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Full-Text Articles in Law

Agency Statutory Abnegation In The Deregulatory Playbook, William W. Buzbee May 2019

Agency Statutory Abnegation In The Deregulatory Playbook, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

If an agency newly declares that it lacks statutory power previously claimed, how should such a move—what this article calls agency statutory abnegation—be reviewed? Given the array of strategies an agency might use to make a policy change or move the law in a deregulatory direction, why might statutory abnegation be chosen? After all, it is always a perilous and likely doctrinally disadvantageous strategy for agencies. Nonetheless, agencies from time to time have utilized statutory abnegation claims as part of their justification for deregulatory shifts. Actions by agencies during 2017 and 2018, under the administration of President Donald ...


Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch Apr 2019

Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sustainability is receiving increasing attention from issuers, investors and regulators. The desire to understand issuer sustainability practices and their relationship to economic performance has resulted in a proliferation of sustainability disclosure regimes and standards. The range of approaches to disclosure, however, limit the comparability and reliability of the information disclosed. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has solicited comment on whether to require expanded sustainability disclosures in issuer’s periodic financial reporting, and investors have communicated broad-based support for such expanded disclosures, but, to date, the SEC has not required general sustainability disclosure.

This Article argues that claims about the relationship ...


Capturing Regulatory Agendas?: An Empirical Study Of Industry Use Of Rulemaking Petitions, Daniel E. Walters Mar 2018

Capturing Regulatory Agendas?: An Empirical Study Of Industry Use Of Rulemaking Petitions, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A great deal of skepticism toward administrative agencies stems from the widespread perception that they excessively or even exclusively cater to business interests. From the political right comes the accusation that business interests use regulation to erect barriers to entry that protect profits and stifle competition. From the political left comes the claim that business interests use secretive interactions with agencies to erode and negate beneficial regulatory programs. Regulatory “capture” theory elevates many of these claims to the status of economic law. Despite growing skepticism about capture theory in academic circles, empirical studies of business influence and capture return ambiguous ...


The Limits Of Performance-Based Regulation, Cary Coglianese Apr 2017

The Limits Of Performance-Based Regulation, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Performance-based regulation is widely heralded as a superior approach to regulation. Rather than specifying the actions regulated entities must take, performance-based regulation instead requires the attainment of outcomes and gives flexibility in how to meet them. Despite nearly universal acclaim for performance-based regulation, the reasons supporting its use remain largely theoretical and conjectural. Owing in part to a lack of a clear conceptual taxonomy, researchers have yet to produce much empirical research documenting the strengths and weaknesses of performance-based regulation. In this Article, I provide a much-needed conceptual framework for understanding and assessing performance-based regulation. After defining performance-based regulation and ...


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 ...


The Law Of The Test: Performance-Based Regulation And Diesel Emissions Control, Cary Coglianese, Jennifer Nash Jan 2017

The Law Of The Test: Performance-Based Regulation And Diesel Emissions Control, Cary Coglianese, Jennifer Nash

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal of 2015 not only pushed that company’s stock and retail sales into freefall, but also raised serious questions about the efficacy of existing regulatory controls. The same furtive actions taken by Volkswagen had been taken nearly twenty years earlier by other firms in the diesel industry. In that previous scandal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that diesel truck engine manufacturers had, like Volkswagen would later do, programmed on-board computers to calibrate their engines one way to satisfy the required emissions test. Those manufacturers had also programmed the on-board computers to re-calibrate ...


Entrepreneurial Administration, Philip J. Weiser Jan 2017

Entrepreneurial Administration, Philip J. Weiser

Articles

A core failing of today’s administrative state and modern administrative law scholarship is the lack of imagination as to how agencies should operate. On the conventional telling, public agencies follow specific grants of regulatory authority, use the traditional tools of notice-and-comment rulemaking and adjudication, and are checked by judicial review. In reality, however, effective administration depends on entrepreneurial leadership that spearheads policy experimentation and trial-and-error problem-solving, including the development of regulatory programs that use non-traditional tools.

