This morning, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum will be stepping down at the end of this month. The language of EPA’s press release seems intended to suggest that the departure was voluntary, but the resignation comes amid ongoing scrutiny about the Assistant Administrator’s connections to a number of industry clients […]
Final Rule Changes Baseline Assumptions & Approach to Cost-Benefit Analysis in Attempt to Justify Weak Standards
Yesterday, the Trump EPA released its long-awaited response to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. At first glance, the final rule has been carefully crafted in an attempt to avoid several glaring legal vulnerabilities of the rule—and to obscure the obvious inadequacy of the Administration’s response to climate change. The EPA has found many contradictory ways […]
As Some Nations Retreat From Internationalist Approaches to Transnational Environmental Challenges, Corporate Actions May Play a Larger Role
The withdrawal by Japan from the International Whaling Convention and its related Commission in December 2018 and the on-off threat by the new leader of Brazil to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change are the latest signals that International Environmental Law (“IEL”) is under siege. The move by Japan and the possible withdrawal […]
It’s not enough to eliminate coal-fired plants. We have to cut back on coal production and sale.
Coal use by American utilities has declined sharply and will continue to decline. But we shouldn’t focus solely on U.S. emissions. But the industry also exports coal, and there’s been a big surge in coal exports in the past two years, much of it involving India. So it’s not enough to curtail coal use in […]
The candidates are united on some issues, but divided or equivocal on others.
Yesterday, the Washington Post published a survey of the Democratic candidates’ positions on climate change. The differences between candidates probably don’t have a lot of immediate policy relevance, given the political and legal constraints on what a new president could accomplish. But they are very revealing about the direction of the Democratic Party today. The […]
Expert panel with Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister will discuss forthcoming Berkeley Law/UCLA Law report
California will need to double the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 2030 in order to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by that year. While state leaders have adopted aggressive standards for efficiency in appliances and new construction, convincing property owners to undertake retrofits to improve energy […]
Sympathetic Plaintiffs Also Help Legally
It’s not news that the 21 children (some now adults) who are suing the United States for the right to a safe and stable climate are sympathetic and telegenic. They are the primary reason Juliana v. United States has garnered so much attention, including a lengthy, highly positive segment on 60 Minutes. But the Juliana […]
Cert. Denials Have Significant Implications for Environment, Human Health, and Clean Energy
States are on the leading edge in crafting pathbreaking climate and clean energy policy. They rely on longstanding authority to do so to further their citizens’ welfare and wellbeing. That bedrock authority recently received important reaffirmation from the Supreme Court, which last month declined petitions for review in two cases with important implications for power […]
Environmental law centers aren’t just a California thing. .
Readers of this blog probably have some sense of what the environmental law centers at UCLA and here at Berkeley are doing. There are too many environmental law centers to do a a comprehensive nationwide survey, and trying to pick a top-10 list would be completely subjective. To keep this post manageable, I’ll only discuss […]
War and environmental disruption are like evil twins, often found together.
A Vietnam-era slogan proclaimed that “war is not healthy for children and other living things.” And war is indeed a danger to the environment. But perhaps less obviously, environmental disruption also makes wars more likely. The slogan was appropriate for its time. The U.S. deforestation campaign in Southeast Asia caused environmental harm on an unprecedented […]