Fracking consumes enormous amounts of water, pollutes aquifers & is contrary to our climate goals
Recently, the New York Times published an important and disturbing expose’ titled, “‘Monster Fracks’ Are Getting Far Bigger. And Far Thirstier.” The Times article focuses on the alarming intersection of three current environmental crises–water supply shortages, groundwater contamination, and excessive greenhouse gas emission levels–that threaten California and other states across the nation. Fracking (the shorthand …CONTINUE READING
New law explicitly authorizes State Water Board to require water users to verify their water rights
The California Legislature has enacted and Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law SB 389, an important water law reform measure authored by State Senator Ben Allen. California has one of the most antiquated and outdated water rights systems of any Western state. To put it bluntly, California currently faces a 21st century water supply …CONTINUE READING
Newly-accepted case pits private property rights against government land use authority
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear and decide an important “regulatory takings” case from California that has major implications for federal, state and local governments nationwide. The case is Sheetz v. County of El Dorado, Docket No. 22-1074. Even before the justices granted review in the Sheetz case last Friday, the Court’s 2023-24 …CONTINUE READING
Contrary to some, I think the answer is yes. And here’s how we can do it.
Inequality is a burning issue in our society but plays only a limited role in the design of regulations. In an article that came out a week ago, I try to work through questions about how economic and racial inequality can be integrated into rule-making. In terms of economic inequality, the current system already has …CONTINUE READING
SB 261 first proposed and drafted by CLEE Climate Risk Initiative
Breaking news! Governor Gavin Newsom just announced on stage at New York Climate Week that he will sign both of the landmark greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk disclosure bills, #SB253 (Wiener) and #SB261 (Stern), the later of which was first proposed and then drafted by our Climate Risk Initiative at the Center for Law, …CONTINUE READING
SB 261 results from CLEE report recommendation
The California Legislature passed two path-breaking climate risk disclosure bills this week. Both bills now go to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk where he has until October 14th to sign them. Senate Bill 261 (Stern) requires major corporations to disclose climate change related financial risks, using a framework consistent with that of the Task Force on Climate …CONTINUE READING
Three big cases in the D.C. Circuit will determine the fate of Biden’s vehicle regulations.
This week, the D.C. Circuit hears three cases challenging use of federal regulations to push adoption of electric vehicles and to allow California to forge path toward zero-emission cars. If all three cases go badly, the regulatory system would be disabled from playing a role in this area. This would be a huge setback, though …CONTINUE READING
“Job Killing” or “Overheating the Economy” — Which Is It?
“Job-killing regulations” is a longtime conservative meme. That attack has now been joined by the claim that major new spending for clean energy is overheating the economy. The inflation claim is new, prompted by the passage of the 2021 Infrastructure law and the 2022 IRA. And if they were both right, the two problems would …CONTINUE READING
Some people think we need to abolish capitalism to save the environment.
Bernie Sanders has a book called It’s OK to be Angry at Capitalism. There are certainly a lot of people across the political spectrum who feel that way. Capitalism is blamed for environmental destruction by many of the more radical segments of the Left. That’s not too surprising given the historic connection between the more …CONTINUE READING
State and local regulators can and should work to reduce particulate matter, ozone, and NOx emissions even when national standards are met.
States and local air quality regulators have the legal authority to set particulate matter (PM), ozone, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions standards and adopt regulations for these pollutants when they are already in attainment of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the federal Clean Air …CONTINUE READING