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Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2021

Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey

Faculty Publications

In commemoration of their 50th anniversary, this chapter examines the Federal Courts’ role in shaping environmental law in Canada. The chapter uses well-known environmental principles – the precautionary principle, sustainable development and access to (environmental) justice – as focal points for examining environmental law as well as the legal culture of the Federal Courts. The chapter identifies four distinct interpretive roles that the Federal Courts have ascribed to the precautionary principle and it argues that three of these roles have the potential to generate more coherent and transparent doctrine that upholds the rule of law in the environmental context. In contrast, chapter ...


Greenwashing No More: The Case For Stronger Regulation Of Environmental Marketing, Robin M. Rotman, Chloe J. Gossett, Hope D. Goldman Jul 2020

Greenwashing No More: The Case For Stronger Regulation Of Environmental Marketing, Robin M. Rotman, Chloe J. Gossett, Hope D. Goldman

Faculty Publications

Fraudulent and deceptive environmental claims in marketing (sometimes called “greenwashing”) are a persistent problem in the United States, despite nearly thirty years of efforts by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent it. This Essay focuses on a recent trend in greenwashing - fraudulent “organic” claims for nonagricultural products, such as home goods and personal care products. We offer three recommendations. First, we suggest ways that the FTC can strengthen its oversight of “organic” claims for nonagricultural products and improve coordination with the USDA. Second, we argue for inclusion of guidelines for “organic” claims in the next revision of the FTC ...


An Unknown Past, An Unequal Present, And An Uncertain Future: Transnational Environmental Law Through Three Research Challenges, Natasha Affolder Apr 2020

An Unknown Past, An Unequal Present, And An Uncertain Future: Transnational Environmental Law Through Three Research Challenges, Natasha Affolder

Faculty Publications

This chapter seeks to bring into focus three broad research challenges facing transnational environmental law – an unknown past, an unequal present, and an uncertain future. Transnational law theory invites scholars to stand at a distance from current orthodoxies and to contemplate environmental law and its practice from new vantage points. The study of transnational environmental law thus prompts new ways of thinking about where to look for environmental law and its foundational influences. New research agendas emerge organically from such shifts of gaze. By identifying future research agendas, we can illuminate both the diversity of sites of past and present ...


Uncooperative Environmental Federalism 2.0, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2020

Uncooperative Environmental Federalism 2.0, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Has the Trump Administration made good on its pledges to reinvigorate cooperative federalism and constrain environmental regulatory overreach by the federal government? Perhaps less than one would think. This paper, prepared for the Hastings Law Journal symposium, “Revolution of Evolution? Administrative Law in the Age of Trump,” provides a critical assessment of the Trump Administration’s approach to environmental federalism. Despite the Administration’s embrace of “cooperative federalism” rhetoric, environmental policy reforms have not consistently embodied a principled approach to environmental federalism in which the state and federal governments are each encouraged to focus resources on areas of comparative advantage.


Property's Problem With Extremes, Lynda L. Butler Jan 2020

Property's Problem With Extremes, Lynda L. Butler

Faculty Publications

Western-style property systems are ill-equipped to deal with extremes--extreme poverty, extreme wealth, extreme environmental harm. Though they can effectively handle many problems, the current systems are inherently incapable of providing the types of reform needed to address extreme situations that are straining the fabric of societies--situations that are stressing the integrity of core societal and natural systems to the breaking point. The American property system, in particular, is problematic. The system has a long tradition of strong individual rights and relies primarily on the efficiency norm to operate and shape the incentives of rights holders. The economic model that now ...


The Deliberative Dimensions Of Modern Environmental Assessment Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2020

The Deliberative Dimensions Of Modern Environmental Assessment Law, Jocelyn Stacey

Faculty Publications

Environmental assessment (EA) is a cornerstone of environmental law. It provides a legal framework for public decision making about major development projects with implications for environmental protection and the rights and title of Indigenous peoples. Despite significant literature supporting deliberation as the preferred mode of engagement with those affected by EA decisions, the specific legal demands of EA legislation remain undeveloped. This article suggests a legal foundation for deliberative environmental assessment. It argues that modern environmental assessment can be understood through three public law frames: procedural fairness, public inquiry, and framework for the duty to consult and accommodate. It further ...


