In the first post in this series, I talked about why it’s important for the state of California to spend time preparing for future droughts even in wet years like this one. This post examines some of the lessons from past droughts that can inform these preparations. Past droughts have stress-tested California’s water management institutions, […]
Sleeper Supreme Court Case Could Upend Environmental Regulations
“I don’t want to know what the law says. I want to know who the judge is.” — Roy M. Cohn Roy Cohn was one of the most disgusting figures of 20th century American law, whose red-baiting and homophobia were exceeded in awfulness only by his mentoring of Donald Trump. But when it comes to […]
How to Make a Good Bill Even Better
(This post is co-authored by U.C. Davis Law School Professor Chris Elmendorf) Last week, as President Trump harrumphed about the faux emergency on our nation’s Southern border, California State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced a potentially transformative bill that addresses California’s real emergency: the ever-escalating cost of housing in the state’s economically productive metropolitan regions. As […]
Bottom-up strategies can ultimately pave the road for stronger international agreement.
It is difficult to measure the extent of positive feedback between climate initiatives. But it seems evident that such feedback does exist. A major climate initiative in one jurisdiction seems to encourage climate action elsewhere. This makes climate action a more appealing prospect for any individual jurisdiction, because by acting it can increase climate actions […]
Some Lessons from Environmental History
At the the heart of the Green New Deal — which demands slashing U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 by shifting to 100 percent clean energy — is a major conundrum. Even the most enthusiastic proponents of ambitious climate policy don’t believe the goals are achievable, technologically let alone politically. Stanford Professor Marc Z. Jacobsen, for […]
Co-Authored by Ann Carlson, Meredith Hankins, and Julia Stein
Cross-posted to the American Constitution Society’s ACSblog As we have previously covered in past Legal Planet posts, in an outright assault on public health and the environment, the Trump Administration recently proposed rolling back national motor vehicle emission standards put in place by the Obama Administration. As part of this proposal, the Trump Administration also […]
Bottom-up appraches aren’t just fallbacks when top-down fails. They have their own strengths.
There are some obvious advantages to top-down climate police, whereby a uniform global climate policy is adopted at the global level and then seamlessly implemented by nations, or whereby a similar process takes place at the national level. Of course, this top-down model requires first global agreement on a uniform policy and then effective […]
In the past twenty years, climate policy has taken an unexpected form. Here’s what to expect.
There’s been a major change in the way environmental governance works, which is most obvious in terms of climate policy. We initially expected climate policy to be set at the international level, followed by incorporation into national legislation, and implementation by agencies and lower levels of government like states. But this top-down governance scheme isn’t […]
Thought experiment: take everything conservative want to do and then do the opposite.
Conservatives, with full support from Donald Trump have come up with a menu of ways to weaken the regulatory state. In honor of National Backward Day – that’s an actual thing, in case you’re wondering, and it’s today – let’s think about reversing those ideas. In other words, let’s try to come up with similar […]
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to the records of federal agencies. It embodies the view that government works best when it works in the open. On the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Department of the Interior quietly published a proposed regulation that will make it harder for the […]