It didn’t get much attention, but Justice Thomas’s dissent two weeks ago in the Amtrak case was extraordinarily radical, even for him. The case involved a relatively obscure issue about the legal status of Amtrak. Justice Thomas used the occasion for a frontal attack on administrative law, including most of … More >
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has an unusual way of doing business. Most state and federal regulatory agencies prohibit private, closed-door discussions with interested parties about contested matters (ex parte communications). Even though it makes decisions affecting the welfare of Californians and the disposition of billions of dollars, the … More >
For environmental and economic reasons, we want jobs and people to move back to our cities. People living in cities pollute less because they don’t drive as much and tend to live in smaller homes. Economically, they can save a lot of money on transportation and energy costs, while thriving … More >
As prior blog posts and reports have detailed, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has been occurring onshore in California for decades, yet without full disclosure to the public or state regulatory agencies. Recently, new reports of offshore fracking in both California and federal waters have surfaced, showing that fracking has also been underway off the coast … More >
While much of the U.S. has been dealing with severe winter weather, California is experiencing a record dry spell. The clear skies have also brought some cold nights and, with them, wood smoke.
What I’ve noticed in my neighborhood is that the desire for a cozy wood fire cuts across political … More >
The short answer is a resounding No. Some domestic initiatives obviously do require Congressional approval because they are clearly outside the authority conferred by existing law. But Congress has given the executive branch broad discretion to regulate in many areas, and the executive branch can use that authority for major policy … More >
Food safety is something of a step-child of U.S. regulation. The public obviously cares about it, but it lacks the kind of attention from advocacy groups that the environment gets. The results have not been pretty.
Food safety is divided between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States … More >
We keep hearing the phrase “job-killing regulations” from the Republican side of the aisle, with environmental regulations generally at the top of their lists. Yet there has never been much evidence for the claim that government regulation is systematically bad for employment or the economy. To … More >