Research Overview

The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment’s research and events address cutting-edge environmental and energy issues, including renewable energy policy, climate change and business, and fresh water protection. CLEE’s current initiatives include:              
Energy Policy

CLEE is a leader in renewable energy policy.  It produces reports and organizes workshops and conferences on topics such as energy storage, local renewable energy policy, energy efficiency program administration, net metering, and smart grid privacy.  CLEE recently produced a report for the California Governor's Office with policy recommendations for how to install and utilize 12,000 megawatts of local, distributed renewable energy by 2020.   

Climate Change

Since 2008, CLEE has conducted more than ten workshops and prepared ten white papers on subjects related to business strategies in the face of a changing climate, in collaboration with the environmental and climate centers at UCLA.  These papers identify promising policy and legal solutions to achieve better land use planning, more effective mass transit systems, and broader deployment of renewable power.  CLEE’s workshops connect leaders from business, government, nonprofits and academia in order to address pressing environmental and energy needs.

CLEE also provides legal expertise and policy advice concerning how public lands, and the myriad ecological resources associated with them, might best be managed in an era of climate change.

Water Quality and Supply

Fresh water is one of our most precious and increasingly scarce resources.  Growing demand for agricultural, industrial and domestic water uses, declining water quality, and aging infrastructure are among the mounting pressures on our global water supplies.

In 2012, CLEE launched the Wheeler Institute for Water Law & Policy in order to partner with scientists and engineers at UC Berkeley to study California and national water issues, and propose law, policy and scientific solutions to water challenges. The Institute draws upon the expertise of the academic, non-profit, government, and private sector communities to carry-out this important work. 

Sustainable Communities

CLEE's sustainable communities initiative addresses policy issues relating to land use and urban design and recommends changes and best practices at the local, state, and federal levels to encourage sustainable communities. CLEE is working with partners at UCLA and UC Davis to address amendments to the CEQA guidelines.  Another project within this initiative is the "City Streets Project," which analyzes how to make city streets more sustainable and pedestrian-friendly by using legal and policy tools.