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Publications

EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules at Stake in U.S. Supreme Court

​The Emmett Center's Ann Carlson and Megan Herzog author the featured article in the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources' most recent "Trends" Newsletter. 

Federal Actions to Address Plastic Marine Pollution

​The Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic and client Surfrider Foundation prepared a briefing book on federal solutions to plastic marine pollution

Renewable Energy Beyond 2020

The twelfth report in our Climate Change and Business Research Initiative series recommends a new renewable energy target for 2030 that accounts for greenhouse gas emissions and tracks California's long-term climate change goal.

Stemming the Tide of Plastic Marine Litter: A Global Action Agenda

​This paper recommends actions to address marine plastic litter, one of the most significant problems facing the world's oceans and seas.

Risk and Decision 
Timothy Malloy  - September 23, 2013

Risk and Decision
This report uses the case of methyl iodide--a neurotoxicant California approved as a fumigant in 2010--to explore the state's pesticide registration process.
Allocating Under Water: Reforming California

This paper evaluates the adjudicatory process used to resolve groundwater use disputes in California, and recommends a number of reforms that could be implemented by the legislature or courts to address problems in the adjudication and post-adjudication management of groundwater resources.

Search for Sustainable Legitimacy

​This article offers insight into China's recent environmental protection efforts, including the connections between China's environmental policy and its other values and objectives, and problems associated with China's "environmental cadre evaluation" system of regulation.

A High Speed Foundation 
Ethan Elkind  - August 20, 2013

A High Speed Foundation

If California's proposed high speed rail system is implemented poorly, the system could lead to unchecked development in the Valley.  This paper recommends a Valley-wide collaborative to avoid this outcome.

Combatting Sea Level Rise in Southern California

In the Summer 2013 volume of Hasting West Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, Emmett/Frankel Fellow Megan Herzog and Environmental Law Center Executive Director Sean Hecht discuss how Southern California local governments can seize sea-level rise adaptation opportunities while minimizing legal risk.

The President, Climate Change, and California

In the Harvard Law Review Forum, ​Professor Ann Carlson explains how a focus on California can help President Obama to fulfill his pledge to combat climate change through executive action.

Vision 2021 LA: A Model Sustainability Agenda for Los Angeles

Faculty and researchers at the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and the law school's Evan Frankel Environmental Law and Policy Program have crafted the first comprehensive environmental sustainability plan for the city of Los Angeles. 

Rules of the Game Recap

In this two-page recap of our report from August 2011, we review the California cap-and-trade program as adopted and find our conclusions still​ apply: the California Air Resources Board has designed a cap-and-trade program that should avoid gaming and market manipulation problems sometimes seen in other programs.

Looking Up 
Cara Horowitz  - June 18, 2012

Looking Up

​The Emmett Center partners with ​NRDC on a new study analyzing the benefits of smart roofing options for Southern California.  Looking Up concludes that green roofs and cool roofs would save energy and money, reduce global warming pollution, and relieve stress on California’s limited fresh water supply.  Coauthored by Cara Horowitz, the study quantifies these benefits and makes policy recommendations for promoting smart roofs.​

Defining Good Infill 
Ethan Elkind  - April 23, 2012

Defining Good Infill

​On March 9, 2012, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UCLA Schools of Law hosted a convening at UC Berkeley on Senate Bill 226 (Simitian), California’s 2011 law to streamline environmental review for eligible infill projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This report provides a brief overview of SB 226 and its implementation and a summary of the March 9, 2012 discussion.

Spending California

​California faces crucial questions about how to spend proceeds from its cap-and-trade auctions. This paper assesses legal constraints on AB 32 auction revenue allocation that derive from the statute itself or from California’s constitutional restrictions on the use of regulatory fees. We make recommendations about the relative risks of approaches to allocating AB 32 state auction proceeds

Toxics in Consumer Products

​Approximately 27 trillion pounds of chemicals are produced or imported into the United States every year, more than one trillion of them in California alone. In the face of relative inaction at the federal level, state governments have moved to address hazardous chemical use. Our third Pritzker Brief evaluates California's green chemistry legislation (AB 1879), identifying four critical flaws that threaten to undermine its success. Recommended revisions to the law are discussed. These recommendations include: review of new chemicals and new uses before introduction into commerce; required disclosure of chemical data by product manufacturers; and authorization of a regulatory fee to adequately fund California's green chemistry program. ​

Bright Roofs, Big City 
Cara Horowitz  - October 01, 2011

Bright Roofs, Big City

​In our second Pritzker Brief, Cara Horowitz explains how installing cool roofs in Los Angeles could improve public health, combat climate change, reduce energy demand, and save money.

Harvesting Clean Energy 
Ethan Elkind  - October 01, 2011

Harvesting Clean Energy

​Our ninth paper of this series discusses how California can steer large-scale renewable development without depleting the state's prime agricultural and biological resources.

