$10 Billion Climate Bond Heads to the California Ballot

Prop 4 would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $10 billion toward safe drinking water and groundwater, wildfire and forest programs, and to combat sea level rise.

After much anticipation and deliberation, the California legislature approved a $10 billion climate bond measure just before the summer recess began on July 3, 2024. California voters will now have the opportunity to approve or reject the bond measure on the November ballot. The bond measure will now be referred to as Proposition 4 on …


California can help meet its climate goals by removing SERP’s sunset date

By Molly Bruce, Dave Smith, Michael Kiparsky, Derek Hitchcock, Peter Van De Burgt, Sydney Chamberlin, Megan Cleveland

Many regulatory clearances like permits aim to guard against projects that pose harm to the environment. However, permitting can also undercut environmental restoration efforts. While restoration is designed to remedy environmental harms and improve resilience to climate change, permitting can substantially increase project costs and slow or altogether impede environmentally beneficial projects. Striking an effective …


Losing Chevron: What Does It Mean for California?

The Supreme Court’s decision in Loper Bright will not necessarily impact how California courts review our state agency determinations. But we’ll feel it in other ways.

A question I’ve been getting a lot since the Supreme Court overturned the Chevron doctrine is: “What does this decision mean for California?” Here are three takeaways about how the Golden State is likely—or not—to be impacted at first blush. First, the decision does have the potential to impact California directly in some pending litigation. …


The Ten Most Important U.S. Environmental Laws

An image of the U.S. Capitol Building in the evening.

Some of the choices may surprise you.

What are America’s most important environmental laws? Some are familiar, such as the federal air and water pollution laws, and the Endangered Species Act. But there are other people rarely hear about — even in environmental law courses — but have done a lot to protect the environment.


The “Silver Bullet” Required to Improve California’s Water Rights System: More & Better Data

California Lags Behind Other Western States in Obtaining Critically-Needed & Available Water Diversion Data

Recently I’ve posted stories about efforts to enforce California’s water laws in the face of efforts by some diverters to evade and ignore limits on their ability to privatize public water resources–especially in times of critical drought.  One post focused on the federal government’s successful criminal prosecution of a San Joaquin Valley water district manager …


Major League Soccer’s LAFC Has a Big Oil Problem Too

The Dodgers are not the only LA sports team sullying their brand by taking oil money. Beloved soccer club LAFC recently renewed a partnership with Chevron.

BMO Stadium, the home of Los Angeles Football Club, is revered as one of the best places to watch soccer in the U.S., thanks to forward-thinking design and good vibes among their famously devout fans. BMO has even been called the future of stadium design. So, it’s all the more jarring that LAFC allows Big …


Reforming California’s Financial Penalties for Water Theft Will Create an Effective Deterrent

Overdue State Water Reform Legislation Likely Be Enacted in 2024–Finally

In a Legal Planet Post earlier this week, I recounted the saga of how federal prosecutors recently secured the criminal conviction of Dennis Falaschi, the former San Joaquin Valley water district general manager who oversaw the decades-long theft of millions of gallons of publicly-owned water from California’s Central Valley Project.  That successful prosecution certainly qualifies …


Why are the Dodgers Sullying Their Brand With Big Oil?

Photo of the Dodgers Stadium scoreboard showing the 76 ball advertised prominently

As fossil fuel advertising increasingly comes under fire, it’s time for the ball club to call ‘strike three’ on 76.

On a recent trip to the Ravine, a friend and I couldn’t help but be struck by the prominence of advertisements for 76, a gas station company owned by the Big Oil conglomerate Phillips 66.  A couple of giant 76 signs sit atop the two main Dodgers scoreboards; their placement is such that they dominate …


How are California’s New Climate Adaptation and Resilience Grant Programs Performing?

CLEE reports analyze state’s highly in-demand adaptation and resilience grants for crucial local climate action

California is rapidly experiencing the impacts of a changing climate, from devastating wildfires and persistent droughts to rising sea levels, extreme heat, and erratic precipitation patterns. Climate adaptation is crucial for building resilience to these and other risks, thereby protecting California’s communities, economy, environment, and public health. However, effective adaptation requires significant investment, particularly in …


A Brazen California Water Heist Revealed, Prosecuted & Punished

San Joaquin Valley Water District Manager Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Steal Public Water for 20+ Years

Recently, former Panoche Drainage District general manager Dennis Falaschi pled guilty in federal district court in Fresno to having conspired to steal  millions of gallons of publicly-owned water from California’s Central Valley Project (CVP) for private gain.  This surreptitious water theft apparently had been going on for well over two decades before Falaschi was finally …