Center for Law, Energy & the Environment

The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) channels the expertise of the Berkeley Law community into pragmatic, creative policy solutions to critical environmental and energy challenges.

New Report

Creating a Sustainable Freight System for California’s Future

California’s freight system is responsible for 1/3 of statewide jobs, as well as a major source of both greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution in the state. 

Our new report, Delivering the Goods,  identifies an expansive group of new freight transportation technologies and infrastructure developments and the policy innovations needed to make them reality. The report provides a comprehensive view of the economic and environmental future of California’s freight system as the state drives it toward sustainability.

Upcoming Events

May 10

E&E Certificates Ceremony

Thursday, May 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm


In the News

March 2018

Navigating Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions under SGMA

Our new report examines the legal and institutional questions that will inevitably arise as newly formed groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) seek to address groundwater-surface water interactions under SGMA. The core goal of this report is to help parties identify and address these new questions, and ultimately allow GSAs and stakeholders  to manage groundwater-surface water interactions proactively and effectively.

February 2018

Getting it Right: Examining the Local Land Use Entitlement Process in California

California’s housing affordability crisis has rightly received a great deal of attention. To help understand whether CEQA or local land-use law constrain housing development, we collected data on all residential development projects (of more than five units) over a three-year period in five Bay Area cities. Our new report analyzes the applicable law.

Also see our op-ed on CEQA and local land-use law in City Watch LA

February 2018

Fifty States, Fifty Energy Policies

The federal government gets all the headlines, but state governments control much of energy policy. They control local utilities and set policies on renewable energy. But because so many jurisdictions are involved, it’s hard to get an overall picture of what’s really happening. Our report includes material from a series of Legal Planet posts and a good deal of additional information. There’s also an interactive map on the webpage, which you can click to find out what’s happening in a specific state or region.

February 2018

2018 Snapshot: Reviewing the Year and Looking Ahead

In 2017, we continued to support business efforts to help meet our clean energy goals, analyzed the implications of groundwater trading, and examined how international linkages can address the climate change impacts on our oceans. We also began an an initiative focused on the intersection of AI and environmental governance, and welcomed a Senior Visiting Fellow to examine how fossil fuel dependent states can better plan for long-term sustainability.

Read more about our work in 2017 and our plans for the future in our 2018 Snapshot

January 2018

Data for Water Decision Making: Informing the Implementation of California’s Open and Transparent Water Data Act through Research and Engagement

A lack of data and information has limited our ability to understand, let alone better manage, all aspects of our water resources. Our new report supports California’s efforts to develop modern water data systems, arguing that simply providing more data is not enough, and that generating useful and useable information hinges on the development of data systems that begin with the needs of the end user. The report describes lessons learned from a process of stakeholder engagement focused on defining and clarifying uses of water data.

Also see our op-ed on water data in The Sacramento Bee

January 2018

farber_danielDan Farber and Kirsten Engel Comment on the Clean Power Plan Rollback

In a new comment on the proposed EPA ruelmamaking to rescind the Clean Power Plan, Professors Dan Farber and Kirsten Engel (Arizona University and Arizona House of Representatives) argue that Obama’s Clean Power Plan does not mandate that polluting utilities get replacement power outside the fenceline. Instead, they argue that what the Clean Power Plan mandates, and what is important for cutting carbon, is that the utility make less use of coal-fired plants — a decision that takes place entirely within the fenceline.

Also see our Legal Planet blog post, The Off-Switch is Inside the Fenceline, summarizing this argument