  However, since 2006 the intersection of energy and environmental policy has become both more obvious …


A Wavering Federal Policy on Climate Change?

President Obama yesterday made official (sort of) his plan to fulfill a campaign pledge to grant the State of California authority to adopt pioneering greenhouse gas emission controls for vehicular sources.  That announcement, while expected, is a breath of fresh air when it comes to state-federal environmental policymaking.  It comes after eight frustrating years in …


Engaging India on Climate

Via the Times of India, along comes the news that the state of Himachal Pradesh, just south of Kashmir, says that it will present a plan to become a carbon-neutral state. I’ll believe it when I see it, although the state seems to have a reasonable business strategy: reforest thousands of acres and sell carbon …


Conservation in a warming world

The latest issue of the journal Science includes another reminder that our current approach to conservation is ill-suited to a world where the climate is changing rapidly.  A study led by Phillip van Mentgem of the U.S. Geological Survey (323 Science 521 (Jan. 23, 2009), subscription required) finds that trees are dying more rapidly in …


Audacious Energy Policy

In his inaugural address, this morning, it took President Obama a mere 228 words to mention the word “energy”. This is instructive when compared to George W. Bush’s second inaugural address in which he waited until – well, um…, he never used the word “energy”. But, to be fair, neither did Jimmy Carter, who took …