California Supreme Court Rules County Ordinance Limiting Oil & Gas Development Preempted by State Law
Court Decision May Well Be Correct as a Matter of Law, But Represents Outdated & Unsound Public Policy
Last week, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a local initiative measure that would have imposed severe restrictions on oil and gas development in Monterey County is preempted by state law and therefore invalid. The decision came in the case of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. County of Monterey. The Supreme Court’s ruling was predictable, …CONTINUE READING
Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) can provide tools for California communities negotiating offshore wind development impacts
Offshore wind is one of many renewable industries taking off in California as the state accelerates infrastructure investment and development to meet its climate targets. The California Energy Commission has adopted planning goals of 2-5 GW of offshore wind (OSW) by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045. Other state goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions …CONTINUE READING
There is much to celebrate tomorrow on Cinco de Mayo. But probably not Mexican climate policy.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (generally known as AMLO) could be described as a left-leaning populist. Like other populist leaders, he has not been friendly to climate action. In November, Mexico ramped up its 2030 commitment under the Paris Agreement from 22% to 35%. That sounds like great news, but there may be less to …CONTINUE READING
There’s a lot of law relating to climate change. A lot!
In preparing to teach a course on climate law, I was really struck by how broad and rich the field has become. Back in the day, it was nearly all international law, but nowadays there’s a huge amount of U.S. domestic law. Most people, even those who work on the field, tend to focus on …CONTINUE READING
Texas is firmly in the grip of conservative Republicans. So what’s the deal with renewables?
I sometimes ask students to guess what state produces the most wind power. They’re always shocked to find out the right answer: Texas. Republicans have an iron grip on Texas government. And not just that, but Texas is by far the biggest producer of oil, with a governor who has pledged to protect the industry …CONTINUE READING
State leaders have an opportunity to forge a national example on stakeholder engagement and energy justice.
As California continues to develop plans for floating offshore wind (OSW) implementation, state leaders have an opportunity to forge a national example on stakeholder engagement and energy justice. California can achieve this, not just by (for example) incorporating environmental justice (EJ) principles into agency analysis and planning or by increasing consultation with tribal entities, but …CONTINUE READING
Earlier this month, Minnesota adopted a bold new clean energy plan.
The headline news is that Minnesota has adopted a 2040 deadline for a carbon-free grid. The headline is accurate, but the law in question contains a lot of other interesting features that deserve attention. Despite the law’s extremely unglamorous name (“Senate File 4”), this is a big step forward for the state, as well as …CONTINUE READING
The president talks up his climate laws without saying “climate.” Can the U.S. meet its climate goals without telling voters about them?
Well, we finally got a real “Infrastructure Week.” President Biden has been traveling from Baltimore to New York to Kentucky, touting his major legislative achievements in front of trains, tunnels and bridges. He’s talking up both the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a warm-up for his State …CONTINUE READING
The Biggest Environmental Stories of 2022
A lot has happened on the environmental front. Here are the biggest stories of 2022. Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, providing $369 billion in tax credit and spending to reduce carbon emissions. California banned the sale of new gas cars in 2035, with several other states now agreeing to follow suit. The Democrats lost …CONTINUE READING
A Little Bit of Nepotism and a Lot of Everglades Protection.
Compared to Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis is practically a Greta Thunberg on environmental issues. Of course, by the same token, I’m practically a Steph Curry on the court compared to Danny DeVito. Sarcasm aside, DeSantis is pretty good on environmental issues for a Republican. But he rarely mentions climate change, and his record on renewable …CONTINUE READING