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New report from UCLA and UC Berkeley environmental law centers suggests economic and environmental opportunities from high speed rail collaboration


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California hopes to begin construction of a proposed high speed rail system in the San Joaquin Valley in 2013, which will ultimately connect to Los Angeles and San Francisco. While offering an exciting transportation solution, this system also poses a threat of unchecked development in the Valley, with potential environmental impacts. A report released Tuesday by UCLA School of Law’s Environmental Law Center & Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment and the UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment discusses these issues.

The new report outlines ways policymakers, industry leaders and other stakeholders can ensure that high speed rail is successfully implemented in the Valley. The paper also identifies ways for California to optimize growth patterns around the high speed rail system.

The paper is authored by Ethan Elkind, Climate Policy Associate appointed jointly at UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA School of Law, with contributions from Sean Hecht and Cara Horowitz at UCLA School of Law and Steven Weissman at UC Berkeley School of Law. It is the eleventh paper in our California Climate Change and Business Research Initiative, sponsored by Bank of America, which examines how climate change will create opportunities for specific sectors of the business community, and how policymakers can facilitate those opportunities.

The report’s findings and recommendations were summarized in an article published Tuesday in the Fresno Bee.