Contagious Environmental Lawmaking, Natasha Affolder May 2019

Contagious Environmental Lawmaking, Natasha Affolder

Faculty Publications

It is rare to find an environmental law development or ‘innovation’ announced or celebrated without some discussion of its transferability. Discourses of diffusion are becoming increasingly central to the way that we develop, communicate and frame environmental law ideas. And yet, this significant dimension of environmental law practice seems to have outgrown existing conceptual scaffolding and scholarly vocabularies. The concept, and intentionally unfamiliar terminology, of ‘contagious lawmaking’ creates a space for both fleshing out, and problematizing, the phenomenon of the dynamic and multi-directional transfer of environmental law ideas. This article sets the stage for further study of the global diffusion ...


Time To Act: Response To Questions Posed By The Expert Panel On Sustainable Finance On Fiduciary Obligation And Effective Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Janis P. Sarra, Cynthia Williams Jan 2019

Time To Act: Response To Questions Posed By The Expert Panel On Sustainable Finance On Fiduciary Obligation And Effective Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Janis P. Sarra, Cynthia Williams

Faculty Publications

While there are numerous strategies to be deployed to move Canada to a financially sustainable future, this study addresses two critically important issues: fiduciary obligation of corporate- and pension-fiduciaries, and national action on environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) financial disclosure, including climate-related financial risk disclosure. The Canadian economy is facing significant challenges and disruptions in the transition to a lower carbon world. Absent clear and innovative steps to ensure our corporations and financial institutions act to address carbon emissions and other environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, we will be seriously prejudiced in a world that is rapidly moving ...


The Brave New World Of Energy And Natural Resources Development, Donald N. Zillman Jan 2019

The Brave New World Of Energy And Natural Resources Development, Donald N. Zillman

Faculty Publications

The world of energy and natural resources development has changed a great deal over the past 30 months, perhaps more so than in the preceding 30 years. Beginning with the June 2016 vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and continuing through today, there are global signs of increasing emphasis on protecting national sovereignty and less on world efforts to address major environmental and energy issues. Admittedly, the United Nations-based effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continues to move forward. However, more than a few nations are hinting that they may not live up to their commitments ...


Just Transitions, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2019

Just Transitions, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

The transition to a low-carbon society will have winners and losers as the costs and benefits of decarbonization fall unevenly on different communities. This potential collateral damage has prompted calls for a “just transition” to a green economy. While the term, “just transition,” is increasingly prevalent in the public discourse, it remains under-discussed and poorly defined in legal literature, preventing it from helping catalyze fair decarbonization. This Article seeks to define the term, test its validity, and articulate its relationship with law so the idea can meet its potential.

The Article is the first to disambiguate and assess two main ...


Transnational Climate Law, Natasha Affolder Jan 2019

Transnational Climate Law, Natasha Affolder

Faculty Publications

Climate change leaves little on this planet untouched. The concept of transnational law is no exception. Transnational law has long functioned as a mechanism for illuminating particular legal subjects, processes, and spaces: the empty space left by existing doctrinal perspectives, the relationships between, around and outside of national laws, the importance for law of private actors and the power and powerlessness of those actors. It offers a way of opening our eyes to spheres of normativity other than the nation state and distinct ways of conceiving of the nation state itself. But climate change shatters the idea that jurisdictional borders ...


Traditional Ecological Knowledge In Environmental Decisionmaking, Anthony Moffa Jan 2019

Traditional Ecological Knowledge In Environmental Decisionmaking, Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is defined as a deep understanding of the environment developed by local communities and indigenous peoples over generations. In the United States, Canada, and around the world, indigenous peoples are increasingly advocating for incorporation of TEK into a range of environmental decisionmaking contexts, including natural resource and wildlife management, pollution standards, environmental and social planning, environmental impact assessment, and adaptation to climate change. On October 31, 2018, ELI hosted an expert panel on TEK, co-sponsored by the National Native American Bar Association and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. The panel discussed ...


Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Shelley Welton, Joel Eisen Jan 2019

Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Shelley Welton, Joel Eisen

Faculty Publications

The rapid transition to clean energy is fraught with potential inequities. As clean energy policies ramp up in scale and ambition, they confront challenging new questions: Who should pay for the transition? Who should live next to the industrial-scale wind and solar farms these policies promote? Will the new “green” economy be a fairer one, with more widespread opportunity, than the fossil fuel economy it is replacing? Who gets to decide what kinds of resources power our decarbonized world? In this article, we assert that it is useful to understand these challenges collectively, as part of an emerging agenda of ...


President Trump, The New Chicago School And The Future Of Environmental Law And Scholarship, Sarah B. Schindler Nov 2018

President Trump, The New Chicago School And The Future Of Environmental Law And Scholarship, Sarah B. Schindler

Faculty Publications

Recent presidents including Bill Clinton, G. W. Bush, and Barack Obama have refined how environmental law has been enacted and carried out. Under President Trump, the scope of public environmental law will most certainly narrow. It seems likely that the future of environmental law will depend not upon traditional federal command-and-control legislation or executive branch maneuvering, but instead upon activating environmentalism through expanded substantive areas and innovative regulatory techniques that fall outside the existing, traditional norms of environmental law and legal scholarship. This chapter is an attempt to acknowledge this monumental change, recognizing that these barriers to traditional environmental regulation ...


The Emperor’S New Clothes: The Variety Of Stakeholders In Climate Change Regulation Assuming The Mantle Of Federal And International Authority, Linda A. Malone Aug 2018

The Emperor’S New Clothes: The Variety Of Stakeholders In Climate Change Regulation Assuming The Mantle Of Federal And International Authority, Linda A. Malone

Faculty Publications

In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. President Trump believes the United States should be more focused on its economic wellbeing than on environmental concerns. Since being elected, President Trump has, with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency, been rolling back, or attempting to roll back, major climate change regulations. However, this Article points out that due to factors such as international law, the United States Constitution, and the Administrative Procedure Act, one cannotjust simply withdraw from an international agreement, such as the Paris Accord, or take back ...


Environmens Rea, Anthony Moffa Jan 2018

Environmens Rea, Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

Many policymakers remain blind to the moral implications of environmental harm caused by government action (or inaction) and have not adequately considered how criminal law deals with similar immoral behavior in other contexts. Building from Lisa Heinzerling’s thought-provoking essay Knowing Killing and Environmental Law, this article considers the possibility of criminal culpability for environmental policy decisions and the implications of that potential culpability for decision-making and communication. It builds from the premise that morality and law universally condemn the knowing killing of other human beings. It matters not that the identities of the dead are unknown. What matters from ...


Indeconstructible: The Triumph Of The Environmental “Administrative State”, Stephen M. Johnson Jan 2018

Indeconstructible: The Triumph Of The Environmental “Administrative State”, Stephen M. Johnson

Faculty Publications

Shortly after the 2017 Presidential inauguration, a senior advisor to the President proclaimed that a top priority of the Administration would be the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” A primary target of the Administration’s deconstruction efforts was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and federal environmental regulations.

While the President can use a variety of tools, including the appointment power, budget power, treaty power, and executive orders, to influence the manner in which the EPA and other agencies interpret and enforce laws, the President has very little power to unilaterally “deconstruct the administrative state.” The “administrative state” is ...


