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DROUGHT:

Takings arguments bubble up as Calif. cuts water rights

In drought-stricken California, lawyers are asking a simple question with a complicated answer: Can the state take away water rights? At issue is the U.S. Constitution's 5th Amendment, which says no property shall be taken without just compensation. If California gets more aggressive in requiring irrigation districts -- and particularly so-called senior rights holders, whose claim to divert and use water dates back more than a century -- to curtail water use, some property rights lawyers think they can sue the state.

REGULATION:

Timing is the element most likely to change in EPA's final Clean Power Plan

In countless meetings on the Clean Power Plan with states and energy companies, the most common plea to U.S. EPA has been for more time. More time to work on plans, more time to allow coal plants to retire and more time to move toward final goals. It's an easy concession for EPA -- one that could go a long way toward ensuring flexibility under the rule without undercutting climate goals, knowledgeable observers say.

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