January 2019
Accelerating Change
Welcoming Governor Newsom with Key Policy Recommendations 

Today California inaugurates a new governor who will face a series of environmental challenges during his term in office. Governor Newsom's tenure will likely include steadily worsening wildfire seasons, the threat of long-term drought, and the ongoing need to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from the transportation and housing sectors. 

Before the November election, CLEE teamed with Resources Legacy Fund to prepar e  three sets of actions California's next governor could take immediately to address these looming crises. The recommendations are based on convenings that CLEE and RLF held with expert stakeholders, co-moderated by CLEE and Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg. Among the detailed actions the panels identified:
  • Convene a Governor's Water Coordinating Council to guide cross-agency actions on water supply and quality, including dedicating a volume of water to the environment to be managed for ecosystem recovery and developing a major new financing package to address near- and long-term needs.  
  • Support legislation for statewide "up-zoning" of small-scale commercial zones in transit or infill areas to mixed-use zones, to promote increased density and use of public transit as a means to increase housing supply and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Appoint a leader in the Governor's Office with a singular wildfire focus, including a mandate to develop and implement state incentives for local governments to limit new development in high-risk areas and to treat a set amount of wildland acres per year to reduce catastrophic wildfire risks.
The recommendations offer a roadmap of near-term efforts Governor Newsom can undertake immediately to realize long-term environmental benefits for all Californians while improving the state's ability to mitigate crises. 

Access the recommendations here or contact Ethan Elkind or Ted Lamm for more information.

News Mentions 
December 5, 2018 in CALmatters

Wildland Development Escalates California Fire Costs - December 18, 2018 in KQED.  The same story is also available in the SF Gate- published on 
December 17, 2018.


We are expanding our team! CLEE is hiring an Ocean Law & Policy Fellow to work in our Oceans Program. The fellow will conduct research on ocean law and policy, draft white papers and reports, and assist with convenings and workshops. This is a full-time, one-year contract position, with the possibility of renewal. Please apply before the January 9th deadline.

For more information and to apply, please find the job posting  

Sustainable Transportation

Freight is responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs in California and feeds commerce and agriculture throughout the state and the entire nation. But the vast system that 
moves  goods throughout California is responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollutants. A range of strategies and technologies, from electrified heavy-duty trucks to increased use  of rail at ports, can modernize the system and reduce emissions - but they can be challenging to implement in the current legal and policy context.   

CLEE's new report,  Streamlining Sustainability , prepared in coordination with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, offers a set of policy recommendations to accelerate adoption of these strategies and technologies, including:
  • Convening sustainable freight "red teams" to conduct holistic analysis and clear local and state-level permitting roadblocks for high-priority infrastructure projects;
  • Facilitating "tiered" review under the California Environmental Quality Act to comprehensively assess impacts and benefits of related freight projects; and
  • Increasing the use of community benefit agreements and project labor agreements to earn the support of local communities and labor groups most likely to be affected by new projects or technological developments.
Access the report here or contact Ethan Elkind or Ted Lamm for more information.

Join us for...
Ground-Truthing Injustice: A Symposium

SEEJ, CLEE, and the Henderson Center invite you to SEEJ's spring symposium, "Ground-Truthing Injustice ." The event  will amplify the voices of communities experiencing environmental injustice by highlighting the truths of how specific communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and policies. It will bring together community members, EJ advocates, and lawyers in non-profit, governmental, and for-profit practices through a day-long symposium at Berkeley Law.

When: February 8. 2019 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. 
Where: Booth Auditorium, Berkeley Law School 
Tickets: To attend, please RSVP here. Tickets are donation-based. Donations can be made to  CLEE's gift fund  with subject line "SEEJ Symposium." 

Faculty & Staff
In the News

Eric Biber explores the possibilities of a Green New Deal and the potential for long-term benefits. Read his Legal Planet post here.  

Ethan Elkind joins State Senator Scott Wiener to discuss Senate Bill 50, which aims to alleviate California's housing crisis. Watch the full interview on KQED News

Holly Doremus offers her thoughts on whether the newly elected Democratic House could mean changes for California water policy. Read the full Los Angeles Times article here

Dear Friends, 

We're delighted to share the news that we surpassed our end-of-year matching challenge goal of $5,000 - your generosity helped us raise more than $17,000 in online donations. These funds will support our work bringing clear, incisive insights to policymakers. They will also help us continue providing the best possible training to tomorrow's environmental and energy leaders at Berkeley Law, home to the top public environmental law program in the country. 

Thanks so much to those of you who participated in this campaign. If you didn't, and you'd like to support CLEE, we'd be delighted for your gift today!