Last month, a group of public trust and coastal land use experts, working under the auspices of the Center for Ocean Solutions, released two documents that are likely to be influential in shaping the future of California’s coastline. The documents, Consensus Statement on the Public Trust Doctrine, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Land Use in […]
Trump ordered agencies to reconsider Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Easier said than done.
President Trump ordered EPA and the Army Corps to review the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule, which sets expansive bounds on federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands. The agencies have sent the White House a proposal to rescind the WOTUS rule and revert to earlier rules until they can come up with a replacement. In my […]
Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket
In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law. That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]
Approval of regional ocean management plans, California planning for gray wolf return provide grounds for hope
It’s not exactly been the best of weeks for those of us committed to environmental protection, and it doesn’t look like the best of years coming up. But there is some good news, even in these difficult times. Two items in particular have helped lift the gloom for me this week. First, the National Ocean […]
When you look at the whole of his legacy, it’s a stunning record.
When he leaves office in January, President Obama will have compiled a remarkable record of environmental achievements. The record spans everything from climate change to endangered species and ocean protection. We can only hope that next Tuesday’s election doesn’t undo many of these gains. Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of […]
In only 25 years, a dynamic new field of law has taken root.
Climate Change Law, the first volume of Elgar’s Encyclopedia of Environmental Law has just appeared. There are a number of excellent edited collections about aspects of climate change law. What distinguishes this one is that breadth of the coverage, including both international and domestic aspects of carbon reduction and adaptation to climate change. The book confirms how quickly climate change […]
Jill Stein and her party call for a 40% cut in U.S. carbon emissions in the next four years.
Although the Green Party doesn’t seem to be pulling a lot of voters at this point, it seems only fair to include them in the roundup of the parties’ environmental positions. As you could infer from the name, the Green Party puts a very high priority on environmental quality. Interestingly, the current party platform is dated […]
Aquaculture could help save wild fisheries from devastation.
It’s time to take a second look at fish farms. Environmentalists, not to mention foodies, tend to turn up their noses at fish farms. It’s true that badly managed fish farms can be a source of water pollution and other environmental problems. But sustainable fish farming would have major environmental benefits. To begin with, fish […]
The Implications of the Decision to Fire Charles Lester – and the Decision Not to Explain It
As Rick Frank insightfully discussed earlier this week, the California Coastal Commission has fired its former executive director, Charles Lester. Readers interested in more background information and analysis should read Rick’s post, as well as the excellent reporting by Tony Barboza and others from the LA Times. (And anyone who wants to hear about it […]
Personnel Dispute is Commission’s Biggest Political Controversy in Over a Decade
Following months of public controversy and a marathon 10 1/2 hour hearing Wednesday in Morro Bay, a closely-divided California Coastal Commission voted to fire its Executive Director, Charles Lester. The Commission vote to remove Lester was 7-5. Lester, who as Executive Director has led the Commission staff for the past 4 1/2 years, is the […]