Center for Law, Energy & the Environment


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


New Reports

A New Solar Landscape: Improving County-Level Landscape Planning for Utility-Scale Solar PV Facilities

Senate Bill 100 (de Leon, 2018) requires California’s major utilities to obtain 60 percent of their electric power from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent from carbon-free sources by 2045. California has met and exceeded its renewable energy targets to date, with over one-third of the utilities’ electricity coming from renewable sources.. 

CLEE’s new report, A New Solar Landscape, offers a suite of policy solutions for incentivizing and improving landscape-level planning to meet California’s solar development goals.


Upcoming Events

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In the News 

Amid charges of waste and mismanagement, calls for head of state high speed rail to step down
(11/30/18) Ethan Elkind on KPCC radio’s Airtalk

Talkies Interview On A New Solar Landscape and Solar/Renewable Energy Policy Issues
(11/20/18) Ted Lamm on KPFA

Good News on the Electric Vehicle Front
(10/29/18) Ethan Elkind writes in the Colorado Boulevard

Cities On Edge As High Court Weighs Kids’ Climate Suit
(10/26/18) Dan Farber quoted by Law 360

Courts: Kid’s Climate Trial Might be Dead. Here’s What it Means
(10/24/18) Holly Doremus quoted by Climatewire


November 2018

Priority Policy Solutions for California’s Next Governor

Climate change will exacerbate the droughts, floods, and wildfires that Californians already regularly experience, making them even more extreme and unpredictable. Gavin Newsom, California’s next governor, must prepare for these inevitable disasters while minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions of a society of nearly 40 million people.

CLEE, together with Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), has prepared three sets of actions Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom could take immediately to address wildfire; drought, flood, and drinking water safety and affordability; and the stubbornly high carbon pollution from our transportation systems.


November 2018

A New Solar Landscape: Improving County-Level Landscape Planning for Utility-Scale Solar PV Facilities

Senate Bill 100 (de Leon, 2018) requires California’s major utilities to obtain 60 percent of their electric power from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent from carbon-free sources by 2045. California has met and exceeded its renewable energy targets to date, with over one-third of the utilities’ electricity coming from renewable sources.. 

CLEE’s new report, A New Solar Landscape, offers a suite of policy solutions for incentivizing and improving landscape-level planning to meet California’s solar development goals.


October 2018

Implementing SB 743: An Analysis of Vehicle Miles Traveled Banking and Exchange Frameworks

California law requires developers of new projects, like apartment buildings, offices, and roads, to reduce the amount of overall traffic the projects generate. To facilitate compliance with this new requirement under Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg, 2013), some state and local leaders seek to create special “banks” or “exchanges” to allow developers to fund off-site projects that reduce driving miles, such as new bike lanes, transit, and busways. 

Our new report, Implementing SB 743, provides a comprehensive review of key considerations for local and regional agencies tasked with crafting these innovative mechanisms to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and overall emissions.   


September 2018

100% Zero: Solutions to Achieve Universal Zero-Emission Vehicle Adoption 

Some countries and states, including California, are contemplating or making plans for phase-outs or bans on the sale of new internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by a date certain. Such a phase-out would be critical to achieving long-term climate goals and improving public health.

In California, the state will eventually need full consumer adoption of zero-emission vehicles in order to achieve legislated long-term climate goals. To that end, Governor Brown set a goal of reaching five million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California’s roadways by 2030, including 250,000 public chargers by 2025, and as of mid-2018, Californians were driving over 400,000 electric vehicles.

100% Zero identifies key challenges and solutions to achieving a scenario in which 100 percent of new vehicle sales are zero-emission, based on a convening of expert stakeholders.


September 2018

Trial by Fire: Managing Climate Risks Facing Insurers in the Golden State

Climate change presents unprecedented risks to the insurance industry, from increased wildfires and storm events to potential litigation and economic transitions. The industry faces these dynamic challenges at the same time that insurance products are becoming more necessary but less available and affordable.

Our new report, Trial by Fire, documents the nature and extent of the risks faced by insurers and residents in California and offers a range of recommendations to protect the industry and the entire state in a changing climate.

 


August 2018

Addressing Institutional Vulnerabilities in California’s Drought Water Allocation

California droughts are likely to become more frequent, longer, and more intense in the future, posing increasing challenges for water management, and raising the stakes for effective drought response.  Past droughts have stress tested California’s water management institutions, revealing vulnerabilities that could impair effective adaptation to climate change. The State Water Resources Control Board (Board) is a key water decision maker whose actions affect how scarce water resources are allocated among different human and environmental uses during droughts. 

In a pair of reports published as part of California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, we examine how the Board has carried out its water rights responsibilities during past droughts and offer recommendations for improving the agency’s future drought response.


August 2018

When is Groundwater Recharge a Beneficial Use of Surface Water in California?

Any diversion and use of surface water in California requires a water right. Currently, there is uncertainty about whether—and, if so, under what circumstances—the State Water Resources Control Board will consider groundwater recharge to be a beneficial use of water. California law makes clear that the act of recharging groundwater, alone, is not a beneficial use of water. Instead, the specific

 


Recent Publications

 

CLIMATE & ENERGY

 

LAND USE

 

OCEANS