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Environmental Law

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Articles 1 - 30 of 442

Full-Text Articles in Law

Let's Talk Protecting Endangered Species, Clifford J. Villa, Ty Bannerman, Will Cavin, Taylor Jones, Ari Biernoff Aug 2019

Let's Talk Protecting Endangered Species, Clifford J. Villa, Ty Bannerman, Will Cavin, Taylor Jones, Ari Biernoff

Faculty Scholarship

The Trump Administration recently changed Endangered Species Act regulations affecting how species are removed from endangered status and streamlining permits for the oil and gas and ranching industries. Environmentalists say the rules weaken protections. How could the new rules change industry and conservation in New Mexico?


Gold King Mine Spill: Environmental Law And Legal Protections For Environmental Responders, Clifford J. Villa Jun 2019

Gold King Mine Spill: Environmental Law And Legal Protections For Environmental Responders, Clifford J. Villa

Faculty Scholarship

On August 5, 2015, EPA contractors working at the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado accidently released approximately three million gallons of contaminated mine water into the drainage of the Animas River. The water contained metals which created a bright orange plume that coursed down the Animas River and into the connecting San Juan River for many days, attracting nationwide attention and creating great concern for many local communities. The plume touched at least three states, three tribes, and numerous municipalities. The release fortunately did not prove an environmental catastrophe as many people feared at the time. However, it did ...


From The Clean Power Plan To The Affordable Clean Energy Rule: How Regulated Entities Adapt To Regulatory Change And Uncertainty, Ryan Stoa Jan 2019

From The Clean Power Plan To The Affordable Clean Energy Rule: How Regulated Entities Adapt To Regulatory Change And Uncertainty, Ryan Stoa

Faculty Scholarship

Regulated entities often struggle to adapt to regulatory change and uncertainty. This is particularly true in the power and utilities sectors, where the scope and scale of project-level planning and management is broad, and changes to these processes can be highly disruptive. Regulatory disruption notwithstanding, some companies adapt to regulatory change and uncertainty better than others. Presently, there is a gap in understanding what these regulatory adaptation best practices might be for the power and utilities sectors.

When the federal Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) publicly proposed the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) in 2014, stakeholders in the power and utilities sectors ...


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 ...


Betting On Climate Policy: Using Prediction Markets To Address Global Warming, Gary M. Lucas Jr, Felix Mormann Jan 2019

Betting On Climate Policy: Using Prediction Markets To Address Global Warming, Gary M. Lucas Jr, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Global warming, sea level rise, and extreme weather events have made climate change a top priority for policymakers across the globe. But which policies are best suited to tackle the enormous challenges presented by our changing climate? This Article proposes that policymakers turn to prediction markets to answer that crucial question. Prediction markets have a strong track record of outperforming other forecasting mechanisms across a wide range of contexts — from predicting election outcomes and economic trends to guessing Oscar winners. In the context of climate change, market participants could, for example, bet on important climate outcomes conditioned on the adoption ...


Conferring Legal Personality On The World's Rivers: A Brief Intellectual Assessment, Gabriel Eckstein, Ariella D'Andrea, Virginia Marshall, Erin O'Donnell, Julia Talbot-Jones, Deborah Curran, Katie O'Bryan Jan 2019

Conferring Legal Personality On The World's Rivers: A Brief Intellectual Assessment, Gabriel Eckstein, Ariella D'Andrea, Virginia Marshall, Erin O'Donnell, Julia Talbot-Jones, Deborah Curran, Katie O'Bryan

Faculty Scholarship

The following compilation is substantially reproduced and adapted from a series of essays that appeared in the blog of the International Water Law Project (www.inter nationalwaterlaw.org). The series was solicited in response to the unique recent phenomenon in which a number of courts and legislatures around the world have conferred legal personality on particular rivers. What resulted is a fantastic, thoughtprovoking and timely compilation.

In effect, various water bodies around the world have been accorded legal rights – some though legislative actions and others via judicial decisions – that in some jurisdictions, equate with those recognized in human beings. Although ...


