General

Los Angeles County Passes Motions to Protect Environmental Justice Communities from Urban Oil Drilling

UCLA Wells Clinic provides legal support.

This post is co-authored by Sean Hecht, Cara Horowitz, and Beth Kent. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed three motions earlier this month that will start a process of phasing out existing oil and gas drilling on unincorporated land within the County, prohibiting new oil and gas extraction wells, and implementing a strategy …

CONTINUE READING

The Global Methane Pledge

The US and EU Take an Important Step

I have written before about the importance of taking action quickly to reduce and eliminate methane emissions, including here.  On Friday, the US and EU announced a Global Methane Pledge, which the UK and others immediately joined.  The Pledge received limited press coverage, but it is an important step that will lead to real action, …

CONTINUE READING

California Enacts Historic Housing Reform Laws

Legislation Promotes New Housing, Infill Development, & Reduced Air Pollution

The California Legislature recently enacted, and Governor Gavin Newsom last week signed into law, two major housing reform measures.  SB 9 and SB 10 represent California’s most transformative new housing laws in decades, and are a belated but welcome legislative response to the state’s longstanding housing crisis. SB 9, authored by California State Senate leader …

CONTINUE READING

Science article argues that conservation should be allowed to pay its own way on public lands

The law too often restricts resource rights on public lands to extraction activities and precludes conservation

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auction in February, 2016, for oil and gas drilling rights near Arches National Park was unremarkable. The high bidder, Tempest Exploration Co. LLC, paid $2,500 for the 1,120 acre lease by credit card and began paying annual rental fees. What soon did prove remarkable, though, was the revelation that …

CONTINUE READING

Methane Emission Reduction

Last Best Chance?

The publication last week of the UN IPCC Sixth Assessment Report underscores the urgent need for action to substantially reduce methane emissions: “Strong, rapid and sustained reductions in methane emissions would [ ] limit the warming effect resulting from declining aerosol pollution and would improve air quality.” Some Methane Facts Methane is the second most …

CONTINUE READING

SCREED: Masks and Climate

Political Cynicism in Full Sway

Governors of two of the largest U.S. states have made the calculation that the “freedom” to choose not to wear a mask is more important than public health.  Their orders – precluding schools from requiring masks for students and teachers – will almost certainly result in significant increases in disease and even death.  Theirs is …

CONTINUE READING

Unintended Consequences Create Challenges for Utility Regulators

Making sure that regulatory incentives do what the regulators intended.

In a new post, Dan Farber mentions performance-based regulation as a promising tool for encouraging energy utilities to be enthusiastic in supporting the transition to clean energy sources. There are a lot of people who agree with him. After all, traditional utility regulation tends to encourage the companies to overspend on infrastructure and under spend …

CONTINUE READING

Profs. William Boyd and Alex Wang Join Prof. Ted Parson in Emmett Institute Faculty Leadership

UCLA School of Law

Faculty Take on New Roles at Emmett Institute

This month, the Emmett Institute is thrilled to welcome two of our core faculty members, William Boyd and Alex Wang, to new roles at the Institute. Both will serve as faculty co-directors alongside our faculty director Ted Parson. In their new roles, Prof. Wang and Prof. Boyd will help lead the Emmett Institute’s ambitious research, …

CONTINUE READING

Oregon Takes a Big Step Forward

New climate legislation sets a high bar for other states.

On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four clean energy bills. These bills move Oregon to the forefront of climate action.  These laws ban new fossil fuel plants and set aggressive targets for the state’s two major utilities, requiring emission cuts of 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040.  …

CONTINUE READING

Guest Contributor Kate Mackintosh: 200 Words to Save the Planet—The Crime of Ecocide

Photo of Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court

Could ecocide become the fifth crime to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court?

Last month, a panel of international lawyers chaired by Philippe Sands and Dior Fall Sow launched our proposal for a new crime of ‘ecocide’ – an international crime of environmental destruction that would sit alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression at the International Criminal Court. The idea of ecocide …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING