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LATEST PRINT

Restoring Reciprocal Relationships for Social and Ecological Health

Indigenous stewardship contributes to ecological biodiversity and ecosystem resiliency. Restoring reciprocal relationships between American Indians and traditional lands can improve ecosystem health and cure social ills through the restoration of traditional foods, medicines, and culturally utilized plants. Federal regulations and failure to recognize tribes near Yosemite National Park threaten endangered cultures and languages as well as traditionally utilized native plants. The societal understanding of the term natural, meaning without human influence, is becoming more complicated. Human-induced climate change and recognition of landscapes previously thought absent of human influence are now understood to have been shaped in part by Indigenous people, mainly through anthropogenic fire. Preserving public lands without Indigenous stewardship does not protect natural and cultural resources from impairment for future generations of Indigenous children.

Aug 21, 2020

Equitable Community Solar: California & Beyond

Residential solar and utility scale solar are low-hanging fruit in the renewables transition, but targeting low-hanging fruit can only go so far. Can states innovate, reach further, and ignite near-universal consumer demand for clean energy and achieve social justice goals through equitable community solar?

Aug 21, 2020

The Power of Power: Democratizing California’s Energy Economy to Align with Environmental Justice Principles through Community Choice Aggregation

Community choice aggregation energy programs have proliferated throughout California as a tool for public municipalities to aggregate their communities’ electricity demand and procure electricity for themselves. Through their community choice aggregation programs, communities have reduced their electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change. In this Article, we will attempt to demonstrate that community choice aggregators in California have been used as an effective tool to further the Principles of Environmental Justice through community engagement, renewable energy development, and programs for low-income, marginalized, or vulnerable communities that are informed by local input.

Aug 21, 2020

Panel III: This is the Moment of Truth

What can you, as students, do to get involved in the environmental justice or social justice movements? My name is Roger Lin. I am one of the attorneys in Berkeley Law’s Environmental Law Clinic. We do environmental health and environmental justice cases. We have fantastic panelists who are going to dive into the question: What can students do right now for the environmental or social justice movements? 

Aug 21, 2020
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LATEST CURRENTS

Smart Grids Need Smart Privacy Laws: Reconciling the California Consumer Privacy Act with Decentralized Electricity Models

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants strong privacy rights, including allowing a consumer to opt out of the sale of her information to third parties, and to request that a business delete her information from its records. At the same time, the electricity industry is transitioning towards a decentralized distribution scheme, where electricity providers use consumer information and blockchain technology to improve energy efficiency. The CCPA is problematic to this shift in electricity distribution in two ways.

Aug 18, 2020

Colluding to Save the World: How Antitrust Laws Discourage Corporations from Taking Action on Climate Change

“The loftiest of purported motivations do not excuse anti-competitive collusion among rivals. That’s long-standing antitrust law.” So begins a USA Today opinion piece by Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General and head of the Antitrust Division. Delrahim was defending a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into four major automakers who had recently announced they would continue to meet California’s fuel efficiency standards even as the Trump Administration moved to roll back higher efficiency standards at the federal level. The agreement between the automakers will likely lead to higher prices for consumers, which—regardless of other positive benefits—could be illegal under antitrust law. But should it be?

Jul 27, 2020

Salmon Lessons For The Delta Smelt: Unjustified Reliance On Hatcheries In The USFWS October 2019 Biological Opinion

Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, in October 2019 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) of the Trump Administration issued a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) for coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project (2019 USFWS BiOp). The 2019 USFWS BiOp issued by the Trump Administration found that anticipated water project operations would not jeopardize the survival of the endangered delta smelt, a fish species dependent on low-salinity conditions and found only in the brackish estuary where the freshwater of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers mix with the seawater of the San Francisco Bay. The “no jeopardy” determination in the 2019 USFWS BiOp contrasted with the previous 2008 USFWS BiOp, which found that anticipated water project operations would likely push the endangered delta smelt into extinction due to elevated salinity levels.

Jun 26, 2020

A Polymer Problem: How Plastic Production and Consumption is Polluting our Oceans

Typically, when a new product comes on the scene, it takes several generations to evaluate its use and environmental impact. However, synthetic plastics really only began to take over around 50 years ago, and we’re already seeing a movement to ban, or at least drastically reduce, the material.

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Ecology Law Quarterly, one of the nation’s most respected and widely read environmental law journals.