General

Driving Sustainable Energy Storage Technology

Maximizing the Environmental Utility of Battery Storage: Building a Life Cycle Assessment Framework

Battery energy storage is recognized as a key element of making our energy infrastructure more sustainable and resilient. Battery storage, however, encompasses many technologies–how should sustainability-minded agencies, utilities and storage developers choose among these options? UCLA’s Emmett Institute and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is hosting an interactive workshop on that question …

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Removing Climate Liability Plaintiffs from State Court Could Create Logjam in Federal Courts

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide a nuanced issue of procedural law that could create a loophole which would dramatically expand the reach of federal appellate jurisdiction and prevent climate plaintiffs from suing oil companies in state court.

As recent extreme heat waves, hurricanes, and wildfires across the country have elevated public concern about the widespread and harmful effects of climate change, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari this month in a climate liability case called BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. In short, the City of Baltimore sued a …

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Barrett on Standing & Judicial Deference

Her mentor was Scalia, but her style is more like Souter.

With the help of my research assistant, I’ve collected cases by Judge Barrett dealing with standing issues and deference to administrative agencies.  Both topics are very relevant to the environment.al crisis. You really can’t draw firm conclusions about her views on these doctrines, but you can draw conclusions about her style.  She sticks close to …

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Steering Towards Zero Emissions

Is California’s Ban of Gas-Powered Cars on a Collision Course with the Federal Government?

This post was originally published on the American Constitution Society’s Expert Forum on September 30, 2020. On September 23, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an Executive Order that would, among other things, ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles in California after 2035. The announcement sparked a flurry of reactions: Some environmental groups praised the order, while others said it …

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A Responsible Investment Roadmap for California

New report highlights recommendations for ESG investment integration

As the systemic risks facing the global economy due to climate change become increasingly clear, leaders in the investment community have begun to emphasize the links between consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and investment decisions that minimize financial risk for individuals, governments, and markets. CLEE’s Climate Risk Initiative, working with the Principles …

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China’s New 2060 Carbon Neutrality Target

New climate pledges from China and the EU make the U.S. the only jurisdiction among the top three emitters without a carbon neutrality target

The biggest climate policy announcement of the week was not California Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order to ban the in-state sale of gas-powered passenger cars and trucks by 2035, although this move is a major advance for climate policy. Rather, the most important climate news was China’s announcement of an “aim” of achieving carbon neutrality by …

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Should a New Congress Use a Deeply Flawed Law to Cancel Trump’s Regulations?

The Congressional Review Act was Newt Gingrich’s brainchild. It should be repealed.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA), part of Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America”, slumbered for many years in obscurity. Then, in 2017, Congress dusted it off and used it to kill fifteen Obama administration regulations. I’m not the first to ask whether there should be payback if the White House and Senate change hands. There are …

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The Kavanaugh Court and the Environment

A new appointment would make Justice Kavanaugh the swing voter.  Here’s what that would mean for environmental law.

A new appointment by Trump would shift the Supreme Court well to the right, making Brett Kavanaugh the swing voter in many cases. Kavanaugh has clear views about the powers of agencies like EPA. With him as the swing voter, the main strategy used by Obama to make environmental progress would be off limits for …

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How can California make water data work for decision makers?

by Alida Cantor and Michael Kiparsky

California produces immense amounts of water-related data.  Yet, California also struggles to adapt its water systems to pressures such as climate change and population growth. To meet these challenges in an informed way, decision makers need data that supports their needs. In 2018, spurred by the Open and Transparent Water Data Act of 2016 (AB …

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Battle for the Senate: Iowa

The Iowa race features two candidates with very different views about climate change.

The Senate race in Iowa pits incumbent Joni Ernst against Democrat Theresa Greenfield.  Climate change is the area where the two contrast most strongly. Greenfield accepts the science and calls for action. Ernst is still in the “maybe it relates to a little bit to humans” phase of climate denial. She also says she’s “so …

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