Entrepreneurial administration takes place both at public agencies and private entities, each of which can address regulatory challenges and earn regulatory authority as ...


Agency Innovation In Vermont Yankee's White Space, Emily S. Bremer, Sharon B. Jacobs Jan 2017

Agency Innovation In Vermont Yankee's White Space, Emily S. Bremer, Sharon B. Jacobs

Articles

The literature on “agency discretion” has, with a few notable exceptions, largely focused on substantive policy discretion, not procedural discretion. In this essay, we seek to refocus debate on the latter, which we argue is no less worthy of attention. We do so by defining the parameters of what we call Vermont Yankee’s “white space” — the scope of agency discretion to experiment with procedures within the boundaries established by law (and thus beyond the reach of the courts). Our goal is to begin a conversation about the dimensions of this procedural negative space, in which agencies are free to ...


Teaching Substantive Environmental Law And Practice Skills Through Interest Group Role-Playing, Karl S. Coplan Jan 2016

Teaching Substantive Environmental Law And Practice Skills Through Interest Group Role-Playing, Karl S. Coplan

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Most law students take their first introductory course in environmental law during their second year of law school. The traditional first-year curriculum does little to prepare students for the complex statutory and regulatory models for most environmental regulation. Law students at the end of their first year often have had little exposure to statutory interpretation. Further, they often have no exposure to administrative law and regulatory implementation. These students may expect statutes to provide clear statements of rules rather than guidelines for administrative rulemaking. They also tend to view the lawmaking and interpretive process through the traditional lens of congressional ...


Regulatory Exit, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman Jan 2015

Regulatory Exit, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Faculty Scholarship

Exit is a ubiquitous feature of life, whether breaking up in a marriage, dropping a college course, or pulling out of a venture capital investment. In fact, our exit options often determine whether and how we enter in the first place. While legal scholarship is replete with studies of exit strategies for businesses and individuals, the topic of exit has barely been touched in administrative law scholarship. Yet exit plays just as central a role in the regulatory state as elsewhere – welfare support ends; government steps out of rate-setting. In this article, we argue that exit is a fundamental feature ...


Billionaires, Birds, And Environmental Brawls: Reconceptualizing Energy Easements, Nadia B. Ahmad Oct 2014

Billionaires, Birds, And Environmental Brawls: Reconceptualizing Energy Easements, Nadia B. Ahmad

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Endogenous Decentralization In Federal Environmental Policies, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman, Leah G. Traub Jan 2014

Endogenous Decentralization In Federal Environmental Policies, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman, Leah G. Traub

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Under most federal environmental laws and some health and safety laws, states may apply for “primacy,” that is, authority to implement and enforce federal law, through a process known as “authorization.” Some observers fear that states use authorization to adopt more lax policies in a regulatory “race to the bottom.” This paper presents a simple model of the interaction between the federal and state governments in such a scheme of partial decentralization. Our model suggests that the authorization option may not only increase social welfare but also allow more stringent environmental regulations than would otherwise be feasible. Our model also ...


Falling Behind: Processing And Enforcing Permits For Animal Agriculture Operations In Maryland Is Lagging, Rena I. Steinzor, Anne Havemann Nov 2013

Falling Behind: Processing And Enforcing Permits For Animal Agriculture Operations In Maryland Is Lagging, Rena I. Steinzor, Anne Havemann

Faculty Scholarship

After decades of failed interstate agreements, the Chesapeake Bay is choking on too many nutrients. The estuary’s last, best chance of recovery is the Environmental Protection Agency's Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”) program, also known as a pollution diet. To meet this deadline, all polluters, including large animal farms, will need to sharply reduce the pollutants they release into the Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) must ensure that each Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (“CAFO”) has developed a facility-specific permit that details when and where manure is applied to fields and how waste is stored and ...


