Public Lands

Supreme Court issues decision in Florida beach sand takings case

UPDATE: Rick Frank has published some insighful analysis here of the decision discussed below, including discussion of the impacts of the changing Supreme Court composition on the development of doctrine in the so-called “judicial takings” area. The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its decision in Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection …

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California Ocean Science Trust Releases Study Evaluating Alternatives for Decommissioning California’s Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms

Last week, the California Ocean Science Trust released a long-awaited study that synthesizes scientific and legal information to inform policymakers and stakeholders on alternative paths for the decommissioning of California’s offshore oil and gas platforms. 27 of these platforms operate off the coast of California, and eventually all of them will stop producing fossil fuel …

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DC Circuit upholds air pollution standards for lead

The Legal Planet team has been so busy fretting over the Gulf oil spill (not to mention getting our grading done) that we’ve skipped over some important environmental law developments. Here’s one. In May, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, upheld EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for lead against an …

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Congressional review begins

UPDATE: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is also getting in on the act this afternoon with a hearing on economic and environmental impacts of the oil spill starting at 2:30 EDT. Witnesses include representatives of the three companies, and representatives of fishing, tourism, and state interests. An environmental law perspective will be provided …

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The Offshore Oil Drilling Debate–Revisited (Again)

Earlier this month, the Sacramento Bee published an interesting point-counterpoint debate over the wisdom of re-commencing offshore oil drilling in the U.S., with a particular focus on California and the West Coast.   Arguing in favor of the proposition was U.C. Santa Barbara Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies Eric R.A.N.  Smith, who maintained that …

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The Utah Legislature Flunks Law School

Holly mentions Utah’s quixotic, somewhat deranged attempt to seize federal lands by eminent domain, correctly observing that federal law would pre-empt any state eminent domain action. One might also mention McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), which held that a state cannot tax a federal agency.  If a state can’t tax a federal agency, how in the …

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Deja vu all over again

Remember the Sagebrush Rebellion and the County Supremacy Movement? They were attempts in the 1970s-80s and 1990s, respectively, by state and local governments in the west to assert control over federal lands. They didn’t make any legal progress because of the pesky Supremacy and Property Clauses of the US Constitution, which declare that the federal …

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