General

On the First Monday in October, the Sacketts Head to the Supreme Court a Second Time

Sackett v. EPA–the Most Important Environmental Case on the Justices’ Current Docket–Will Answer the Key Question of How Far Federal Wetlands Regulation Extends Under the Clean Water Act

Today the U.S. Supreme Court formally begins its 2022-23 Term.  First up on the justices’ docket this morning is a major environmental case: Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 21-454. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Over the past half-century, no single CWA issue has proven more contentious and …

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U.C. Davis Law School to Host “Clean Water Act at 50” Conference

Interdisciplinary Event Will Assess Landmark Law’s Past, Assess Its Future

On Friday, October 7th, the California Environmental Law & Policy Center at U.C. Davis School of Law will convene a major, day-long conference to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act.  The event will assess the progress the U.S. has made over the past half-century in abating water pollution; focus on some …

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California’s Most Important Climate Bill You Haven’t Heard Of

Parking reform on Gov. Newsom’s desk could deliver major environmental & equity wins

It took a decade, but the California legislature has finally delivered to the governor one of the most critical climate and equity bills in the country. No, it’s not mandating carbon neutrality or increasing renewable energy. It’s finally ending local mandates that all new housing and infill projects must include car storage, even if they’re …

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IRA’s Impact

The new law is a Big Deal. Or more precisely, a REALLY Big Deal.

IRA, the Inflation Reduction Act, is clearly the biggest climate legislation ever passed in the United States.  The law will provide  $379 billion in subsidies to clean energy in the form of direct payments and tax credits. Subsidies aren’t the ideal way to cut emissions, because it’s impossible to target them to the precise behavioral …

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Making Heat Pumps Accessible and Affordable to Decarbonize Buildings

New policy report on solutions to improve deployment of heat pump technologies in existing buildings | Webinar July 19

Join us for a webinar to discuss the report findings with leaders on July 19 at 1 pm PT. RSVP here You may have seen heat pumps (or #heatpumpnation) in the news recently and wondered, what really is this device? How do heat pumps relate to building decarbonization goals, national security, and climate mitigation efforts? …

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California Adopts Nation-Leading Legislation to Cut Plastic Pollution

Less than 10 percent of the world’s plastic waste is recycled. Photo credit: Bo Eide, Flickr

Extended producer responsibility law will reduce single-use waste and shift responsibility to industry

In a welcome reprieve from news coming out of the Supreme Court, here’s an uplifting story from the Golden State: On Thursday, Governor Newsom signed SB 54, a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at significantly reducing single-use waste. The law will affect just about every type of plastic packaging you see walking down the supermarket …

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Catch 22 at the Supreme Court

When “All-encompassing” Isn’t

There is quite a bit to unpack with West Virginia v. EPA.  I will leave to others a discussion of “major question doctrine” and other aspects of the West Virginia case.  I want to focus on the disingenuous way the Supreme Court deals with a previous ruling, and its implications for states. In 2011, in …

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Some quick reactions to W Va v. EPA

The bad and the good

Dan already has a good post up on the basics of the Supreme Court’s ruling today in the climate case West Virginia v. EPA, with initial thoughts on its implications (and more to come, I’m sure).  Here are some quick thoughts from my morning’s reading of the case, in which William Boyd, Andria So and …

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The Supreme Court Curbs Climate Action

The ruling in West Virginia v. EPA was about as good as we could expect given the makeup of the Court.

Today, the Supreme Court decided its most important environmental case since 2007.  We didn’t dodge the bullet. It’s more than a flesh wound but it didn’t hit any vital organs .  Chief Justice Roberts’s majority opinion leaves EPA other options to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.  It also gives a fairly narrow reading …

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Will Rights of Nature Save The World?

Examining whether granting legal rights to nature could make a difference in how courts understand environmental law

A number of environmental advocates have been pushing a new strategy for environmental protection – seeking to pursue legal rights for elements of nature (such as rivers, lakes, ecosystems, or species), sometimes in alliance with Native American tribes.  This approach is not unique to the United States – rights of nature legal approaches have been …

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