Land Use

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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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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New Frameworks to Address Vehicle Travel Impacts

CLEE report proposes banking and exchange strategies for CEQA mitigation

When Caltrans and other state and local agencies build or approve projects that increase car traffic, state law requires them to mitigate those impacts. A new report from CLEE proposes development of state and regional programs that would allow these agencies to mitigate by investing in offsite bike lanes, bus-only lanes, transit passes, and other …

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An Abundance Research Agenda

If we need to build lots of things fast to address climate and housing crises, how will we do that?

There’s been a lot of buzz about this column by Ezra Klein in the New York Times.  Klein’s basic argument: We need to do a lot of infrastructure and other development projects to make the world a better place.  For example, we’ll need to build power lines and renewable projects to address climate change.  But …

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Income-targeted environmental policies, Episode 2

Affordable housing and the Transit-Oriented Communities program

This is the second post in a short series on income-targeted environmental policies. You can read the first post, introducing the concept of “Area Median Income,” here. In this second part of my series on income-targeted environmental programs, I want to talk about affordable housing, and one particular housing program, Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC). TOC has …

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My Kind of Town

Climate change is coming to Chicago and Lake Michigan.

“My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town.” Or so Frank Sinatra sang. I’m not sure he really felt that way himself, but the song rings a chord with me.  I didn’t grow up in Chicago but we visited frequently to see my parents’ families. Chicago is also, as it turns out, ground …

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Turning Wildfire Treatment Debris Into Marketable Wood Products

New report & May 9th webinar offer solutions to reduce emissions and improve wildfire resilience

Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) and UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment are releasing today a new policy report: Branching Out: Waste Biomass Policies To Promote Wildfire Resilience and Emission Reduction. The report offers solutions to develop a sustainable market for the residual waste material generated …

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Before Yellowstone: The Arkansas Origin of National Parks

In a forgotten incident, Congress set aside Hot Springs in 190 years ago.

The origins of the national park system is usually traced back Lincoln’s 1864 signature of the Yosemite Grant Act.  But Congress had actually had the idea of protecting extraordinary places over thirty years earlier, in Arkansas of all places. Hot Springs isn’t high on the list of American places to see, which may be one …

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Why Energy Conservation Will Remain Crucial

Even after switching to clean power, we’ll still need to limit energy use.

If we switch to renewables, we won’t need to worry about saving energy. Right? Wrong! One reason to save energy is to limit carbon emissions from the energy we  use. That’s going to important until the energy system has been completely cleaned up. But energy conservation is important for reasons that go beyond the direct …

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Olá Jeff

Governor of Amazonas calls on Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos (and other wealthy business leaders) to invest in a sustainable tropical forest economy

A new video from the governor of Amazonas kicks off with an informal salutation: “Olá, Jeff.” Directed at Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO of Amazon, the video is narrated in the voice of the Amazon rainforest and contrasts the activities and value of the mega corporation with that of the world’s largest tropical …

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