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Geological Storage Of Co2 In Sub-Seafloor Basalt: The Carbonsafe Pre-Feasibility Study Offshore Washington State And British Columbia, David Goldberg, Lara Aston, Alain Bonneville, Inci Demirkanli, Curtis Evans, Andrew Fisher, Helena Garcia, Michael B. Gerrard, Martin Heesemann, Ken Hnottavange-Telleen, Emily Hsu, Cristina Malinverno, Kate Moran, Ah-Hyung Alissa Park, Martin Scherwath, Angela Slagle, Martin Stute, Tess Weathers, Romany M. Webb, Mark White, Signe White, Carbonsafe Cascadia Project Team Jan 2019

Geological Storage Of Co2 In Sub-Seafloor Basalt: The Carbonsafe Pre-Feasibility Study Offshore Washington State And British Columbia, David Goldberg, Lara Aston, Alain Bonneville, Inci Demirkanli, Curtis Evans, Andrew Fisher, Helena Garcia, Michael B. Gerrard, Martin Heesemann, Ken Hnottavange-Telleen, Emily Hsu, Cristina Malinverno, Kate Moran, Ah-Hyung Alissa Park, Martin Scherwath, Angela Slagle, Martin Stute, Tess Weathers, Romany M. Webb, Mark White, Signe White, Carbonsafe Cascadia Project Team

Faculty Scholarship

The CarbonSAFE Cascadia project team is conducting a pre-feasibility study to evaluate technical and nontechnical aspects of collecting and storing 50 MMT of CO2 in a safe, ocean basalt reservoir offshore from Washington State and British Columbia. Sub-seafloor basalts are very common on Earth and enable CO2 mineralization as a long-term storage mechanism, permanently sequestering the carbon in solid rock form. Our project goals include the evaluation of this reservoir as an industrial-scale CO2 storage complex, developing potential source/transport scenarios, conducting laboratory and modeling studies to determine the potential capacity of the reservoir, and completing an ...


Legal Pathways To Deep Decarbonization In The United States, Michael B. Gerrard, John C. Dernbach Jan 2019

Legal Pathways To Deep Decarbonization In The United States, Michael B. Gerrard, John C. Dernbach

Faculty Scholarship

Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States provides a “legal playbook” for deep decarbonization in the United States, identifying well over 1,000 legal options for enabling the United States to address one of the greatest problems facing this country and the rest of humanity.

The book is based on two reports by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) that explain technical and policy pathways for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. This 80x50 target and similarly aggressive carbon abatement goals are often referred to as deep decarbonization, distinguished ...


Heat Waves: Legal Adaptation To The Most Lethal Climate Disaster (So Far), Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2019

Heat Waves: Legal Adaptation To The Most Lethal Climate Disaster (So Far), Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Globally, the ten warmest years on record have all been since 1998, with the four warmest years occurring since 2014. In the contiguous United States, average annual temperatures are about 1.8°F higher than they were over the period from 1895-2016. This is expected to increase by about 2.5°F before mid-century, regardless of what happens to greenhouse gas levels. If, at the end of this century, greenhouse gas emissions are at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s high scenario (termed “RCP 8.5”), average U.S. temperatures could go up by as much as 11.9 ...


Overcoming Impediments To Offshore Carbon Dioxide Storage: Legal Issues In The U.S. And Canada, Romany M. Webb, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2019

Overcoming Impediments To Offshore Carbon Dioxide Storage: Legal Issues In The U.S. And Canada, Romany M. Webb, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Limiting future temperature increases and associated climate change requires immediate action to prevent additional carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and lower the existing atmospheric carbon dioxide load. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to remain within the 2oC temperature threshold set in the Paris Agreement, emissions must be reduced to “net zero” by mid-century or shortly thereafter and then go “net negative.” This goal could be advanced through carbon capture and storage (CCS), which involves collecting carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released by power plants or similar facilities and injecting it into underground geologic formations ...


Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Agreement, Michael Gerrard Jan 2018

Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Agreement, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

At least 21 million people globally are victims of human trafficking, typically involving either sexual exploitation or forced labor. This form of modern-day slavery tends to increase after natural disasters or conflicts where large numbers of people are displaced from their homes and become highly vulnerable. In the decades to come, climate change will very likely lead to a large increase in the number of people who are displaced and thus vulnerable to trafficking. The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 established objectives to limit global temperature increases, but the voluntary pledges made by nearly every country fall far short of ...


