Regulatory Policy

Regulatory Review in Anti-Regulatory Times: Congress

Congress overturned a host of regs at the start of the Trump Administration. Looks more like a random walk than a systematic effort.

In theory, cost-benefit analysis should be just as relevant when the government is deregulating as when it is imposing new regulations. But things don’t seem to work that way. This is the second of two blog posts analyzing how costs and benefits figured in decisions during the past two years of unified GOP control of […]

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Using Emergency Powers to Fight Climate Change

If Trump can stretch emergency powers, maybe they can be used for other purposes too.

 Could a future President invoke emergency powers against climate change? Republicans are apparently worried that if Trump could use emergency powers by declaring border security a national emergency, the next president could do the same thing for climate change. There’s no doubt that this would be far more legitimate than Trump’s wall effort.  Border crossings […]

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2019 California Water Law Symposium Set for February 2nd in San Francisco

This Year’s Edition of the Award-Winning Event Focuses on Groundwater Management

The 15th Annual California Water Law Symposium will convene on Saturday, February 2, 2019. This year’s Symposium venue is the UC Hastings College of the Law in downtown San Francisco. The theme of next month’s Symposium is California groundwater, with a focus on implementation of the state’s landmark 2014 legislation, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”). The Water Law […]

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Regulatory Review in Anti-Regulatory Times: The Trump Administration

Cost-benefit analysis turns out to make very little difference when the issue is rolling back regulations.

In theory, cost-benefit analysis should be just as relevant when the government is deregulating as when it is imposing new regulations. But things don’t seem to work that way. This is the first of two blog posts analyzing how costs and benefits figured in decisions during the past two years of unified GOP control of […]

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New CEQA SB 743 Transportation Guidelines Finally Finalized

Critical revisions will be discussed at March 1st Conference in Los Angeles — register now!

It took five years, but California has finally ditched an outdated and counter-productive metric for evaluating transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). With the guidelines finalized on December 28th, a mere half-decade since the passage of SB 743 (Steinberg) in 2013, the state will ditch “auto delay” as a measure of project […]

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The Thin Gray Line

Few people understand the role that the bureaucracy plays in keeping us safe.

“Bureaucrat” is just another name for public servant. It has been said that a thin blue line of police protects us from the worst elements of society. But it is a thin gray line of underpaid, overworked, anonymous bureaucrats who protect society against more insidious risks — risks ranging from nuclear contamination to climate change to […]

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Assessing–and Celebrating–California Governor Jerry Brown’s Environmental Legacy

Governor Brown Easily Ranks as the Top Environmental Governor in State History

Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got `Til it’s gone         –Joni Mitchell (“Big Yellow Taxi”) On this, the last day of Jerry Brown‘s tenure as California’s governor, it’s appropriate to reflect on Governor Brown’s environmental legacy.  And a most formidable legacy it’s been. Brown has, quite […]

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Trump’s Theory of Law

He probably doesn’t know he has a theory, but he does. It’s shaping his deregulatory agenda..

OK, using the word “theory” in connection with Trump may seem like a stretch.  But he does seem to have an implicit theory of law, which helps explain a lot of his approach to regulatory change. He’s also an intuitive believer in a strong form of the unitary executive. Theories of law can be classified […]

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The Curious Case of EPA’s Mercury Cost-Benefit Decision

What, exactly, is EPA up to by changing the underlying analysis of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (known as the MATS rule), as it announced yesterday?  Is it the first step in gutting the use of cost-benefit analysis to support strong environmental regulations?  Is it a gift to Murray Energy in its lawsuit seeking […]

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