Holly Doremus

$650 million vote set on Delta tunnels project: Are taxpayers protected?

Holly Doremus quoted by The Mercury News, May 7, 2018

“If I were a board member, at this point I would not be ready to vote,” said Holly Doremus. … “There are too many uncertainties.” Chief among them, she said, is whether the district, which is based in San Jose and provides water to 2 million Santa Clara County residents, can leave the partnership without being on the hook for the entire $650 million.

Could the Feds bigfoot California over water?

Holly Doremus quoted by California Magazine, March 13, 2018

“Since the 19th Century, water law historically has been left to the states—the federal government typically has been deferential, and that includes the rights of western states to appropriate water, even from federal land.”

Decision to spare Florida from offshore drilling could help California

Eric Biber and Holly Doremus quoted by San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 10, 2018

Biber: “If a state doesn’t want something happening, even on federal lands within their borders, they can make it really hard for the federal government to effectively do it,” he said. “I would be surprised in eight years if any of this is leased in California.”

Doremus: “It is clearly not within the secretary of interior’s authority to reward the administration’s political friends with a continued moratorium while punishing its political enemies with (oil) leasing,” she said.

Trump proposed a massive expansion of offshore drilling—what can states do?

Holly Doremus and Jordan Diamond quoted by Ars Technica, Jan. 6, 2018

Doremus added that there’s another way states can make trouble for the federal government: by denying permits for onshore support equipment. “It’s tough to have an offshore oil production facility without some onshore support activities. … States control whether and where those can be built within state boundaries…”

Jordan Diamond … told Ars, “we are proposing opening up vastly increased offshore areas to oil production, many of which are in ecologically extremely sensitive areas, while we remove safety regulations and operate under an outdated restoration framework.”

‘These fish are in a bad way.’ How many more will die because of the Delta tunnels?

Holly Doremus quoted by The Sacramento Bee, May 7, 2017

“It’s obvious there will be adverse effects from this project,” said Holly Doremus, a professor of environmental law at UC Berkeley and an expert on the Endangered Species Act. “These fish are in a bad way. There’s a desire to have higher reliability for high volumes of water delivery. That isn’t compatible with certainty that the fish will be in better shape.”

The SF Bay-Delta is invaluable. What will happen to it under Trump?

Holly Doremus quoted by California Magazine, March 14, 2017

“It’s clear the administration is no fan of the EPA and its mission, and it seems highly likely that the EPA budget will be cut severely. It’s also likely that under Trump, the EPA won’t be pushing states to do what they don’t want to do. We think of California as a progressive state, but that’s not completely the case when it comes to water. The San Joaquin Valley farmers are powerful, and they want the water. Senator Feinstein wants to give them that water, and it seems likely she’ll be able to deliver more to them.”

Barriers abound to Trump’s border wall

Holly Doremus, Daniel Farber, and Bill Falik quoted by California Magazine, Feb. 6, 2017

Doremus: “There’s not a lot of existing border fencing in Texas, so the wall would have to pass through a lot of private land where barriers haven’t been much of an issue until now,” she says. “And certainly, eminent domain seizures are not popular with Republicans in general and Texas Republicans in particular.”

Farber: “The wall would cost a lot, and its benefits are unclear, but the Secure Fence Act does give the administration pretty broad powers to dispense with legal requirements such as NEPA. I’d love to see it stopped, but it may be difficult.”

Falik: “It’s really expensive,” observes Bill Falik, a lecturer at Berkeley Law and a real estate developer, “and I’m not completely sure at this point that a Republican congress is going to be anxious to go along with that.” Nor is Falik convinced that federal statutes such as the Endangered Species Act and NEPA would suddenly turn the project into smoldering rubble; rather, they might inflict the death of a thousand torts.