Our Regionalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2017

Our Regionalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This article provides an account of Our Regionalism to supplement the many accounts of Our Federalism. After describing the legal forms regions assume in the United States — through interstate cooperation, organization of federal administrative agencies, and hybrid state-federal efforts — it explores how regions have shaped American governance across the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In the years leading up to the New Deal, commentators invoked regions to resist centralization, arguing that state coordination could forestall expansion of the federal government. But regions were soon deployed to a different end, as the federal government relied on regional administration to develop its ...


Policy Readiness For Offshore Carbon Dioxide Storage In The Northeast, Romany Webb, Michael Gerrard Jan 2017

Policy Readiness For Offshore Carbon Dioxide Storage In The Northeast, Romany Webb, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is vital to mitigate climate change. To date reduction efforts have primarily focused on minimizing the production of carbon dioxide during electricity generation, transport, and other activities. Going forward, to the extent that carbon dioxide continues to be produced, it will need to be captured before release. The captured carbon dioxide can then be utilized in some fashion, or it can be injected into underground geological formations – e.g., depleted oil and gas reserves, deep saline aquifers, or basalt rock reservoirs – where, it is hoped, it will remain permanently sequestered (“carbon ...


Legal Pathways For A Massive Increase In Utility-Scale Renewable Generation Capacity, Michael Gerrard Jan 2017

Legal Pathways For A Massive Increase In Utility-Scale Renewable Generation Capacity, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Decarbonizing the U.S. energy system will require a program of building onshore wind, offshore wind, utility-scale solar, and associated transmission that will exceed what has been done before in the United States by many times, every year out to 2050. These facilities, together with rooftop photovoltaics and other distributed generation, are required to replace most fossil fuel generation and to help furnish the added electricity that will be needed as many uses currently employing fossil fuels (especially passenger transportation and space and water heating) are electrified. This Article, excerpted from Michael B. Gerrard & John Dernbach, eds., Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (ELI Press forthcoming 2018), discusses the four most important legal processes and obstacles involved in this enormous project: site acquisition and approval; the National Environmental Policy Act; state ...


Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Climate Agreement, Michael Gerrard Jan 2016

Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Climate Agreement, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Climate change is a major contributor to migration and displacement. Persistent drought forced as many as 1.5 million Syrian farmers to move to overcrowded cities, contributing to social turmoil and ultimately a civil war that drove hundreds of thousands of people to attempt to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. Drought also worsened refugee crises in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and other parts of the continent. Climate change can cause displacement in multiple ways. No reliable estimates exist of the number of people who will be displaced partly or wholly by climate change, due to uncertainties concerning the ...


Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael Gerrard, Jayni Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes Jan 2016

Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael Gerrard, Jayni Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes

Faculty Scholarship

Under President Barack Obama the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated a series of greenhouse gas emissions regulations, initiating the necessary national response to climate change. However, the United States will need to find other ways to reduce GHG emissions if it is to live up to its international emissions reduction pledges, and to ultimately lead the way to a zero-carbon energy future. This paper argues that the success of the recent climate negotiations in Paris provides a strong basis for invoking a powerful tool available to help achieve the country’s climate change goals: Section 115 of the ...


Legal & Scientific Integrity In Advancing A "Land Degradation Neutral World", Shelley Welton, Michaela Biasutti, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2015

Legal & Scientific Integrity In Advancing A "Land Degradation Neutral World", Shelley Welton, Michaela Biasutti, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

It is no secret that the fight against desertification isn't going well. In the two decades since the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification ("UNCCD") came into force, desertification – defined as degradation in the quality of "arid, semi-arid, and dry subhumid" land areas – has worsened considerably. Recent United Nations estimates suggest that fifty-two percent of drylands currently under agricultural cultivation are moderately or severely degraded, and 12 million hectares of productive land become barren each year due to desertification and drought. And while drylands are the focus of the UNCCD, the challenge isn't limited to them: somewhere around ...


