Environmental Justice

Yes, California Can Spend the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds

California’s 2012-13 budget assumed that $500 million of cap-and-trade auction proceeds could be used to offset the cost of greenhouse gas emission reduction programs traditionally supported by the General Fund.  Two recent stories, one in the San Francisco Chronicle, the other in ClimateWire, report that since the California Legislative Analyst’s office found only $100 million …

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California electricity consumers may receive cap-and-trade dividend

 As I mentioned on Monday, the 23.1 million greenhouse gas (GHG) allowances (current-vintage) sold at the cap-and-trade auction on Monday were all consigned to auction by utility companies. The $233 million generated by that sale must now be used by those utilities to the benefit of ratepayers. Last Friday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its …

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Breakdown of the $4.5 Billion BP Criminal & Securities Settlements

As Richard noted in an earlier post, today, British oil company and deep water drilling giant, BP, announced that it had reached settlements of all federal criminal and securities claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of …

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One Additional Legal Challenge To AB 32: Prop 26

One addendum to my post on new developments and cap-and-trade.  I should have mentioned that Proposition 26 — which tightened the 2/3s vote requirement for taxes to include fees — may be the basis for another legal challenge to the cap-and-trade program.  California voters approved Prop 26 in 2010.  Unless Prop 26 is found to …

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What might the election mean for environmental law?

Three quick thoughts on the implications of the election for environmental law in general, and greenhouse gas regulation in particular: (1)            Congress will matter less.  A stronger Democratic majority in the Senate and a reelected Obama mean that the courts are probably the only thing standing between full implementation of EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations under …

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Should Environmental Lawyers Care about the Alien Tort Statute?

The Supreme Court term tomorrow opens with a bang: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which has assumed very large significance in the international human rights community.  But should Legal Planet readers care?  I think that they should. The plaintiffs in Kiobel allege that Royal Dutch Petroleum (better known in the United States as Shell Oil) …

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President Obama Dissolves the Gulf Coast Restoration Task Force

Let’s rewind almost exactly two years to early October 2010.  In the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, President Obama established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, an advisory group of federal and state officials to coordinate federal Gulf Coast restoration activities.  The main …

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Ninth Circuit Finds Public Nuisance Lawsuit Unavailable to Address Climate Change Impacts on Threatened Native Alaskan Village

Today, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion affirming a federal district court decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Native Alaskan Village of Kivalina that sought damages from oil and electric power companies whose greenhouse gas emissions have contributed to climate change.   Kivalina contended that the companies’ greenhouse gas emissions constituted a public …

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Californians and the Environment: PPIC’s New Survey Results

The Public Policy Institute of California this week released the results of its 12th annual “Californians and the Environment” survey.  PPIC, a non-partisan think tank, always seems to be generating thought-provoking and cutting-edge scholarship focusing on the nation-state of California. Its latest environmental survey, based on recent polling of 2500 Californians, continues that tradition. The …

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California releases proposed rule to implement streamlining of environmental review for new California infill developments

As part of an effort to create more walkable, livable communities that reduce vehicle miles traveled and the greenhouse gas emissions that those vehicles generate, California is removing barriers to infill development.  Our governor and legislature are trying to create communities of homes and retail businesses that are closer together and closer to public transit. …

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