Regulation

Midnight regulations and how the Obama administration can improve federal regulation

There has been a lot of talk about “midnight regulations” issued or initiated by the Bush administration in its final days (including the one that is the subject of this post by Holly).   Outgoing presidents, starting at least with Jimmy Carter, have had a practice of issuing many new regulatory decisions in a hurry as they leave office, with …

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Calling All Nanotubes

California is out in front on emerging environmental issues once again.  Using authorities provided under AB 289, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) recently issued a call to manufacturers for information relating to carbon nanotubes manufactured in or imported into California.  Carbon nanotubes have received significant attention of late given their growing level of …

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Goodbye CCELP, Hello CLEE

Three years ago, the U.C. Berkeley Law School launched a new research center devoted to environmental law and policy: the California Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CCELP).  From its inception, CCELP has worked on a variety of energy matters.  However, since 2006 the intersection of energy and environmental policy has become both more obvious …

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How do we decide what is a “Water of the United States”? Rapanos revisited

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinions in Rapanos v. United States in 2006, it has been unclear exactly how the U.S. is to go about evaluating which wetlands and tributaries of navigable waters are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.  Until recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asserted federal …

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Can NEPA save the world?

New Scientist‘s blog, Short Sharp Science, reports that repairs on the proton-smashing Large Hadron Collider at Europe’s CERN may be complete by September. What’s the environmental law connection? You might recall that before the LHC was briefly fired up in September 2008 (it only worked for 9 days before crashing), a lawsuit was filed in …

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The Bush Legacy

The New York Times has a story this morning that tries to summarize Bush’s environmental legacy.  As the story points out, there are positive notes, like the diesel regulations and the last-minute designation of marine sanctuaries.  Yet, the overall message is negative.  The Bush Administration will largely be remembered as a time of environmental setbacks …

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Delay on marine engines upheld

In the latest round in a long-running battle, the D.C. Circuit has upheld EPA’s foot-dragging on regulation of emissions from large marine diesel engines against a challenge brought by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District, and Friends of the Earth.  Large ships are major sources of air pollution …

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More on OMB and Regulatory Policy

President Obama wants a new executive order on OMB oversight of regulation.  He has issued the following directive: I therefore direct the Director of OMB, in consultation with representatives of regulatory agencies, as appropriate, to produce within 100 days a set of recommendations for a new Executive Order on Federal regulatory review. Among other things, …

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How Smart Can You Get?

It is said that it cost $3 million to air a 30 second advertisement during last weekend’s Superbowl. If that is the case, then General Electric chose to spend that much (plus change for production cost) to run a cute little musical piece based on the Scarecrow’s song from the Wizard of Oz — “If …

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Are Law Professors Good Political Appointees?

I just got off the phone with a Bloomberg News reporter asking me about Harvard Law Professor Jody Freeman’s appointment as counselor to Carol Browner.  After singing Jody’s’ praises (of which there are a great many) he asked me a more general question that has me thinking.   Is it a good thing for Obama to …

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