Review Of Benjamin K. Sovacool And Michael H. Dworkin's Global Energy Justice: Problems, Principles, And Practices, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2015

Review Of Benjamin K. Sovacool And Michael H. Dworkin's Global Energy Justice: Problems, Principles, And Practices, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Energy powers the world. Having enough energy is essential to maintaining even the most minimal quality of life. But extracting and using energy renders some places uninhabitable, and now threatens the ecological integrity of the planet.

Current energy systems involve profound injustices. These injustices can arise in the ways that energy is produced – including through local and global environmental degradation, human rights abuses, corruption, and social and military conflict. Injustice can also arise in the ways that energy is or is not available – with more than a billion people having far too little for a decent existence, while hundreds of ...


Reaching Out For Green Policies: National Environmental Policies In The Wto Legal Order, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2014

Reaching Out For Green Policies: National Environmental Policies In The Wto Legal Order, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO does not squarely address the issue of jurisdictional ambit of national policies (affecting trade). And yet, absent some agreement as to what trading nations can and cannot do, the WTO loses much of its effectiveness. In the absence of explicit regulation of the issue in the WTO contract, one would reasonably expect WTO Members to behave in line with the postulates governing allocation of jurisdiction embedded in public international law. WTO practice evidences neither an explicit acceptance nor a refusal of these rules.


Solving The Cso Conundrum: Green Infrastructure And The Unfulfilled Promise Of Federal-Municipal Cooperation, Casswell F. Holloway, Carter H. Strickland Jr., Michael B. Gerrard, Daniel M. Firger Jan 2014

Solving The Cso Conundrum: Green Infrastructure And The Unfulfilled Promise Of Federal-Municipal Cooperation, Casswell F. Holloway, Carter H. Strickland Jr., Michael B. Gerrard, Daniel M. Firger

Faculty Scholarship

Faced with mounting infrastructure construction costs and more frequent and severe weather events due to climate change, cities across the country are managing the water pollution challenges of stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflows through new and innovative "green infrastructure" mechanisms that mimic, maintain, or restore natural hydrological features in the urban landscape. When utilized properly, such mechanisms can obviate the need for more expensive pipes, storage facilities, and other traditional "grey infrastructure" features, so named to acknowledge the vast amounts of concrete and other materials with high embedded energy necessary in their construction. Green infrastructure can also provide substantial ...


Legal & Scientific Integrity In Advancing A "Land Degradation Neutral World", Shelley Welton, Michela Biasutti, Michael Gerrard Jan 2014

Legal & Scientific Integrity In Advancing A "Land Degradation Neutral World", Shelley Welton, Michela Biasutti, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

It is no secret that the fight against desertification isn't going well. In the two decades since the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) came into force, desertification has worsened considerably. Many within the desertification community and beyond are calling for a fresh approach to the problem: the establishment of a global goal to achieve a "land-degradation neutral world." However, the call for land degradation neutrality has not been universally celebrated, particularly given the questionable track record of past "no net loss" policies. This article looks at ways to advance global land degradation neutrality into a concept – and ...


A Turquoise Mess: Green Subsidies, Blue Industrial Policy And Renewable Energy: The Case For Redrafting The Subsidies Agreement Of The Wto, Aaron Cosbey, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2014

A Turquoise Mess: Green Subsidies, Blue Industrial Policy And Renewable Energy: The Case For Redrafting The Subsidies Agreement Of The Wto, Aaron Cosbey, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

Canada-Renewable Energy presented the WTO Panel and Appellate Body (AB) with a novel issue: at the heart of the dispute was a measure adopted by the province of Ontario whereby producers of renewable energy would be paid a premium relative to conventional power producers. Some WTO Members complained that the measure was a prohibited subsidy because payments were conditional upon using Canadian equipment for the production of renewable energy. The AB gave them right only in part: it found that a local content requirement had indeed been imposed, but also found that it lacked evidence to determine whether a subsidy ...


The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer Jan 2013

The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is expected to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia, and the world’s top natural gas producer by 2015, surpassing Russia. In the past decade, energy companies have learned to tap previously inaccessible oil and gas in shale with “hydraulic fracturing” (“fracturing” or “fracking”), pumping fluid at high pressure to crack the shale and release gas and oil trapped inside. This “shale revolution” has created millions of jobs, enhanced our energy independence, and reduced U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by substituting natural gas for coal.

