In the News

Eric Biber in the news:

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.

Eric Biber and Holly Doremus Think Obama’s Reform of MMS Falls Short

Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2010 by Eric Biber and Holly Doremus,0,4734813.story

What’s needed is a wholesale shift in the agency’s culture. Culture change is not as simple as creating a new agency. But it can be accomplished, with determined leadership and sustained outside oversight.

Eric Biber and 2L Tam Ma Say Federal Law Will Boost Loan Assistance Program

National Law Journal, June 22, 2009 by Karen Sloan

Officials and students at Berkeley’s law school spent the past academic year adjusting the school’s assistance program in light of the new federal law, said Eric Biber, an assistant professor and member of the financial aid committee. The school can afford to be more generous with its own money because of the infusion of federal assistance…. “Our goal was to provide better coverage for our students in a way we could sustain in the long term,” Biber said.

“I don’t know that the information has really trickled out to students,” Ma said. “The students who are really interested in it are going out and doing their own research.”

Eric Biber Wants Obama to Restore Endangered Species Act Protections

San Francisco Chronicle, April 15, 2009 by Eric Biber

Unfortunately, the Bush administration undermined the consultation process by introducing loopholes in the implementing regulations. These loopholes potentially exempt a wide range of development projects from consultation…. Congress has given the Obama administration authority to undo these regulatory changes. The Obama administration should use its authority to restore the role of high-quality information in endangered species protection.

Eric Biber Criticizes Administration’s Fast Review of Endangered Species Act Comments

Associated Press, Oct. 21, 2008 by Dina Cappiello

“It would seem very difficult for them in four days to respond to so many thoughtful comments in an effective way,” said Eric Biber…. Along with other law professors across the country, Biber sent in 70 pages of comment.”

Eric Biber Criticizes Administration’s Plan to Weaken Endangered Species Act

The Miami Herald, Oct. 14, by Renee Schoof

“The rules are overbroad, rushed and possibly illegal,” Biber said. “Given the timing of the proposed changes, it’s clearly an effort by the administration to weaken the regulations before President Bush leaves office.”

Eric Biber Clarifies Courts’ Position on Trespass Laws

Press Democrat, August 21, by Nathan Halverson

Eric Biber … said California courts can be quick to enforce trespass laws. “The court system is often very protective of people’s rights to keep people off their land,” Biber said. “It may be hard for (Google) to avoid liability.”