Pipelines & Power-Lines: Building The Energy Transport Future, James W. Coleman Jan 2019

Pipelines & Power-Lines: Building The Energy Transport Future, James W. Coleman

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is in the middle of three profound energy revolutions — with booming production of renewable power, natural gas, and oil. The country is replacing coal power with renewable and natural gas power, reducing pollution while saving consumers money. And it has dramatically cut its oil imports while becoming, for the first time in half a century, an important oil exporter. The U.S. is on the cusp of an energy transformation that will provide immense economic and environmental benefits.

This new energy economy will require massive investment in energy transport — especially power lines to bring wind and solar ...


Energy Competition: From Commodity To Boutique & Back, James W. Coleman Jan 2019

Energy Competition: From Commodity To Boutique & Back, James W. Coleman

Faculty Scholarship

Energy products such as power, gas, and oil have long been the world’s premier commodities. Consumers demand that power and fuel are available when they want it and they prefer to pay less for it. Few know or care where their fuel or power comes from. So for years energy companies believed that efforts to differentiate their products were mostly ineffective — they were re-signed to compete on price in fierce global commodity markets. But in recent years, a new focus on regulating how energy commodities are produced has begun to splinter previously integrated energy markets, creating markets for boutique ...


Book Review: Jonathan P. Thompson, River Of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, And Green Behind The Gold King Mine Disaster (2018), Clifford J. Villa Jan 2019

Book Review: Jonathan P. Thompson, River Of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, And Green Behind The Gold King Mine Disaster (2018), Clifford J. Villa

Faculty Scholarship

On August 5, 2015, contractors for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigating the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado accidently released some three million gallons of contaminated water into the Animas River, triggering weeks of front-page headlines, months of congressional hearings, and now years of litigation. River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster, a new book by Jonathan P. Thompson, suggests by its title a human folly behind this “disaster” much broader and deeper than one tragic accident wrought by EPA contractors. On this thesis, Thompson certainly delivers. However, what ...


Can A State's Water Rights Be Damned? Environmental Flows And Federal Dams In The Supreme Court, Reed D. Benson Jan 2019

Can A State's Water Rights Be Damned? Environmental Flows And Federal Dams In The Supreme Court, Reed D. Benson

Faculty Scholarship

Interstate rivers are subject to the doctrine of equitable apportionment, whereby the Supreme Court seeks to ensure that all states that share such rivers get a fair portion of their benefits. The Court has rarely issued an equitable apportionment decree, however, and there is little law on whether the doctrine protects river flows for environmental purposes. The ongoing Florida v. Georgia litigation in the Supreme Court raises this issue, as Florida seeks to limit consumptive uses by upstream Georgia to preserve flows in the Apalachicola River, which provide both economic and environmental benefits. This Article summarizes both the equitable apportionment ...


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 ...


The Incomplete Ecology Of Hydraulic Fracturing Governance, Gregg P. Macey Jul 2018

The Incomplete Ecology Of Hydraulic Fracturing Governance, Gregg P. Macey

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Property Provisions Of The Joint Operating Agreement: An Update For The New 2015 Form Joa, Alex Ritchie, Gary B. Conine Apr 2018

Property Provisions Of The Joint Operating Agreement: An Update For The New 2015 Form Joa, Alex Ritchie, Gary B. Conine

Faculty Scholarship

The joint operating agreement (JOA) in the oil and gas industry helps coordinate joint operation efforts that facilitate exploration and unitization of tracts, and conservation of a depleting resource. Professor Conine’s 1988 article expanded, limited, and defined the property interests of the parties both inside and outside the contract area. This article is an update to those prior works with greater emphasis on the 1989 Form JOA, cases and developments since its publication, and the implications of the revisions to the JOA in the new 2015 Form JOA published by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL).

The purposes ...


