Eric Biber

Central Texas rancher challenges some habitat protections

Eric Biber quoted by Associated Press, Jan. 5, 2017

“My guess about what they are trying to do is to get the 5th Circuit to reject the case and then hope for the Supreme Court to review the case,” said Berkeley law professor Eric Biber. … “If that happens, assuming Trump appoints a conservative like (Antonin) Scalia to the Supreme Court, the swing vote is Justice (Anthony) Kennedy.”

Will California ever let Sierra Nevada forests burn?

Eric Biber blog post quoted by The New York Times, Dec. 4, 2016

“Our regulatory system creates incentives for land managers to avoid prescribed burns and to suppress all fires as quickly as possible, rather than allowing some wildfires to continue to burn in a managed way to reduce fuel loads. But preventing fire in the Western United States is a fool’s errand that in the long run will produce worse fires.”

Dead trees are fueling California wildfires, but what’s killing the trees?

Eric Biber quoted by KALW-FM, Sept. 6, 2016

“One of the concerns is that if people cut trees instead of letting the beetles kill the trees, in the long run that may actually interfere with the ability of these forests and these pine species to adapt to the future of climate change,” says U.C. Berkeley environmental law professor Eric Biber.

UC Berkeley law professors view future of landmark Chevron deference

Eric Biber and Daniel A. Farber quoted by Northern California Record, August 3, 2016

The so-called “Chevron deference … is the concept that if a statute in unclear or ambiguous, courts might defer to an agency’s interpretation of the law,” Eric Biber … told the Northern California Record. … “The argument for deferring to agencies is that they have more expertise than courts. Agencies will have economists and scientists, as well as lawyers and engineers on staff, and judges are just lawyers.”
Farber echoed the opinions of others at the conference when he said the court’s lack of reliance on Chevron deference in King proved its justices are “far more removed” from being accountable within a democratic system.

Supreme Court win for small fish leaves a big water fight

Eric Biber quoted in Daily Journal (registration required), January 13, 2015

“Upholding the agency’s decision is consistent with long standing Supreme Court precedent,” Biber said. “In some ways they were asking for a revolution and the Supreme Court didn’t take up that invitation.”

Calif. toxin law warns consumers, but can burden businesses

Eric Biber interviewed on NPR, January 5, 2014
Eric Biber … says no one realized how common carcinogens are. Today, the list of potentially toxic chemicals is so long that it’s confusing to businesses that are trying to comply with the law, and that’s only half the problem. “The law uses a citizen-suit provision in which anyone can sue a company for violating the law,” Biber says. “The problem is it does create an incentive for more and more people to sue.”

Citizens are better at picking endangered species

Eric Biber quoted in, August 16, 2012

“There are some 100,000 species of plants and animals in North America, and asking one federal agency to stay on top of that is tough,” Biber says. “If there were restrictions on the number of citizen-initiated petitions being reviewed, the government would lose a whole universe of people providing high-quality information about species at risk, and it is likely that many species would be left unprotected.”

Eric Biber Offers Environmentalists an Election-Year Strategy

Defense Environmental Alert, January 4, 2012 by Curt Barry (registration required)

While Biber doubts whether the initiative’s proposal will get the requisite signatures to make it onto the ballot, he says that environmental groups might want to use it as a rallying call to “get out the vote for the election (and perhaps push for success on other initiatives they might have for the ballot that they care about, too).”

Eric Biber Warns of Weakened Environmental Quality Act

Greenwire, September 13, 2011 by Lawrence Hurley

“I very much am concerned that CEQA will be increasingly watered down,” Biber said. “I think we’ve already seen a pattern of this happening.” His biggest concern is that the argument for easing environmental review for proposals that create jobs and are environmentally friendly could lead to confusion and conflict over what kind of projects are worthy.