The Brand-X Effect: Declining Chevron Deference In The 21st Century, Stephen Johnson Jan 2018

The Brand-X Effect: Declining Chevron Deference In The 21st Century, Stephen Johnson

Faculty Publications

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. is the most frequently cited Supreme Court administrative law decision and has generated substantial scholarship over the past thirty-four ears. Almost three decades ago, Robert Glicksman and Christopher Schroeder examined the nature of judicial review of the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") by the federal courts during the agency's first twenty years of existence, focusing, in part, on the changing nature of that review in light of the Chevron decision. Glicksman and Schroeder concluded that the courts aggressively reviewed EPA's actions during the agency's ...


Allocating Property Interests In Ecosystem Services: From Chaos To Flowing Rivers, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2018

Allocating Property Interests In Ecosystem Services: From Chaos To Flowing Rivers, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Complementary Authority And The One-Way Ratchet: Ecosystem Services Property, Regulation, And Wildlife Conservation, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2018

Complementary Authority And The One-Way Ratchet: Ecosystem Services Property, Regulation, And Wildlife Conservation, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

Due to the priorities of the Trump Administration, which are not a great match with those of the conservation community, we find ourselves in a period of rollbacks for all kinds of environmental regulation, including the protection of wildlife. When the federal government fails to adequately regulate, we look to other sources of authority to fill that gap. The first and most obvious place to look is to state and local governments. They are our best hope to avoid hemorrhaging vulnerable species during this presidency. Alas, looking at the realities of state wildlife conservation laws, we see the gaps remain ...


Fiduciary Obligations In Business And Investment: Implications Of Climate Change, Janis P. Sarra Oct 2017

Fiduciary Obligations In Business And Investment: Implications Of Climate Change, Janis P. Sarra

Faculty Publications

Fiduciary obligation, under both corporate law and the common law, requires directors and officers to identify and address climate-related financial and other risks. In fulfilling their obligations to act in the best interests of the company, directors and officers must directly engage with developments in knowledge regarding physical and transition risks related to climate change and how these risks may impact their corporation. Depending on the firm’s economic activities, the risk may be minor or highly significant, but directors and officers have an obligation to make the inquiries, to devise strategies to address risks, and to have an ongoing ...


California's Climate Diplomacy And Dormant Preemption, David L. Sloss Oct 2017

California's Climate Diplomacy And Dormant Preemption, David L. Sloss

Faculty Publications

After President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, Governor Brown issued a joint statement with his counterparts from New York and Washington, announcing that the three governors “are teaming up to fight climate change in response to President Trump’s” withdrawal decision. A few days later, Governor Brown met in Beijing with China’s President Xi Jinping. The Chinese President reportedly “welcomed California’s efforts to work with the Chinese government to help combat global warming.” According to the California government web site, the state is party to a total of 54 “international ...


Grid Modernization And Energy Poverty, Shelley Welton May 2017

Grid Modernization And Energy Poverty, Shelley Welton

Faculty Publications

Grid modernization holds the alluring promise of rationalizing electricity pricing, saving consumers money, and improving environmental quality all at the same time. Yet, we have seen only limited and patchwork regulatory initiatives towards significant grid modernization in the United States. Outside of a few leading states, state energy regulators appear loath to embrace fullthroated versions of the project. This article argues that the underdiscussed problem of energy poverty in the United States is a critical contributing factor in the gap between grid modernization’s possibilities and our regulatory reality. Only by explicitly understanding how the issues of grid modernization and ...


Public Energy, Shelley Welton Apr 2017

Public Energy, Shelley Welton

Faculty Publications

Many scholars and policy makers celebrate cities as loci for addressing climate change. In addition to being significant sources of carbon pollution, cities prove to be dynamic sites of experimentation and ambition on climate policy. However, as U.S. cities set climate change goals far above those of their federal and state counterparts, they are butting up against the limits of their existing legal authority, most notably with regard to control over energy supplies. In response, many U.S. cities are exercising their legal rights to reclaim public ownership or control over private electric utilities as a method of achieving ...