Responsive Regulation And Resiliency: The Renewable Fuel Standard And Advanced Biofuels, Nadia B. Ahmad Jan 2018

Responsive Regulation And Resiliency: The Renewable Fuel Standard And Advanced Biofuels, Nadia B. Ahmad

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Structured Settlement Sales And Lead-Poisoned Sellers: Just Say No, Karen Czapanskiy Jan 2018

Structured Settlement Sales And Lead-Poisoned Sellers: Just Say No, Karen Czapanskiy

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Polar Opposites: Assessing The State Of Enviromental Law In The World's Polar Regions, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival Jan 2018

Polar Opposites: Assessing The State Of Enviromental Law In The World's Polar Regions, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Disclaiming Property, Michael Pappas Jan 2018

Disclaiming Property, Michael Pappas

Faculty Scholarship

Can Congress pick and choose when it must follow the Constitution? One would expect not, and yet the Supreme Court has allowed it to do so. In multiple statutory programs, Congress has disclaimed constitutional property protections for valuable interests that otherwise serve as property. The result is billions of dollars’ worth of “disclaimed property” that can be bought, sold, mortgaged, or leased, but that can also be revoked at any moment without due process or just compensation.

Disclaimed property already represents a great source of value, and property disclaimers are at the core of major recent policies ranging from natural ...


Root And Branch: The Thirteenth Amendment And Environmental Justice, Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg Jan 2018

Root And Branch: The Thirteenth Amendment And Environmental Justice, Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg

Faculty Scholarship

Forty years since the birth of the environmental justice movement, environmental injustice persists. One reason is the failure to identify a viable constitutional root for environmental justice doctrine. Additionally, a resurgence in federalism has resulted in additional theoretical hurdles for pursuing environmental justice under federal law.

Confronted with these difficulties this essay examines a question that has not been addressed for decades: Whether the Thirteenth Amendment might provide a fertile environment for a flourishing law of environmental justice?' This essay argues that the answer is yes, for several reasons.

First, despite assertions to contrary, the Supreme Court has never foreclosed ...


Whose Lands? Which Public? Trump's National Monument Proclamations And The Shape Of Public-Lands Law, Jedediah Purdy Jan 2018

Whose Lands? Which Public? Trump's National Monument Proclamations And The Shape Of Public-Lands Law, Jedediah Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

President Trump issued a proclamation in December 2017 purporting to remove two million acres in southern Utah from national monument status, radically shrinking the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument and splitting the Bears Ears National Monument into two residual protected areas. Whether the President has the power to revise or revoke existing monuments under the Antiquities Act, which creates the national monument system, is a new question of law for a 112-year-old statute that has been used by Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama to protect roughly fifteen million acres of federal land and hundreds of millions of marine acres ...


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 ...


Market Segmentation Vs. Subsidization: Clean Energy Credits And The Commerce Clause's Economic Wisdom, Felix Mormann Jan 2018

Market Segmentation Vs. Subsidization: Clean Energy Credits And The Commerce Clause's Economic Wisdom, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

The dormant Commerce Clause has long been a thorn in the side of state policymakers. The latest battleground for the clash between federal courts and state legislatures is energy policy. In the absence of a decisive federal policy response to climate change, nearly thirty states have created a new type of securities—clean energy credits—to promote lowcarbon renewable and nuclear power. As more and more of these programs come under attack for alleged violations of the dormant Commerce Clause, this Article explores the constitutional constraints on clean energy credit policies. Careful analysis of recent and ongoing litigation reveals the ...


Regulatory Cooperation In International Trade And Its Transformative Effects On Executive Power, Elizabeth Trujillo Jan 2018

Regulatory Cooperation In International Trade And Its Transformative Effects On Executive Power, Elizabeth Trujillo

Faculty Scholarship

As international trade receives the brunt of local discontent with globalization trends and recent changes by the Trump administration have put into question the viability of such trade arrangements moving forward, there has been a clear trend in using international trade fora for managing regulatory barriers on economic development. This paper will discuss this recent trend in international trade toward increased regulatory cooperation through the creation of formalized transnational regulatory bodies, such as the U.S.-EU Regulatory Cooperation Body that was being discussed in the TTIP negotiations and comparable ones in the Canadian-EU Trade Agreement as well as U ...


Non-Enforcement Takings, Timothy M. Mulvaney Jan 2018

Non-Enforcement Takings, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

The non-enforcement of existing property laws is not logically separable from the issue of unfair and unjust state deprivations of property rights at which the Constitution's Takings Clause takes aim. This Article suggests, therefore, that takings law should police allocations resulting from non-enforcement decisions on the same "fairness and justice" grounds that it polices allocations resulting from decisions to enact and enforce new regulations. Rejecting the extant majority position that state decisions not to enforce existing property laws are categorically immune from takings liability is not to advocate that persons impacted by such decisions should be automatically or even ...