“Turn On The Lights” -Sustainable Energy Investment And Regulatory Policy: Charting The Hydrokinetic Path For Pakistan, Nadia B. Ahmad Oct 2013

“Turn On The Lights” -Sustainable Energy Investment And Regulatory Policy: Charting The Hydrokinetic Path For Pakistan, Nadia B. Ahmad

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


A Hen In The Parlor: Municipal Control And Enforcement Of Residential Chicken Coops, Chris Erchull Jan 2013

A Hen In The Parlor: Municipal Control And Enforcement Of Residential Chicken Coops, Chris Erchull

Student Competition Writings

The locavore movement and similar trends in sustainable agriculture and health are renewing interest in backyard residential chicken coops. This Article analyzes some of the regulatory approaches cities and towns have taken to address backyard residential chicken coops. The Article focuses on how regulation can support and encourage the beneficial aspects of keeping backyard chickens while mitigating the potential harmful impact of excessive or irresponsibly managed residential chicken coops. In particular, the Article examines common trends in local regulation, like limits on the number and sex of birds allowed in each residential yard, setback and structural requirements, and animal welfare ...


A Cost-Benefit Interpretation Of The "Substantially Similar" Hurdle In The Congressional Review Act: Can Osha Ever Utter The E-Word (Ergonomics) Again?, Adam M. Finkel, Jason W. Sullivan Mar 2011

A Cost-Benefit Interpretation Of The "Substantially Similar" Hurdle In The Congressional Review Act: Can Osha Ever Utter The E-Word (Ergonomics) Again?, Adam M. Finkel, Jason W. Sullivan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Congressional Review Act permits Congress to veto proposed regulations via a joint resolution, and prohibits an agency from reissuing a rule “in substantially the same form” as the vetoed rule. Some scholars—and officials within the agencies themselves—have understood the “substantially the same” standard to bar an agency from regulating in the same substantive area covered by a vetoed rule. Courts have not yet provided an authoritative interpretation of the standard.

This Article examines a spectrum of possible understandings of the standard, and relates them to the legislative history (of both the Congressional Review Act itself and the ...


Testimony Of Rena Steinzor…Before The U.S. House Of Representatives, Energy And Commerce Committee, Subcommittee On Environment And Economics. 112th Congress, 1st Session (2011)., Rena I. Steinzor Feb 2011

Testimony Of Rena Steinzor…Before The U.S. House Of Representatives, Energy And Commerce Committee, Subcommittee On Environment And Economics. 112th Congress, 1st Session (2011)., Rena I. Steinzor

Congressional Testimony

Environmental regulations have saved millions of lives, preventing chronic respiratory illness and heart attacks in cities across the country. These rules protect children from irreversible neurological damage, save billions of dollars in cleanup costs, and preserve water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams. If anything, our regulatory system is dangerously weak, and Congress should focus on reviving it rather than eroding public protections….


Lessons From The North Sea: Should "Safety Cases" Come To America?, Rena I. Steinzor Jan 2011

Lessons From The North Sea: Should "Safety Cases" Come To America?, Rena I. Steinzor

Faculty Scholarship

The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last spring and summer has triggered an intense search for more effective regulatory methods that would prevent such disasters. The new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is under pressure to adopt the British “safety case” system, which requires the preparation of a facility-specific plan that is typically several hundred pages long. This system is supposed to inculcate a “safety culture” within companies that operate offshore in the British portion of the North Sea because it overcomes a “box-ticking” mentality and constitutes “bottom up” implementation of safety measures ...


Can The Law Track Scientific Risk And Technological Innovation?: The Problem Of Regulatory Definitions And Nanotechnology, David A. Dana Jan 2010

Can The Law Track Scientific Risk And Technological Innovation?: The Problem Of Regulatory Definitions And Nanotechnology, David A. Dana

Faculty Working Papers

The functioning of a regulatory regime often turns on what is defined to be included in the scope of regulation and what is defined to be outside. In constructing the definitions of what is regulated, two key challenges are to align the defintions with the risks that motivated the establishment of the regulatory regime and to build in dynamism into the defintions so that they adapt to changes in scientific understanding and technology. This Chapter of a forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press (David Dana, ed., The Nanotechnology Challenge), explores these challnegs in the context of nanotechnology.


