Regulatory Policy

U.C. Davis School of Law Hosts “CEQA at 50” Conference on April 16th

CEQA at 50 logo

Virtual Event Commemorates Past, Predicts Future of the California Environmental Quality Act

Now a half-century old, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) remains California’s most important, cross-cutting and controversial environmental law.  Originally patterned on the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act, CEQA has over the decades become a more powerful law than its federal counterpart.  And while numerous other states have adopted their own “little NEPA” statutes, CEQA …

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Do regulators and utility managers have irreconcilable differences or mutual goals?

By Alida Cantor, Luke Sherman, Anita Milman, and Mike Kiparsky

Do regulators and utility managers have irreconcilable differences or mutual goals?   By Alida Cantor, Luke Sherman, Anita Milman, and Mike Kiparsky. What do climate change, aging infrastructure, and urban population growth have in common? They all pose major challenges – especially for water infrastructure in the United States. And many utilities are having a …

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The Nondelegation Doctrine and Its Threat to Environmental Law

Here’s what the doctrine means and why it has suddenly become so significant.

If you ask Supreme Court experts what keeps them up at night, the answer is likely to be the non-delegation doctrine. If you are among the 99.9% of Americans who’ve never heard of it, here’s an explainer of the doctrine and what the 6-3 Court might do with it. What’s the nondelegation doctrine? Simply put, …

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A Preview: Major Property Rights Case Currently Before U.S. Supreme Court

Decision in Cedar Point Nursery Could Imperil Key Health, Safety & Environmental Programs

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a major property rights case from California: Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid.  That litigation arises in a labor law context.  But, depending on how the Court rules, the case could have major, deleterious impacts on a wide array of health, safety and environmental programs. …

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Deconstructing the Supreme Court’s First Environmental Law Decision of the Year (Sort Of)…

…And Newly-Arrived Justice Barrett’s First Majority Opinion

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first environmental law-related decision of its current Term–U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club.  I say “environmental law-related” because the heart of the case concerns whether certain federal government documents are disclosable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  But the case …

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Perspectives on Inequality and the Environment

Environmental action has become linked to the fight against inequality. But there are different visions of this linkage.

Equality concerns have loomed large in American thought for at least the past decade, exemplified by demonstrations against “the one percent” and the Black Lives Matter movement.  These concerns have also moved toward center stage in environmental law.  This has been a major shift in emphasis that seems likely to reshape the meaning of environmentalism. …

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Guest Contributor Aimee Barnes: How the Biden Administration’s Environmental Justice Mapping Tool Can Identify and Target Benefits to Disadvantaged Communities

Lessons Learned From CalEnviroScreen

Just one week after his inauguration, President Joe Biden designated January 27 “Climate Day” at the White House and signed a number of executive orders, including one aimed to “secure environmental justice (EJ) and spur economic opportunity.” Under this executive order, President Biden took the first steps to make good on his campaign’s EJ commitments. …

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Three Ways of Dodging Responsibility

After disaster strikes, there are some tried-and-true ways of avoiding responsibility.

In the wake of the Texas blackouts, we’re seeing a number of familiar moves to deflect blame by the usual suspects–politicians, regulators, and CEOs. These evasive tactics all begin with a core truth: Eliminating all risk is impossible and would be too expensive even if it weren’t. But then they spin that truth in various …

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A Tale of Two Blackouts

NASA Earth Observatory, Feb. 19, 2021

Learning from the Texas and California Power Grid Failures

The Texas blackouts earlier this week have reminded us once again of the vital importance of electricity as part of the basic infrastructure of everyday life and the terrible consequences that ensue when the grid fails.  Recent reports indicate that dozens of people have died as a result of the extreme weather and blackouts and …

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The End of the Juliana Litigation–Or Is It?

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Rehearing, But Landmark Climate Change Litigation’s Impact Will Endure

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied rehearing en banc in one of the nation’s most closely-watched climate change lawsuits: Juliana v. United States.  But the legal and policy impact of this landmark litigation will endure.  And the case itself may not be concluded. Juliana involves a novel legal argument: that …

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