A decade of unraveling the effects of regulation on water innovation
By Michael Kiparsky, with Dave Smith, Nell Green Nylen, Luke Sherman, Alida Cantor, Anita Milman, Felicia Marcus, David Sedlak, Bernhard Truffer, Christian Binz, Sasha Harris-Lovett, Jeff Lape, Justin Mattingly, Dave Owen, Lars Tummers, Buzz Thompson
In a recent post, my colleagues and I reported on our most recent research output in a long series of projects examining the effect of regulation on water innovation. The post describes a new framework for understanding and, ultimately, improving relationships between regulators and wastewater utility managers who are seeking to implement novel technical solutions, …
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Has the Supreme Court Declared Open Season on Interstate Commerce?
How to read a baffling Supreme Court ruling.
If you’re a lawyer or a lower court judge, you know you’ve got a problem when the Supreme Court’s opinion begins with a list of parts of the opinion that do or don’t have a majority, along with a list of what different permutations of judges said what about the issues. The Pork Producers case …
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“Fully Protected” No More?
Newsom’s infrastructure package makes a big change for California species protection
Last week, the Newsom administration announced a budget trailer bill package it said was designed to facilitate the deployment of historic federal infrastructure funding for climate-friendly projects. The package consists of 11 separate trailer bills, dealing with a variety of topics ranging from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to state contracting rules. Unsurprisingly, the …
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Environmental Law Again Front-and-Center at California Supreme Court
Local Government’s Authority to Limit Oil & Gas Development To Be Argued Before Justices
For the first two decades of this century, and under the able leadership of former Chief Justices Ronald George and Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the California Supreme Court was quite active in interpreting and shaping California environmental law. That trend had abated in the last few years–coincidentally or not during the height of the COVID epidemic–with only …
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Local Authority Over Oil Drilling Heads to California Supreme Court
Cities and counties have long held authority to decide where and whether to allow oil and gas exploration and extraction. The state’s high court can make that crystal clear.
If California residents decide by voter initiative to limit land uses for oil and gas extraction in their county, can fossil fuel businesses turn around and claim state preemption to overturn the voice of the voters? That’s what is at issue in a case that’s headed to the State Supreme Court. Oral arguments in this …
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Air Quality Watchdog Agrees to Get Tougher on Refineries
There’s a favorable settlement in the case brought by Earthjustice on behalf of EYCEJ with help from UCLA law students.
Last year, the South Coast Air Quality Management District was accused of not properly enforcing a state law that requires petroleum refineries to install air-quality monitoring systems around their perimeter. Essentially, the air quality watchdog exempted smaller refineries from having to follow the rules. Now, the SCAQMD has agreed to reverse course and move to …
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Taming the Dormant Commerce Clause
A new Supreme Court opinion is good news for state climate regulators.
Although the Constitution does not say so directly, the Supreme Court has said there are implied limits on state regulations that interfere with interstate commerce.. This is known as the dormant commerce clause doctrine. State clean energy laws have been bedeviled by challenges based on this doctrine. The Supreme Court has just made it easier …
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Supreme Court Allows Major State, Local Government Climate Change Litigation to Proceed on Merits
Justices Decline to Intervene in Government Lawsuits Seeking Damages from Fossil Fuel Industry
This week the U.S. Supreme Court gave state and local governments a big–if preliminary–legal win against the fossil fuel industry. The justices declined to take up numerous cases in which government entities have sued oil, gas and coal companies, seeking compensation for the climate change-related damage the jurisdictions they claim to have suffered, and which …
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To Manage Water Scarcity, California Needs a Framework for Fair and Effective Water Right Curtailment
by Nell Green Nylen, Dave Owen, Jennifer Harder, Michael Kiparsky, and Michael Hanemann
After three years of drought, a parade of storms brought flooding, landslides, and a massive snowpack to California. With water temporarily so abundant, it is tempting to push planning for water scarcity to the back burner. But California does not have this luxury. The state’s water management challenges during wet and dry times interrelate, and …
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Building Climate Resilience in California’s Insurance Sector
New report recommends strategies to prepare industry for a changing climate and economy – plus interview with Insurance Commissioner Lara
California’s insurance sector faces significant risks from climate change. These include both the transition risks facing all financial institutions as the global economy shifts toward decarbonization, and the singular combination of physical risks–wildfire, drought, coastal hazards, extreme heat—that threaten California’s communities and businesses. Accurately assessing these risks will be vital to ensuring the long-term viability …
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