Regulation

An Abundance Research Agenda

If we need to build lots of things fast to address climate and housing crises, how will we do that?

There’s been a lot of buzz about this column by Ezra Klein in the New York Times.  Klein’s basic argument: We need to do a lot of infrastructure and other development projects to make the world a better place.  For example, we’ll need to build power lines and renewable projects to address climate change.  But …

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Will public power advance decarbonization?

Increasing public control of energy systems may not facilitate decarbonization

Over the past few years, there has been a push in both Europe and the United States for a “Green New Deal” in which decarbonization efforts would be pushed by aggressive, direct government investments in clean energy technology and infrastructure.  But in much of the United States and in Europe, large portions of the electricity …

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Advancing renewables through electricity restructuring

Reducing barriers to siting new electricity generation can help advance renewable energy production

Our electricity system will be crucial to decarbonization efforts, both because much of our current energy comes from electricity, and because decarbonizing sectors like transportation will require significant electrification.  And electricity is the sector where we have had the most success in decarbonization so far in the United States. But there is still more to …

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Badly Drafted and Constitutionally Suspect

New laws blacklist “discrimination” against fossil fuel companies in states that normally could care less about discrimination of any kind.

Texas and a number of other states have passed laws banning what they call “boycotts of fossil fuel companies.” More precisely, they ban state investment or contracting with firms that “boycott” fossil fuel companies.  Besides being fundamentally misguided and difficult to implement, these blacklist laws are poorly  drafted and quite likely unconstitutional. The “fundamentally misguided” …

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Clarifying the Congressional Review Act

The Ninth Circuit rules on the preclusive effect of a CRA disapproval in a wilderness protection case.

Soon after Trump took office, Republicans used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn sixteen Obama-era regulations. If they win control of the government in 2024, they’ll undoubtedly do the same thing to Biden regulations. It behooves us, then, to understand the effect of these legislative interventions. A Ninth Circuit ruling last week in a …

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Registration Is Open for the 2022 California Water Law Symposium

California’s Most Important Annual Water Law Conference–Law Student Organized!–Set for April 9th

Registration is now open for California’s 2022 Water Law Symposium, scheduled for Saturday, April 9th. U.C. Davis School of Law has the honor of hosting this year’s Symposium, which is an extraordinary event in two respects: first, it is organized entirely by law students (rather than law firms, water organizations, law professors or commercial vendors).  …

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(Mis)Estimating Regulatory Costs

EPA’s cost estimate for its mercury rule was way, way off.

In describing cost-benefit analysis to students, I’ve often told them that the “cost” side of the equation is pretty simple. And it does seem simple: just get some engineers to figure out how industry can comply and run some spreadsheets of the costs. But this seemingly simple calculation turns out to be riddled with uncertainties, …

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Major Questions About Today’s Big Climate Case

Here’s what you need to know about today’s oral argument in W. Va. v. EPA

The Supreme Court is hearing oral argument this morning in West Virginia v. EPA. The case is a challenge by the coal industry and coal states to EPA’s power to limit carbon emissions by power plants. Here’s what to look for today. Q: What is the case about? A: In practical terms, the question is what EPA …

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Don’t Leave the Public Out of the Public Utilities Commission

California may have denied due process for those questioning PGE’s penalty for starting the Kincade Fire

The Sonoma County District Attorney has been pursuing criminal charges against the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) for its role in sparking the 2019 Kincade fire, which reportedly destroyed 374 structures and led to over $600 million in damages. These criminal charges returned to the news today because the District Attorney has asked to …

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Wetlands, the Clean Water Act & the Supreme Court: the Sacketts Return to Washington

Justices Grant Review (Again) in the Sacketts’ Longstanding Wetlands Battle With the Government

  This week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Sackett v. USEPA, No. 21-454, an important appeal involving the scope of federal authority to regulate wetlands under the Clean Water Act. If the Sackett litigation sounds familiar, it should: the case has been pending for well over a decade, and this is …

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