California

RIP Jim Mahoney, Climate Champion At Bank Of America

Financial executive helped launch UC Berkeley/UCLA Law “Climate Change and Business Initiative”

Jim Mahoney was perhaps an unlikely climate hero. A senior Bank of America and FleetBoston Financial executive for 25 years who tragically passed away this past weekend at the age of 67 (the result of complications from injuries he sustained in a bicycle accident last year), Jim’s work focused on global corporate strategy and public …

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Next steps in U.S.-China environmental cooperation

Pressing both countries toward carbon neutrality.

U.S.-China relations are perhaps at their lowest point in decades and there is no end in sight at the moment. Each week brings a barrage of new U.S. federal policy measures aimed at China. Against this backdrop, ChinaFile recently asked a group of China experts to opine on the prospects for U.S.-China relations in coming …

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When does a groundwater recharge project NOT need a water right?

Shows rainwater dripping off the edge of a roof

by Kate Fritz and Nell Green Nylen

Groundwater recharge projects already play an important role in California. That role is about to expand rapidly, as local groundwater managers begin to take more concrete actions to meet their responsibilities under California’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). As we mentioned in our last post, an important part of developing a successful recharge project …

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Water right permitting options for groundwater recharge: Avoiding unintended consequences

by Kate Fritz and Nell Green Nylen

Efforts to boost groundwater recharge are critical to making California’s limited, and increasingly volatile, water resources go further. Recharge is playing a growing role in maintaining groundwater as an effective drought reserve and in slowing or reversing the effects of years of unsustainable groundwater pumping. But implementing recharge projects is not easy. Water managers face …

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Guest Blogger John Graham: California Court Decision Will Affect Future Use of Carbon Offsets to Mitigate Emissions of Development

Aerial view in San Diego, California, looking roughly north toward San Diego State University.

The California Court of Appeal Rules San Diego County’s Climate Action Plan Violates CEQA

The challenge to San Diego County’s Climate Action Plan (“CAP”) in Golden Door has been closely watched by many interested in the use of carbon offsets to mitigate GHG impacts in California. Simply put, carbon offsets are mechanisms that reflect off-site GHG reductions—from activities like reforestation—that can, in some cases, compensate for a project’s GHG …

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Wasting Away in Methaneville

Another Trump rollback gets slapped down in court.

A week ago, a federal district court overturned yet another ill-conceived rollback by the Trump Administration. The case, California v. Bernhardt, involved releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The legal flaws in the rollback by the Bureau of Land Management, are all too typical of the Administration’s work product. The Administration has repeatedly lost …

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Trump Administration’s Court Challenge to California-Quebec Cap-and-Trade Agreement Again Rejected

U.S. District Court Rejects Feds’ Latest Constitutional Attack on California’s Climate Change Initiative

Three strikes and you’re out. That adage, particularly timely given Major League Baseball’s belated start of its 2020 season this week, is just as apt when it comes to litigation as it is to our nation’s pastime. For the second time in four months, U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb has rejected a constitutional challenge …

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Members of Congress Oppose Trump Administration’s Attempt to Revoke California’s Clean Car Standards

UCLA Law’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic files a brief on behalf of 147 members of Congress in the D.C. Circuit

California has long led the fight against pollution from passenger vehicles, setting its first car emissions standards in 1966 before federal rules were established. After the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, California retained authority to establish a series of more stringent vehicle emissions rules—with the most recent iteration of greenhouse gas emissions standards …

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Fighting to Preserve California Vehicle Emission Standards

Ted Lamm and Sean Hecht Co-Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of National Parks Groups

Last week, Sean Hecht and I filed an amicus brief with the DC Circuit in the legal challenge to the Trump Administration’s attempt to eliminate California’s authority to apply its own automobile emission standards under the Clean Air Act. (We filed the brief in our individual capacities and not on behalf of our respective institutions.) …

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California Appellate Court Upholds Water Board’s Broad Drought Response Authority

Court of Appeal Rejects Water Users’ Legal Challenge to Board’s Emergency Regulations, Temporary Curtailment Orders

California’s Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District recently upheld the State Water Resources Control Board’s temporary emergency drought response regulations–enacted in 2014-15–as well as related curtailment orders the Board issued to specific water users to implement those regulations.  In doing so, the Water Board rejected a legal challenge agricultural water users brought against …

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