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Author: Tony Francois

December 14, 2012

Famines and other "radical overhauls"

Why do some organizations profess to care so much about food, and decide that the problem is technologies that produce more food, instead of the corrupt governments that oppress hungry citizens?  Perhaps the question answers itself: they care more about preventing success, even success in feeding the hungry, than they care about feeding the hungry ...

December 21, 2012

CEQA: More precious than the Constitution?

We previously reported on the decision from California's Fifth Appellate District in the case of Tuolumne Jobs, holding that CEQA applies to local voter initiatives under certain circumstances.  Earlier this month, the real parties in interest in the case, James Grinnell, Wal-Mart Stores, and the City of Sonora, filed petitions for review in the ...

December 27, 2012

Siskiyou County farmers win the day in court against California Department of Fish and Game effort to regulate their water rights

Farmers in the Scott and Shasta Valleys of California's Siskiyou County got an early gift on Christmas Eve, when the Siskiyou County Superior Court handed down a favorable ruling in their legal battle with the California Department of Fish and Game over whether the Department can issue permits to regulate water rights in California.  The ...

December 28, 2012

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces departure

In the wake of rumors that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar may resign from the cabinet, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson yesterday formally announced her departure.  Cabinet officials frequently rotate out of government as an administration transitions to a second term, so Jackson has not surprised anyone by leaving.  She has not announced a depa ...

January 03, 2013

CEQA versus the Constitution – round two

We have previously reported on the Tuolumne Jobs case, an important appellate decision expanding CEQA and diminishing California voters' constitutional right of initiative.  The Tuolumne Jobs decision broke with precedent and held that a city counsel was required to prepare an environmental impact report under CEQA before it could adopt an ordinan ...

January 08, 2013

Rivers are rivers

and the water in them is water.  While these tautologies rest on the identity principle, words are not always what they seem when the EPA and the NRDC get hold of them. Two recent federal court decisions on the scope of the Clean Water Act provide useful examples of the principle that words in statutes have ...

January 16, 2013

Interior Secretary Salazar to depart

In December, a large coalition of environmental and other groups wrote to President Obama and urged him to replace Interior Secretary Salazar with Congressman Raul Gijalva (D – Arizona).  At the time, Salazar had not indicated a desire to depart the administration.  Since then, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has announced her departure, an ...

January 22, 2013

Is radical environmentalism misanthropic?

My colleague Damien Schiff recently posted on the question of whether, and the degree to which, the environmental movement has migrated from an anthropocentric to a non-anthropocentric framework. Today I offer the view that there is a strain of contemporary environmental activism that is clearly misanthropic.  Such activists consider humanity to b ...

January 25, 2013

Central coast forest association petitions the California Supreme Court

In December, the California Court of Appeal ruled, in Central Coast Forest Assoc. v. California Fish & Game Comm., that one may not petition the California Fish and Game Commission to de-list a species, under the California Endangered Species Act, on the basis that the species was not eligible for listing in the first instance.  ...

January 29, 2013

School Choice Week 2013: Enabling the choice to home school

Last week my colleague Joshua Thompson posted on New Hampshire's recently enacted school choice law, passed by the legislature over the governor's veto.  Using the constitutionally validated means of providing tax credits for donations to school tuition organizations, Section 77-G:2 I(a) of the law allows tuition organizations to provide scholarsh ...