General

Guest Blogger Divya Rao: Sen. Udall and Rep. Lowenthal Champion New Legislative Effort to Curb Plastic Waste Pollution

Comprehensive federal legislation on single-use plastics, from bags to straws, anticipated to drop in Fall 2019

This past January, I was one of two students who had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. with the Surfrider Foundation and UCLA’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic to brief Congress on harms caused by marine plastic pollution and steps the federal government can take to combat the problem by reducing waste from […]

Continue Reading

Justice John Paul Stevens, 1920-2019, Was An Environmental Hero

He was frequently the environmental voice of the Court

Justice John Paul Stevens was a giant figure in the history of the United States Supreme Court. He should also be remembered as the Court’s greatest modern environmental voice.  He authored the opinion in two of the most significant environmental cases of the last twenty years and the dissent in a third. Three times in […]

Continue Reading

The Trump Administration’s Latest Efforts to Hobble the Clean Water Act

Administration’s New Plan to Eviscerate States’ CWA § 401 Certification Authority Is Flawed Procedurally & Substantively

By now, readers of Legal Planet are well aware of President Trump’s ongoing efforts to rescind the Obama Administration’s “Waters of the United States” rule and replace it with a new federal regulation that dramatically circumscribes federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.  My Legal Planet colleagues and I have previously blogged on this […]

Continue Reading

The Democratic Presidential Candidates Should Debate How to Address Climate Change

The DNC Can Help to Make Climate Change Into an Issue of Consequence for the Campaign

This is my first post in my new role at the UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy, and Environment, working on Project Climate.  Last year, as a Legal Planet guest blogger, I wrote that political will and scale are the two biggest challenges of climate change response.  So for this first post, I want to […]

Continue Reading

Supreme Court Takes a Knick Out of Regulatory Takings Law

Justices Curb Ripeness Rule; Open Federal Courts to Takings Litigation

  In the final, major environmental law decision of its current Term, the U.S. Supreme Court handed property rights advocates a major victory while repudiating an important regulatory takings precedent the Court had itself fashioned and announced 34 years ago. The case is Knick v. Township of Scott.  By a narrow 5-4 vote that split […]

Continue Reading

The Trump Administration v. Everybody Else

House Committee hearing highlights dissatisfaction with and flaws in the proposed SAFE Rule.

CARB Chair Mary Nichols sits on a panel with industry representatives and others to discuss the Administration’s proposed rollback of Obama-era fuel economy standards. Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change held a joint hearing entitled “Driving in Reverse: The Administration’s Rollback of […]

Continue Reading

Guest Blogger Nick Bryner: Cooking the Books While Cooking the Planet: A First Look at the EPA’s ACE Rule

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 […]

Continue Reading

Guest Bloggers Will Martin and Michael P. Vandenbergh: Can Private Environmental Governance Address Nationalism’s Threat To International Environmental Law?

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 […]

Continue Reading

Standing and the Juliana v. United States Plaintiffs

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 […]

Continue Reading

Guest Blogger Michael Panfil: Supreme Court Declines to Hear New York and Illinois Clean Energy Cases Challenging Zero Emission Credits

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 […]

Continue Reading