Even so, fracturing is controversial. It ...


Multilateral Environmental Agreements In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2013

Multilateral Environmental Agreements In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

This study contributes to the debate concerning the appropriate role of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in in WTO dispute settlement. Its distinguishing feature is that it seeks to address this relationship in light of the reason why the parties have chosen to separate their obligations into two bodies of law without providing an explicit nexus between them. The basic conclusion is that legislators’ silence concerning this relationship should speak volumes to WTO adjudicating bodies: MEAs should not be automatically understood as imposing legally binding obligations on WTO Members, but could be used as sources of factual information.


An Introduction To Climate Change Liability Litigation And A View To The Future, Michael B. Gerrard, Joseph A. Macdougald Jan 2013

An Introduction To Climate Change Liability Litigation And A View To The Future, Michael B. Gerrard, Joseph A. Macdougald

Faculty Scholarship

This article discusses the advancement of climate change litigation. It explores two approaches to climate change litigation; the first is to use the federal regulatory apparatus and the second is to use the tort system. The article explores key questions in climate change litigation such as, who is responsible for deciding the appropriate level of harmful emissions? How should courts handle the long tail effects of climate change? What are the proper forums to litigate in? And, what is the role of the federal government in climate change litigation?


Getting Ahead Of The Curve: Supporting Adaptation To Long-Term Climate Change And Short-Term Climate Variability Alike, Alexis Saba, Michela Biasutti, Michael B. Gerrard, David B. Lobell Jan 2013

Getting Ahead Of The Curve: Supporting Adaptation To Long-Term Climate Change And Short-Term Climate Variability Alike, Alexis Saba, Michela Biasutti, Michael B. Gerrard, David B. Lobell

Faculty Scholarship

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been meeting since 1995, and in recent years, it has increasingly focused on facilitating and funding climate change adaptation in developing countries. Other sources of financing, from multilateral development banks to bilateral and multilateral agreements among countries, are also providing resources for adaptation. Simultaneously, climate scientists around the world are updating their forecasts on the nature of future climate change. This article seeks to examine the scope of funding available for climate change adaptation and how climate change forecasts are used to plan for and evaluate climate change adaptation. We ...


Contested Shore: Property Rights In Reclaimed Land And The Battle For Streeterville, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2013

Contested Shore: Property Rights In Reclaimed Land And The Battle For Streeterville, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Land reclaimed from navigable waters is a resource uniquely susceptible to conflict. The multiple reasons for this include traditional hostility to interference with navigable waterways and the weakness of rights in submerged land. In Illinois, title to land reclaimed from Lake Michigan was further clouded by a shift in judicial understanding in the late nineteenth century about who owned the submerged land, starting with an assumption of private ownership but eventually embracing state ownership. The potential for such legal uncertainty to produce conflict is vividly illustrated by the history of the area of Chicago known as Streeterville, the area of ...


The Opportunities For And Hurdles To Combined Heat And Power In New York City, Alexis Saba, Bianca Howard, Michael Gerrard, Vijay Modi Jan 2013

The Opportunities For And Hurdles To Combined Heat And Power In New York City, Alexis Saba, Bianca Howard, Michael Gerrard, Vijay Modi

Faculty Scholarship

This paper first seeks to quantify the potential for CHP development in New York City and describe the primary hurdles to optimal deployment in Parts I and II. Part III provides policy solutions for overcoming these hurdles and recommendations for how stakeholders can use information and analysis to maximize the opportunities for CHP.


Regulating Imports Into Rggi: Toward A Legal, Workable Solution, Shelley Welton, Michael Gerrard, Jason Munster Jan 2013

Regulating Imports Into Rggi: Toward A Legal, Workable Solution, Shelley Welton, Michael Gerrard, Jason Munster

Faculty Scholarship

This white paper evaluates the legal workability and constitutionality of what is frequently considered the most feasible mechanism for RGGI to use in regulating imports: an obligation on RGGI “load serving entities” (LSEs) – those companies responsible for supplying electricity to end-use customers – to purchase allowances to account for the emissions associated with the electricity they sell that is imported. Ultimately, although there are many design complexities yet to be worked out, we find that an LSE-centered approach could present a viable pathway forward for RGGI states’ regulation of imports. It is likely to create long-term price signals about the value ...


