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

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 law applicable to these residential development projects.

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


From the Blog


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


November 2017

AB 1755 and Beyond: Open and Transparent Water Data for California

In collaboration with our partners at UC Water and Lawrence Berkeley Lab, we convened our capstone workshop on the implementation of AB-1755, California’s Open and Transparent Water Data Act. Attendees from more than 60 organizations representing government, industry, water districts, universities, national laboratories, and the state legislature gathered to provide input on the creation of a statewide platform for integrated water data. Our report stemming from this workshop series will be released early in 2018.

Photos from this event are available here