Regulatory Policy

California’s New Energy Law (SB 100) Is a Piece in a Larger Puzzle

Rooftop solar,storage and energy efficiency still play critical roles

California’s new landmark energy law should be a matter of pride for the whole state. It calls for electricity providers to rely on renewable sources for at least 60% of their delivered power by 2030 and on zero greenhouse gas-emitted sources for the remaining 40% by 2045. People refer to this as the 100% clean […]

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Governor Brown Signs 100% Carbon-Free Grid By 2045 Legislation + Executive Order Making California Carbon Neutral By 2045

Landmark legislation and executive order to be discussed with State Sen. Kevin de León tonight on City Visions, KALW 91.7 FM at 7pm

As was expected, Governor Brown today signed SB 100 (de León) to put California on a path to achieve a carbon-free electricity grid by 2045. But in a surprise move ahead of this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, he also issued an executive order directing state agencies to achieve statewide carbon neutrality […]

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California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

Court Rejects Claim That SGMA “Displaces” Public Trust’s Application to California Groundwater

The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District has issued an important decision declaring that California’s powerful public trust doctrine applies to at least some of the state’s overtaxed groundwater resources.  The court’s opinion also rejects the argument that California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) displaces the public trust doctrine’s applicability to groundwater […]

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When Republicans Fought for a Clean Environment

Environmentalism Used to Be a Bipartisan Issue

It is not unreasonable and overly rigid environmental regulations and restrictions that stand in the way of the expanded use of the nation’s coal reserves. It is the reluctance, and at times the refusal, to recognize the very serious health hazards and environmental, social and cultural impacts associated with a rapid rise in coal use. […]

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The Clean Power Plan Replacement Comes With a Major Change to NSR (Part 1)

Important pre-construction environmental review for power plant modifications at risk

Last month, I discussed a proposal before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment to amend the Clean Air Act to weaken pre-construction review for modifications to equipment at large stationary sources. Since then, the Subcommittee voted H.R. 3128 out on a party line vote, and it’s currently waiting for the full House Energy […]

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One State, Two States, Red States, Blue States: Federalism Hypocrisy in Trump’s EPA

Regulatory approaches for vehicles versus power plants show the Trump White House’s true motivation – and it’s not states’ rights.

As my colleague Cara Horowitz has already blogged, the Trump EPA is preparing to announce a Clean Power Plan replacement today, rolling back Obama-era efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The plan is expected to largely shift the regulatory burden to states, essentially leaving it up to them to decide whether […]

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South Carolina Federal Court Blocks Trump EPA Attempt to Suspend Clean Water Rule

G. H. W. Bush Appointee Issues Nationwide Injunction Because Agency Rescinded Prior Rule Without Public Discussion of the Rule’s Merits

Today, Hon. David Norton of the Federal District Court for the District of South Carolina (an appointee of George H. W. Bush) issued a nationwide injunction barring the implementation of the so-called “Suspension Rule” that effectively rescinded the Waters of the United States Rule (also called the WOTUS Rule or the Clean Water Rule) previously issued […]

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NYC’s Cap on Uber and Lyft Is an Important Step for Cities

A temporary pause to identify regulatory solutions to social and environmental impacts

Last week, the New York City Council enacted a temporary cap on Uber, Lyft and other transportation network company (TNC) vehicles in the city, blocking the issuance of new vehicle licenses for a 12-month period while the city conducts a study to determine whether to enact long-term regulations limiting the number of TNC vehicles on […]

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Does the Clean Air Act Mask One of Our Worst Remaining Air Pollution Problems?

New Article Addresses Hot Spot Pollution and the Clean Air Act

Over the last fifty years, we have made huge progress in cleaning up the nation’s air.  Overall pollution levels have dropped by 70 percent since the 1970s, cars are 99 percent cleaner, and we’ve essentially eliminated lead from the atmosphere. The Clean Air Act is the main reason for this success, saving countless lives and […]

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The Trump Administration Just Released Its Proposal to Eviscerate Car Standards, Revoke California Authority

The Legal Grounds For Doing So Are Dubious At Best

As expected, the Trump Administration has released its proposal that recommends freezing combined fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards at 2020 levels for model years 2021-2025.  The proposal also recommends revoking the waiver EPA granted California in 2013 to issue its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and to continue the state’s program to gradually increase […]

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