Environment, Land & Resources

California Air Resources Board Releases Draft Scoping Plan Update

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, California

The Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update takes an all-of-the-above approach to decarbonize California.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Brian McCall

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Originally, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 required CARB to develop a scoping plan, to be updated every five years, that describes the approach California will take to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Subsequently, Senate Bill 32 strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and former Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-55-18 established a second statewide goal to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045. Recognizing the need to achieve GHG emissions reductions more quickly, in July 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom directed CARB to accelerate efforts to achieve the state’s climate stabilization and GHG reduction goals, including to “identify a pathway for achieving carbon neutrality a full decade earlier than the existing target of 2045.” The Draft Scoping Plan Update identifies CARB’s proposed path for how California can reach both its interim goal of reducing GHGs by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and its ultimate goal of carbon neutrality by 2045 along with pathways that would achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Continue Reading

Webcast: 2021 CEQA Year in Review — CEQA’s Effects on Development in California

Posted in California, CEQA

We analyze the key CEQA cases from 2021 and their effects on development in California this year and beyond.

By Marc Campopiano, Jennifer Roy, Winston Stromberg, Daniel Brunton, and Natalie Rogers

Every year, we publish a comprehensive summary of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) judicial opinions and provide analysis of the key trends affecting development in California.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Court of Appeal issued 52 published and unpublished CEQA opinions last year, which we review in the forthcoming “CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development.”

We recently previewed the CEQA Case Report and highlighted the key CEQA cases and trends from 2021 in an in-depth webcast.

Watch a recording of 2021 CEQA Year in Review, and please contact us with any questions you might have about these developments.

White House Announces New Initiatives and Guidance on Clean Energy Transition

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, Environmental Regulation

CCUS and clean hydrogen will play a significant role in the Administration’s efforts to address hard-to-decarbonize industries to promote clean US manufacturing.

By Janice Schneider, Nikki Buffa, and Kevin Homrighausen

On February 15, 2022, the White House announced important actions in furtherance of the Biden Administration’s broader decarbonization goals — this time with an eye toward clean domestic manufacturing. Framing the rollout, the White House released a fact sheet highlighting the Administration’s efforts for a “Cleaner Industrial Sector to Reduce Emissions and Reinvigorate American Manufacturing,” including “Buy Clean,” hydrogen, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) announcements.

These efforts include kicking off multibillion-dollar hydrogen funding opportunities provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) and new draft guidance from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) titled Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration Guidance to assist federal agencies with the regulation and permitting of CCUS projects.

As more companies jockey for position and federal funding on both clean hydrogen and CCUS, the announcements are timed to provide critical guidance on these emerging areas of opportunity. Continue Reading