The Elephant In The Room Or The Elephant In The Mousehole? The Legal Risks (And Promise) Of Climate Policy Under §115 Of The Clean Air Act, Nathan Richardson Apr 2017

The Elephant In The Room Or The Elephant In The Mousehole? The Legal Risks (And Promise) Of Climate Policy Under §115 Of The Clean Air Act, Nathan Richardson

Faculty Publications

Climate policy in the United States is near an inflection point. With Congress uninterested in new legislation, focus at the federal level for most of the last decade has been on the Clean Air Act, but whether regulation under that old statute can successfully address carbon emissions remains unclear. Under President Obama, the EPA has focused on two core programs-vehicle emissions standards and the Clean Power Plan, aimed at fossil fuel power plants. But with the latter of these programs under legal challenge, and both falling short of the flexible, economy-wide policy many believe is necessay, academic and policy attention ...


Food And Fertile Ground: Improving Chinese Food Safety Through Environmental Regulation, Brent Domann Jan 2017

Food And Fertile Ground: Improving Chinese Food Safety Through Environmental Regulation, Brent Domann

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Alienation And Reconciliation In Social-Ecological Systems, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2017

Alienation And Reconciliation In Social-Ecological Systems, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

After rancher Ammon Bundy’s forceful occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest federal “tyranny” in 2016, mainstream commentary dismissed Bundy and his supporters as crackpots. But the dismissal of the occupation as errant overlooked this event’s significance. This conflict: 1) involved a clash over scarce natural resources, of the type that will likely gain more frequency and intensity in the face of climate change; and 2) highlighted the popular idea that the federal government and federal environmental regulations are the enemy of the (white, rural, male) worker. This thread of antienvironmental, anti-federal alienation among many working ...


#Betterrules: The Appropriate Use Of Social Media In Rulemaking, Stephen M. Johnson Jan 2017

#Betterrules: The Appropriate Use Of Social Media In Rulemaking, Stephen M. Johnson

Faculty Publications

In December 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) use of various social media tools in a rulemaking under the Clean Water Act violated prohibitions in federal appropriations laws against publicity, propaganda, and lobbying. Although academics previously explored whether the use of technology in rulemaking might violate the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), the Paperwork Reduction Act, or the Federal Advisory Committee Act, none predicted that one of the first firestorms surrounding the use of social media in rulemaking would arise out of federal appropriations laws. ...

As the Administrative Conference of the United ...


The Opportunities And Limitations Of Neutral Carbon Tariffs, Juscelino F. Colares, Ashwin Rode Jan 2017

The Opportunities And Limitations Of Neutral Carbon Tariffs, Juscelino F. Colares, Ashwin Rode

Faculty Publications

Because carbon taxes can lead to loss of competitiveness, applying tariffs on imports from non-carbon-restricting countries helps address the cost disadvantage faced by producers in carbon-restricting countries. Such tariffs, known as border carbon adjustments ("BCAs"), can also help reduce possible carbon "leakage," or the growth in foreign emissions due to increased production of carbon-intensive goods in non-carbon-restricting countries. We demonstrate that BCAs that do not exceed the burdens imposed by carbon taxation on domestic like products could be consistent with World Trade Organization ("WTO") rules. However, "neutral" (i.e., nondiscriminatory) BCAs might still be inefficiently high from a global welfare ...


Do Sagebrush Rebels Have A Colorable Claim? The Space Between Parochialism And Exclusion In Federal Lands Management, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2017

Do Sagebrush Rebels Have A Colorable Claim? The Space Between Parochialism And Exclusion In Federal Lands Management, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

This Article asks whether the troubling nature of the Sagebrush Rebellion and similar movements (e.g., their violence, antienvironmentalism, and racist overtones) has made us overly dismissive of a kernel of truth in their complaints. Commentators often acknowledge that federal lands management may be “unfair” to local communities, but the ethical and legal characteristics of the unfairness concern remain under-explored. Although the Sagebrush Rebellion and federal lands communities are far from synonymous, substantial overlap between the complaints and demands of Sagebrush Rebels and the complaints and demands of many regional local (and state) governments suggests that to explore the one ...