Making Self-Regulation More Than Merely Symbolic: The Critical Role Of The Legal Environment, Jodi Short, Michael W. Toffel Jan 2010

Making Self-Regulation More Than Merely Symbolic: The Critical Role Of The Legal Environment, Jodi Short, Michael W. Toffel

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Using data from a sample of U.S. industrial facilities subject to the federal Clean Air Act from 1993 to 2003, this article theorizes and tests the conditions under which organizations’ symbolic commitments to self-regulate are particularly likely to result in improved compliance practices and outcomes. We argue that the legal environment, particularly as it is constructed by the enforcement activities of regulators, significantly influences the likelihood that organizations will effectively implement the self-regulatory commitments they symbolically adopt. We investigate how different enforcement tools can foster or undermine organizations’ normative motivations to self-regulate. We find that organizations are more likely ...


Public Choice And Environmental Policy: A Review Of The Literature, Christopher H. Schroeder Jan 2010

Public Choice And Environmental Policy: A Review Of The Literature, Christopher H. Schroeder

Faculty Scholarship

This paper is a draft of a chapter for a forthcoming book, Research Handbook in Public Law and Public Choice, edited by Daniel Farber and Anne Joseph O'Connell, to be published by Elgar. It reviews the public choice literature on environmental policy making, first generally and then with respect to four fundamental environmental policy questions: (1) whether or not government action is warranted; (2) if it is, the scope and stringency of the government action, including the manner in which a bureaucracy will implement and enforce any statutory standards; (3) the level of government that assumes responsibility; and (4 ...


The Contextual Rationality Of The Precautionary Principle, David A. Dana Jan 2009

The Contextual Rationality Of The Precautionary Principle, David A. Dana

Faculty Working Papers

This article defines the precautionary principle (PP) primarily based on what it is not: it is not quantitative cost-benefit analysis (CBA) or cost-cost analysis of the sort we associate with the Office of Management and Budget in the United States and U.S. policymaking and policy discourse generally. In this definition, the PP is a form of analysis in which the costs of a possible environmental or health risk are not quantified, or if they are, any quantification is likely to be inadequate to capture the full extent of the costs of not taking regulatory measures to mitigate or avoid ...


Valuing Foreign Lives And Civilizations In Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Case Of The United States And Climate Change Policy, David A. Dana Jan 2009

Valuing Foreign Lives And Civilizations In Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Case Of The United States And Climate Change Policy, David A. Dana

Faculty Working Papers

This Article explores the case for including losses of foreign (non-U.S.) lives and settlements in the estimated cost to the United States of unmitigated climate change in the future. The inclusion of losses of such foreign lives and settlements in cost benefit analysis (CBA) could have large implications not only for U.S. climate change policy but also for policies adopted by other nations and the practice of CBA generally. One difficult problem is how to assess U.S. residents' willingness to pay to prevent the losses of foreign lives and settlements. This Article discusses internet-based surveys that are ...


On Capturing The Possible Significance Of Institutional Design And Ethos, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

On Capturing The Possible Significance Of Institutional Design And Ethos, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

At a recent conference, a new judge from one of the federal courts of appeal – for the United States, the front line in judicial control of administrative action-made a plea to the lawyers in attendance. Please, he urged, in briefing and arguing cases reviewing agency actions, help us judges to understand their broader contexts. So often, he complained, the briefs and arguments are limited to the particular small issues of the case. We get little sense of the broad context in which it arises – the agency responsibilities in their largest sense, the institutional issues that may be at stake, how ...


