Oceans

How Much Rain is L.A. Capturing?

Local measures like Measure W are working. But more needs to be done to capture stormwater and rainwater.

At least nine atmospheric rivers blasted California between December 20th and January 15th, causing flooding and extensive damage, while also delivering much needed precipitation to our parched state. The Los Angeles County Public Works Department announced recently that more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater have been captured in the early months of the winter …

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 10 Most Important Environmental Law Decisions of 2022

Climate Change, Water Rights, Environmental Justice & Federalism Issues Highlighted the Ninth Circuit’s Prodigious Environmental Docket This Year

I’ve shared in previous posts my view that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is–after the U.S. Supreme Court–the most influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental and natural resources law.  That’s true for two related reasons: first, the sprawling Ninth Circuit encompasses nine different states (including California) and …

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California Offshore Wind Auction Results in Five Provisional Winners

First Lease Auction Held in the Pacific

Katherine Hoff, CLEE Research Fellow, also contributed to this post. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the provisional winners of the first offshore wind energy lease auction in the Pacific. The five leases—three off of Morro Bay and two off of Humboldt—fetched more than $757 million …

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Costume Ideas for a Changing Planet

Pretty or scary or brave? There’s a climate costume to suit all tastes.

Children will be roaming the streets tonight dressed as Superheroes, Princesses, and Evil Villains. But really, these invented figures can’t hold a candle to the ones in our future.  Here are some possibilities: Cruela de Coal. This is an easy make-over for the Disney costume. Simply coat the costume with soot and add a “Coal …

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Happy 50th Anniversary, Federal Clean Water Act

One of America’s Foundational Environmental Laws Has Proven Transformational, But Requires Updating a Half-Century Later

The Clean Water Act (CWA), one of the nation’s most important environmental laws, is 50 years old today.  It’s proven to be one of the most successful of America’s bedrock federal environmental statutes.  But the CWA is far from perfect, needs some important updating, and will probably never fully achieve the aspirational goals Congress proclaimed …

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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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Desalination: An Essential Part of California’s Water Future

Coastal Commission’s Recent Rejection of Huntington Beach Desalination Project Misguided

Let me begin this commentary with a disclaimer: I was an early and strong proponent of Proposition 20, the successful 1972 California voter initiative measure that enacted the Coastal Act and created the California Coastal Commission (albeit temporarily).  I supported with equal enthusiasm the state Legislature’s 1976 enactment of legislation making both the Coastal Act …

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Everyday Christmas: The Gift of the Commons

Clean air. Clean water. We receive these public goods every day without payment

One of the Christmas classics is the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Stewart is despondent about his life but then learns how much he has unknowingly helped others and how grateful they are. There’s a flip side to that story: the need to remember how much others have contributed to our own lives.  …

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Downstream Emissions

A new court ruling could doom the Trump Administration’s ANWR plan.

A Ninth Circuit ruling yesterday overturned approval of offshore drilling in the Arctic. The ruling may directly impact the Trump Administration’s plans for oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). By requiring agencies to consider emissions when fossil fuels are ultimately burned, the Court of Appeal’s decision may also change the way that …

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When Republicans Supported the Environment: Bush 41

The GOP wasn’t always the sworn enemy of environmental protection.

Younger people today probably know about George Herbert Walker Bush (R) as the father of George W. Bush and (perhaps) as the architect of the first Iraq War. But he also had some notable environmental achievements to his credit. Here are some of his accomplishments: Air Pollution Law. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments were …

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