The 1990s were the heyday of international environmental lawmaking. The 1992 United Nations “Rio Conference” on Environment and Development catalyzed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The decade also witnessed the launch of the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent as well as protocols […]
Supreme Court’s California Coast Decision Will Be Back, No Matter What the Papers Say
High-fives, or at least, sighs of relief, from environmentalists this week, as the Supremes denied cert in Surfrider Foundation v. Martin’s Beach, a case where Sun Microsystems founder and multibillionaire Vinod Khosla challenged aspects of California’s Coastal Act. Article after article after editorial is celebrating this as a great victory for the environment and the […]
EPA needs to take a hand to keep the restoration plan on track. We’ll see how that goes soon.
The effort to restore Chesapeake Bay is something I knew vaguely about but had never looked into. A new on-line dashboard of relevant material inspired me to take a deeper dive. The restoration plan is definitely worth a closer look., It’s the U.S. leading effort to reduce“nonpoint source” water pollution such as agricultural runoff. It […]
Breakthroughs in gene editing might open the door to improved environmental protections. Or maybe not.
CRISPR is a breakthrough gene editing method. (I can’t refrain from noting that a key role in the discovery was played Jennifer Doudna at Berkeley.) There are potential risks from gene editing to the environment, similar to other types of GMOs. But there may be environmental benefits too. Here are a few that have been […]
How to turn off the plastics spout?
Kudos to National Geographic for its stunner of an issue on plastics and the environmental harms they cause. As this latest report and many other recent stories make clear, we are drowning in plastics. Bits of plastic have been found in beer, in major brands of bottled water, in 75% of deep sea fish, in […]
You can add sand to your list of global environmental crises.
You already know about the climate crisis, fisheries collapse, ocean acidification, and the biodiversity crisis. Now you can add a fifth one: the global sand crisis. The demand for sand is exploding due to burgeoning construction in China and other developing countries. The result: water bodies are being devastated by massive dredging operations. Lake Poyang […]
Longstanding Martins Beach Controversy May Well Capture Justices’ Attention
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term is already shaping up as a big one for environmental law in general and the longstanding tension between private property rights and environmental regulation in particular. The Court has already agreed to hear and decide two cases next Term raising the latter set of issues: one involves the question […]
New California State Lands Commission Public Access Guide Required Reading for Coastal Enthusiasts
California residents are passionate about their coastal and inland waterways–and especially their ability to access and enjoy these natural resources. It was concern over being “walled off from the coast” by private development that prompted California voters in 1972 to approve an initiative measure that created the California Coastal Commission and led to California’s Coastal […]
Sacramento Hearing Likely to Be Both a Raucous and Fundamentally Flawed Affair
Legal Planet colleague Eric Biber this week has published a series of posts on the Trump Administration’s controversial–and deeply flawed–proposal to open most of the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf to offshore oil and gas development. I won’t attempt to retread the ground Eric has ably covered, but want to highlight a major upcoming and related event […]
The Administration’s leasing proposals are not likely to produce an offshore oil and gas boom unless other factors change
This post is the last in a three-part series examining the implications and context of the Trump Administration’s announcement of a proposal to dramatically expand offshore oil and gas development in the United States. The first post focused on the legal context; the second one on the political context. This last post synthesizes the law […]