Ideological Plaintiffs, Administrative Lawmaking, Standing And The Petition Clause, Karl S. Coplan Jan 2009

Ideological Plaintiffs, Administrative Lawmaking, Standing And The Petition Clause, Karl S. Coplan

Pace Law Faculty Publications

In the 1992 Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife decision, Justice Scalia declared that business interests subject to regulation had automatic standing to challenge regulations in court, but that where “the plaintiff is not himself the object of the government action or inaction he challenges, standing is not precluded, but it is ordinarily ‘substantially more difficult’ to establish.” This article explores the impact this differential standard for court access has on ideologically-motivated public interest plaintiffs, and suggest heightened scrutiny of standing rules under the Petition Clause of the First Amendment based on the viewpoint differential effect of current standing doctrine. This ...


The Mismatch Between Public Nuisance Law And Global Warming, David A. Dana Jan 2008

The Mismatch Between Public Nuisance Law And Global Warming, David A. Dana

Faculty Working Papers

The federal courts using the common law method of case-by-case adjudication may have institutional advantages over the more political branches, such as perhaps more freedom from interest group capture and more flexibility to tailor decisions to local conditions. Any such advantages, however, are more than offset by the disadvantages of relying on the courts in common resource management in general and in the management of the global atmospheric commons in particular. The courts are best able to serve a useful function resolving climate-related disputes once the political branches have acted by establishing a policy framework and working through the daunting ...


In Re Annandale And The Disconnections Between Minnesota And Federal Agency Deference Doctrine, Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg Jan 2008

In Re Annandale And The Disconnections Between Minnesota And Federal Agency Deference Doctrine, Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg

Faculty Scholarship

This article explores each of these differences between Annandale’s view of deference and comparable federal authority. Part II begins the discussion with an explanation of the somewhat complicated legal and factual background that gave rise to Annandale’s unusually thorny agency deference issues. This section includes an extended discussion of the Annandale administrative record and the reasoning of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court. Part III then critically analyzes the Annandale court’s claims to have acted consistently with federal agency deference case law in each of the three areas discussed above. Part IV concludes with ...


Hothouse Flowers: The Vices And Virtues Of Climate Federalism, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2008

Hothouse Flowers: The Vices And Virtues Of Climate Federalism, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Federal law preempts state regulation of motor vehicle emissions. California alone is allowed to seek a waiver of such preemption, and unsuccessfully sought such a waiver for the state's regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The debate and pending litigation over California's effort to obtain a waiver of preemption has focused attention on the state role in climate change policy. This paper explores the role of state governments in developing climate change policy, with a particular focus on how federalism principles and practice should inform judgments about the division of authority between the state and federal ...


Foreword: Making Sense Of Information For Environmental Protection, James Salzman, Douglas A. Kysar Jan 2008

Foreword: Making Sense Of Information For Environmental Protection, James Salzman, Douglas A. Kysar

Faculty Scholarship

Despite the ubiquity of information, no one has proposed calling the present era the Knowledge Age. Knowledge depends not only on access to reliable information, but also on sound judgment regarding which information to access and how to situate that information in relation to the values and purposes that comprise the individual's or the social group's larger projects. This is certainly the case for wise and effective environmental governance. A regulator needs accurate information to understand the nature of a problem and the consequences of potential responses. Likewise, the regulated community needs information to decide how best to ...


Massachusetts V. Epa Heats Up Climate Policy No Less Than Administrative Law: A Comment On Professors Watts And Wildermuth, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2007

Massachusetts V. Epa Heats Up Climate Policy No Less Than Administrative Law: A Comment On Professors Watts And Wildermuth, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

In their essay Breaking New Ground on Issues Other than Global Warming, Professors Kathryn A. Watts and Amy J. Wildermuth have presented a thoughtful preliminary analysis of the Supreme Court's handiwork in Massachusetts v. EPA. They are correct that the decision potentially paves new ground in administrative law, particularly with regard to state standing. The Court's approach to review of agency decisions to decline rulemaking petitions is also potentially significant, but perhaps less ground-breaking than they suggest. In the context of climate change policy their assessment of the Court's decision is too modest, however, for Massachusetts virtually ...