California Attorney General Jerry Brown has settled a CEQA/global warming lawsuit against San Bernardino County (settlement here).
The heart of the settlement is here:
A target for the reduction of those sources of emissions reasonably attributable to the County’s discretionary land use decisions and the County’s internal government operations, and feasible Greenhouse Gas emission reduction measures whose purpose shall be to meet this reduction target by regulating those sources of Greenhouse Gases emissions reasonably attributable to the County’s discretionary land use decisions and the County’s internal government operations.(Page 3.)
Basically, the settlement ducks the issue of whether the emissions are significant (what the county wanted to avoid) in return for promising "feasible" reductions (what the California AG wanted to get). A lawsuit by environmental groups is still in place though, so this may not be the final word. Of course, what constitutes "feasible" will determine whether this is at all a meaningful victory, and may require still more litigation.
Warming Law also notes a separate statement in the newspaper, "In a compromise Tuesday, lawmakers agreed that by 2010, new rules would be adopted spelling out how to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions of projects covered by the law." It's unclear what this means, but probably is a promise by the AG's office to issue new regulations under CEQA Guidelines. These regulations can interpret but cannot weaken the underlying CEQA statute. If it's proposed legislation though, then anything is possible, good or bad.
The second development is a federal appellate court case saying Air Management Districts can order local governments to purchase clean fuel vehicles.
Trivia note: I did a tiny amount of work on this case on behalf the air district, six years ago. These cases can take a long time....
(From CGF Journal.)