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Month: March 2014

March 31, 2014

California agency proposes continuation of mining ban

Since 2009, California has forbidden the use of suction dredge mining equipment until the agency in charge of regulating this mining — the Department of Fish and Wildlife — develops regulations to mitigate any adverse environmental effects. However, the Department doesn’t think this is possible and this temporary moratorium has be ...

March 31, 2014

PLF client gets friend of the court support from National Homebuilders in affordable housing case

PLF recently filed its opening brief and reply brief in the California Supreme Court on behalf of the California Building Industry Association, which is challenging the constitutionality of the City of San Jose’s regime of affordable housing exactions. An affordable housing exaction is a demand that a local government imposes on home builder ...

March 31, 2014

ESA legislation on the move

Congress has been busy over the last few weeks.  In the House of Representatives, the Committee on Natural Resources announced four new bills summarized here that seek to increase transparency in endangered species decision making and to reduce attorney fee awards in citizen suits.  Also, a new bill was introduced in the Senate which is ...

March 28, 2014

President's weekly report — March 28, 2014

Endangered Species Act — Saving Lolita  PLF filed this comment letter on the attempt by some radical greens to exploit Lolita, or at least to evict this Killer Whale from Miami’s Seaquarium , where she has been thriving for thirty years.  Her release into the wild could wellmean that her survival would be in doubt.  As our blog ...

March 28, 2014

New PLF lawsuit challenges illegal local tax

On Tuesday, Pacific Legal Foundation filed suit, on behalf of the Building Industry Association – Bay Area, to challenge the City of San Ramon’s new community facilities district tax.  The lawsuit argues that the tax, which will be paid by new City residents to pay for existing standard municipal services, violates several provisions o ...

March 27, 2014

More on the smelt and the drought

Earlier this week I appeared on The Blaze Network to discuss the impacts of environmental regulations on California’s San Joaquin Valley in this year of extreme drought.  You can view some of my comments here. ...

March 27, 2014

Obamacare and Origination

Today’s Cato Daily Podcast features my conversation with Caleb Brown about PLF’s challenge to Obamacare, which will be heard by the D.C. Circuit May 8. ...

March 26, 2014

PLF prompts Fish and Wildlife Service to downlist arroyo toad

Tomorrow the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will announce that it intends to reclassify the Arroyo Toad from endangered down to threatened, since the factors that originally led to listing this amphibian under the Endangered Species Act have abated to the degree that it is no longer in danger of extinction.  Similar to recent ...

March 26, 2014

PLF files comment on regulation of privately-owned animals under the ESA

This week, PLF filed a comment on a USFWS proposal to remove an exemption for captive orcas from regulation under the ESA. You may recall that this began with a PETA petition to list Lolita, an orca who entertains at Miami’s Seaquarium. The Service decided that the petition demonstrated that Lolita should be regulated under the ...

March 26, 2014

The EPA Adminstrator is a prankster

Yesterday, Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, published an op-ed stating that new proposed regulations would clarify which waters are regulated under the Clean Water Act without expanding the scope of the Act.  But this has to be a jest.  No one could be so ignorant of her own regulations. According to a ...