Gov. Newsom signs AB 779, which addresses inequities in California’s complicated groundwater adjudication process.
Earlier this week the San Francisco Chronicle declared that California’s legislative session would close with just a single bill addressing injustices in the state’s water rights system. Now you can add one more to the list. Gov. Newsom signed Assembly Bill 779 into law this week. It’s an important step to reforming the state’s murky—often …CONTINUE READING
New law explicitly authorizes State Water Board to require water users to verify their water rights
The California Legislature has enacted and Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law SB 389, an important water law reform measure authored by State Senator Ben Allen. California has one of the most antiquated and outdated water rights systems of any Western state. To put it bluntly, California currently faces a 21st century water supply …CONTINUE READING
SB 253 and SB 261 would be first-in-the-nation laws meant to pull back the curtain on emissions and climate risks.
After a hard-fought battle, the California Legislature passed the second of two nation-leading corporate climate accountability bills yesterday afternoon. The bills, SB 253 and SB 261, are important transparency measures that would, for the first time, allow Californians to meaningfully assess the carbon footprint of thousands of companies—and what those companies plan to do about …CONTINUE READING
SB 261 results from CLEE report recommendation
The California Legislature passed two path-breaking climate risk disclosure bills this week. Both bills now go to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk where he has until October 14th to sign them. Senate Bill 261 (Stern) requires major corporations to disclose climate change related financial risks, using a framework consistent with that of the Task Force on Climate …CONTINUE READING
UCLA’s Mary Nichols weighs in on the groundbreaking youth climate decision in Montana and the “drumbeat of litigation” that could follow.
Eight simple words helped youth plaintiffs in Montana win their landmark climate lawsuit against the state: “the right to a clean and healthful environment.” The 103-page decision by a state court judge wades through loads of testimony and evidence, but it all comes back to that simple constitutional guarantee. A handful of other states have …CONTINUE READING
A new UCLA report recommends policies to improve California’s real estate hazard disclosure laws to inform potential buyers of serious sea level rise risks.
It’s an increasingly common sight on California’s coast: beach houses being swallowed by the rising sea. The threat of flooding and erosion is increasing throughout the United States as a warming atmosphere makes precipitation events more extreme and contributes to sea level rise. In fact, the U.S. coastline is projected to see an average of …CONTINUE READING
Enacted a year ago, the climate law is boosting EVs and clean-energy manufacturing. But there’s urgent work to be done on transmission siting and connecting communities with IRA funding.
Happy birthday to the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s been nearly a year since Democratic lawmakers and the White House celebrated the passage of the biggest climate spending legislation in American history. But in many ways passage was the easy part. Exactly how the IRA continues to be implemented at the local, state, and federal level …CONTINUE READING
California Supreme Court Rules County Ordinance Limiting Oil & Gas Development Preempted by State Law
Court Decision May Well Be Correct as a Matter of Law, But Represents Outdated & Unsound Public Policy
Last week, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a local initiative measure that would have imposed severe restrictions on oil and gas development in Monterey County is preempted by state law and therefore invalid. The decision came in the case of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. County of Monterey. The Supreme Court’s ruling was predictable, …CONTINUE READING
Will the new NEPA provisions speed approval of urgently needed projects?
In terms of the energy transition, the most important question about the recent NEPA amendments is whether they streamline permitting for transmission projects. The answer is complicated. We can divide transmission projects into two groups. The first group consists of transmission projects where federal involvement is limited to specific segments, such as stream crossings requiring …CONTINUE READING
Delegating Environmental Reviews to Project Sponsors
One of the most important provisions, of the new NEPA law, § 107(f), allows the lead agency to delegate preparation of environmental reviews to project applicants. There are unsettled questions about when this provision applies and how it interfaces with other parts of NEPA. There are clear conflicts of interest in assigning this role to …CONTINUE READING