Amicus Brief in California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley for law professors

June 14 | Daniel Carpenter-Gold, Cara Horowitz, and Julia Stein

Staff and faculty at the UCLA Emmett Institute filed an amicus brief at the Ninth District U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley case, which deals with the city’s ordinance limiting the installation of gas hookups in new buildings. The amici curiae are seven law professors: UCLA’s William Boyd, Dan Farber and Sharon Jacobs at UC Berkeley, Jim Rossi at Vanderbilt, David Spence at UT Austin, Shelley Welton at UPenn, and Hannah Wiseman at Penn State.

This brief explains why the Ninth Circuit should accept Berkeley’s petition to rehear the case “en banc,” to review the decision that a panel of three judges issued back in April. The brief was filed as part of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at the UCLA School of Law.

The Ninth Circuit panel struck down Berkeley’s ordinance limiting the installation of gas lines in new buildings, based on a part of the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) that preempts state and local regulations “concerning the . . . energy use” of appliances regulated by EPCA. The law professor amici point out that this expansive interpretation of EPCA preemption threatens state and local governments’ traditional role in regulating utility distribution. The case is important at a time when cities and counties around the country are grappling with ways to limit the reliance on fossil fuels that cause planet warming pollution.

View the brief.


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