Can Clean Energy Policy Promote Environmental, Economic, And Social Sustainability?, Felix Mormann Jan 2018

Can Clean Energy Policy Promote Environmental, Economic, And Social Sustainability?, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Two and a half decades of clean energy policymaking focused primarily on environmental and economic sustainability have yielded considerable environmental and economic benefits. Along the way, however, other policy considerations, such as the social sustainability of the transition to a cleaner, renewably fueled energy economy, have gone largely overlooked. As clean energy technologies continue to gain ever-greater traction in the United States and global energy economies, the social impacts of their enabling policies become more and more salient. Already, ratepayers, taxpayers, and other stakeholders who fear being left behind by the clean energy transition question the “fairness” of today’s ...


Balancing Sustainability, The Right To Regulate, And The Need For Investor Protection: Lessons From The Trade Regime, Elizabeth Trujillo Jan 2018

Balancing Sustainability, The Right To Regulate, And The Need For Investor Protection: Lessons From The Trade Regime, Elizabeth Trujillo

Faculty Scholarship

Recent initiatives for investment reform demonstrated by the 2016 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and 2018 World Investment Reports have raised key issues for sustainable development in the context of investment in natural resources and energy. Where there has been increasing convergence between trade and environmental norms as trade regimes confront domestic regulatory measures for environmental protection and climate change mitigation, similarly investment regimes also have had to address such domestic measures but with little progress towards normative convergence. At the same time, there’s an increasing skepticism for the traditional models of globalization of the 1990s and ...


The Long Environmental Justice Movement, Jedediah Purdy Jan 2018

The Long Environmental Justice Movement, Jedediah Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

The standpoint of environmental justice has become integral to environmental law in the last thirty years. Environmental justice criticizes mainstream environmental law and advocacy institutions on three main fronts: for paying too little attention to the distributive effects of environmental policy; for emphasizing elite and professional advocacy over participation in decision making by affected communities; and for adhering to a woods-and-waters view of which problems count as “environmental” that disregards the importance of neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities. This Article highlights the existence of a “long environmental justice movement” that, like the long movements for racial equality and labor organizing, put ...


New Mexico’S Renewable Portfolio Standard: Analysis Of Existing Policy Design Elements And Compliance Obligations Beyond 2020, Gabriel Pacyniak Jan 2018

New Mexico’S Renewable Portfolio Standard: Analysis Of Existing Policy Design Elements And Compliance Obligations Beyond 2020, Gabriel Pacyniak

Faculty Scholarship

This white paper analyzes two elements of New Mexico’s current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in advance of the state legislature’s consideration of an RPS expansion in the 2019 legislative session. First, the paper surveys key policy design elements of the current RPS, compares those elements to other state RPSs, and identifies “policy considerations” that may inform legislative or regulatory action. Among the findings from this part of the analysis are that: 1) other states have set much higher RPS targets; 2) that New Mexico’s RPS has uniquely restrictive cost-containment measures that limit cost impacts but also prohibit ...


Imputing Regulatory Failures In Oil And Gas Licensing: A Discussion And Proposal, Joseph A. Schremmer, Charles C. Steincamp Jan 2018

Imputing Regulatory Failures In Oil And Gas Licensing: A Discussion And Proposal, Joseph A. Schremmer, Charles C. Steincamp

Faculty Scholarship

This Article argues that the Commission's legitimate interest in enforcing its oil and gas regulations, especially including well-plugging regulations, does not justify absolute imputation of regulatory liability to third-party operators under Kan. Stat. Ann. § 55-155(c)(4). But, under certain circumstances, the state's interest may justify imputing personal liability on the individual constituents of a license applicant where the individual is culpable for the underlying regulatory violation or the applicant has a business connection with the operator primarily responsible for the violation, and the competing public policies of groundwater protection and limited liability justify the imputation. This Article ...