Litigation

Setback for EPA in Regulating Gases with High Global Warming Potential

DC Circuit vacates 2015 rule on HFCs

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2015 EPA rule targeting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that are used as refrigerants and propellants for a variety of purposes as a substitute for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The court’s decision is a setback for President Obama’s […]

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California Supreme Court Issues Split Decision in CEQA Preemption Case

Justices Find CEQA’s Application to Public Railroad Projects Not Fully Preempted

The California Supreme Court has ruled in an important case that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is not fully preempted when it comes to publicly-owned railroad projects in the Golden State.  Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority.  In that decision, the justices forged a middle ground between the more extreme […]

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A Victory for Renewables

The Second Circuit has carved out some safe space for state renewable energy programs.

An important Second Circuit ruling in June should help clarify some of the lingering legal issues about state efforts to expand renewable energy. Judge Calabresi’s opinion in Allco Finance v. Dykes rejected claims that Connecticut’s policies interfered with interstate commerce and invaded an area of exclusive federal regulation. This will be a useful precedent for […]

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Breaking News: Coastal Commission Prevails in Major California Supreme Court Case

Justices Reject Property Owners’ “Regulatory Takings” Challenge to Seawall Permit Condition

The California Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited decision in Lynch v. California Coastal Commission, rejecting a lawsuit brought by San Diego beachfront homeowners claiming that permit conditions imposed by the Coastal Commission triggered a compensable taking of their private property rights.  Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Carol Corrigan concluded that the homeowners had forfeited […]

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A Case of Administrative Bad Faith

The D.C. Circuit slaps down an abuse of power by Trump’s EPA.

On Monday, the D.C. Circuit dealt a setback to Scott Pruitt’s deregulation efforts in Clean Air Council v. EPA. The case involved a tricky procedural issue. But the substance was simple: EPA, under Pruitt, had abused a reconsideration procedure under the Clean Air Act to stay a regulation for 90 days, when it had no […]

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Trump Administration Seeks Ninth Circuit Review in Pioneering “Atmospheric Trust” Case

U.S. District Judge Has Denied Government’s Effort to Dismiss Cutting-Edge Public Trust/Climate Change Case

Back in August 2015, I blogged on a then newly-filed federal lawsuit in which a coalition of children and their legal guardians sued the federal government to challenge the government’s proposed approval of a controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed to be located on the Oregon coast.  That lawsuit contends that approval of the project would […]

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Look Out Below!

U.S. Supreme Court Signals Interest in Key Environmental Law/Federal Preemption Case From California

The U.S. Supreme Court today signaled that it is seriously considering whether to review an important environmental law case from California–one in which the California Supreme Court previously ruled that California’s ban on environmentally-damaging suction dredging in state rivers is not preempted by federal law. The case is People v. Rinehart, U.S. Supreme Court No. 16-970. […]

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The California Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket: A Tale of Two Arguments

Justices Seem Likely to Reach Environmentally-Friendly Result in One Case, But Reject Environmentalists’ Claims in Other

Last week I posted a preview of three key environmental law cases that were scheduled for argument over two days in the California Supreme Court.  I attended the arguments in two of those cases, held in San Francisco last Thursday.  Here’s an account of what transpired, along with my predictions of the likely outcomes in […]

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It’s Environmental Law Week at the California Supreme Court

Justices to Hear Oral Arguments in Three Major Environmental Cases This Week

The California Supreme Court currently has approximately twenty pending environmental cases on its docket.  This week, the Court’s justices will hear oral arguments in three of the most important of those cases.  Taken together, these looming decisions raise important issues concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), federal preemption, climate change mitigation and adaptation, private […]

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And Here’s to You, Justice Werdegar

Retiring California Supreme Court Jurist Leaves Impressive Environmental Law Legacy

The California Supreme Court recently announced that Justice Kathryn Werdegar will retire this August, after serving for 23 years on California’s highest Court.  Justice Werdegar is the longest-serving member of the currently-constituted Supreme Court. Over her 23-year career on the Supreme Court, Justice Werdegar has authored at least 25 major opinions on a wide variety […]

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