Rules of the Game

​With Bowman Cutter​, an economist at Pomona College, we take a detailed look at California's proposed greenhouse gas trading regulations to assess the risks of market manipulation and rules violations. We ask whether the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has put in place the right measures to limit market gaming, and we address CARB’s ability to detect foul play, take necessary enforcement actions, and impose adequate penalties. Our report​ concludes that CARB has crafted well-regulated market that limits these risks. We provide recommendations aimed at strengthening an already well-designed program. ​

Under Water 
M. Rhead Enion  - July 01, 2011

Under Water

In our inaugural Pritzker Brief, Rhead Enion describes the importance of realigning California's water regulation to better manage groundwater. Read more about the Pritzker Environmental Law and Policy Briefs here.

Drops of Energy 
Ethan Elkind  - May 01, 2011

Drops of Energy
In our seventh paper of this series, we examine the connection between water use and energy use in California. Check out the entire series of Bank of America Climate Policy Papers here.
An Environmental Blueprint for California

​California's long-term prosperity is vulnerable to climate change, energy insecurity, environmental threats to public health, and a growing scarcity of key resources. Governor Brown has a tremendous opportunity to build on the state's past environmental successes, bringing enormous benefits to our economy and public health.

Our Blueprint describes three key areas that Governor Brown must focus on to ensure a healthy environmental future for all Californians. He must strengthen California's foundation for environmental protection. He must promote specific initiatives to address climate and energy instability. And he must advance cost-effective initiatives in traditional areas of environmental concern, such as water quality, water supply, coastal resources, chemical risks, air quality and biodiversity.

Paying for Pollution

Proposition 26 proposes to expand the definition of a “tax” under California law. As a result of this expansion, some fees and other charges imposed by the state or by cities or counties could no longer be enacted by a simple majority vote of the Legislature. Instead, a 2/3 supermajority vote would be required—the same vote now required to pass a budget or a new tax.

We have taken a careful look at the measure’s language and its impacts on environmental and public health programs in California, and have concluded that Proposition 26 would erect significant barriers to funding many of these programs in the future. This could have substantial and wide-ranging impacts on implementation of the state’s health, safety and environmental laws.​

Background Information on Proposition 23 and California

This brochure presents background information on Propositoin 23 and California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).​

Plan for the Future 
Ethan Elkind  - July 01, 2010

Plan for the Future

Plan for the Future looks how California can improve land-use planning to meet the increasing demand for sustainable development and the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals. Three key barriers to local government action are discussed—lack of political will, scarce fiscal resources devoted to planning sustainable development, and lack of technical assistance—and solutions are proposed. Solutions include: public outreach campaigns; better use of available funding sources; and use of expertise and best practices from other planning jurisdictions. ‪Check out the entire series of Bank of America Climate Policy Papers here.‬

The Power of Energy Storage

In this report, we look at policies that California and other decision-makers can develop to expand the amount of energy storage capacity in the state in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through cleaner electricity production. Energy storage faces challenges in regulation, cost, scale and lack of awareness. Yet California must invest in energy storage technology, in order to take advantage of the ability of energy storage to even out electricity supply, ensure stability and quality of electricity, and time-shift the use of energy to reduce reliance on "peaker" plants.​ ‪Check out the entire series of Bank of America Climate Policy Papers here.‬

Saving Energy 
Ethan Elkind  - May 01, 2010

Saving Energy

​Saving Energy addresses the critical need to provide incentives to make existing buildings more energy-efficient. Retrofitting existing buildings could provide residential households with $400 to $500 in annual savings, while creating new construction jobs and benefitting businesses even more. Small businesses and residences present the best opportunities for retrofits. Local and state financing programs, such as PACE, along with strong licensing standards and consumer awareness campaigns, will provide the necessary incentives. 

Room to Grow 
Ethan Elkind  - March 01, 2010

Room to Grow

​We recommend best practices for our agricultural industry to remain sustainable and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. Four barriers to such reductions are identified: lack of research into reduction technologies and best practices; insufficient financing; regulatory conflicts; and lack of awareness of existing opportunities for reduction of emissions. Both short- and long-term solutions are proposed that will assist farmers, ranchers, and agricultural industry leaders, as well as local, state and federal governments.

In Our Backyard 
Ethan Elkind  - December 01, 2009

In Our Backyard

In Our Backyard provides recommendations for overcoming obstacles to widespread adoption of distributed renewable energy generation. We identify four barriers to decentralized renewable energy production: lack of predictable and adequate financing; uncertain permitting and regulatory programs; lack of education and outreach; and split incentives of landlords versus tenants. We propose short and long-term solutions at multiple policy levels, from federal and state governments to local utilities and industry leaders. 

Removing the Roadblocks 
Ethan Elkind  - August 01, 2009

Removing the Roadblocks

​This report provides recommendations designed to encourage infill development that will improve quality of life and make our cities more sustainable and less dependent on fossil fuels. We offer a comprehensive blueprint for sustainable development that policy makers and industry leaders can reference for immediate and longer-term actions. Most critically, we recommend that local governments develop comprehensive neighborhood plans for sustainable development, with the support of state and federal leaders.