Courts Uniformly Support Climate Science And Scientists, Michael Gerrard Jan 2013

Courts Uniformly Support Climate Science And Scientists, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Viewers of certain television networks, readers of certain newspapers, and anyone visiting Capitol Hill would come away with the impression that there are serious questions about whether climate change is occurring and, if it is, whether it is mostly caused by human activity. One place where there are few such questions is the courts. In fact it appears that (with one lone exception in a dissent) not a single U.S. judge has expressed any skepticism, in a written opinion or dissent, about the science underlying the concern over climate change. To the contrary, the courts have uniformly upheld this ...


The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer Jan 2013

The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The United States has surpassed Russia as the world's top natural gas producer, and according to the world's most respected energy forecaster, the U.S. will also overtake Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer by 2020. This surge in U.S. oil and gas production would have seemed wildly improbable a decade ago. It flows from a revolution in U.S. oil and gas production. Energy companies have learned to tap previously inaccessible oil and gas in shale and other impermeable (or "tight") rock formations. To do so, they use "hydraulic fracturing" ("fracturing" or "fracking"), pumping fluid ...


What Litigation Of A Climate Nuisance Suit Might Look Like, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2012

What Litigation Of A Climate Nuisance Suit Might Look Like, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

In American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut (AEP), the Supreme Court explicitly left ajar the door to litigation under state (as opposed to federal) common law for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some plaintiffs' lawyers are also arguing that the decision leaves room for seeking money damages (rather than injunctive relief) even in a federal common law case.

For purposes of this Article, let's imagine a world in which the courthouse doors are swung open to common law claims for damages for GHG emissions, and the courts have rejected all defenses based on displacement, preemption, political question, and standing. In ...


The Character Of The Governmental Action, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2012

The Character Of The Governmental Action, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City holds a secure position in the architecture of the regulatory takings doctrine. That doctrine is at bottom a tool for distinguishing between different governmental powers; in particular, between the power of eminent domain and the police power. Because eminent domain requires that compensation be paid, whereas the police power does not, it is necessary to draw a line between these powers. Conceivably we could simply take the legislature at its word as to which power it is exercising. But at least since Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, the Supreme Court has insisted ...


Harmonizing Climate Change Policy And International Investment Law: Threats, Challenges And Opportunities, Daniel M. Firger, Michael Gerrard Jan 2011

Harmonizing Climate Change Policy And International Investment Law: Threats, Challenges And Opportunities, Daniel M. Firger, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter responds to a chorus of commentary about the potential for conflict between the international investment law regime and an array of national and international actions being undertaken to mitigate and adapt to global climate change. Contrary to conventional wisdom, while some climate-friendly regulations may indeed be facially incompatible with the obligations imposed on states by typical international investment agreements (IIAs), many climate policies – especially those related to clean energy finance and technology transfer – involve principles common to foreign investment law and are largely compatible with that regime. Moreover, pending the unlikely negotiation of a single global agreement on ...


Is Public Nuisance A Tort?, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2011

Is Public Nuisance A Tort?, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Public nuisance has recently been dusted off as a potential source of legal redress for tobacco use, handgun distribution, lead paint removal, MTBE contamination, and global warming. The premise of this litigation is that public nuisance is a tort, and that courts have inherent authority as common law tribunals to determine what conditions qualify as a public nuisance. This article argues that public nuisance is properly regarded as a public action rather than a tort, as revealed by a number of its features, including the nature of the interest protected – rights common to the general public – and the traditional understanding ...


Private Rights In Public Lands: The Chicago Lakefront, Montgomery Ward, And The Public Dedication Doctrine, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2011

Private Rights In Public Lands: The Chicago Lakefront, Montgomery Ward, And The Public Dedication Doctrine, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

When one thinks of how the law protects public rights in open spaces, the public trust doctrine comes to mind. This is especially true in Chicago. The modem public trust doctrine was born in the landmark decision in Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Illinois, growing out of struggles over the use of land along the margin of Lake Michigan in that city. Yet Chicago's premier park – Grant Park, sitting on that land in the center of downtown Chicago – owes its existence to a different legal doctrine. This other doctrine, developed by American courts in the nineteenth century, holds that ...