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Wyoming V. Environmental Protection Agency, Ayden D. Auer 2024 Alexander Blewett III School of Law, University of Montana

Wyoming V. Environmental Protection Agency, Ayden D. Auer

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Wyoming v. EPA consolidated two petitions for review of a portion of Wyoming’s plans to reduce visibility impacts from two powerplants, Wyodak and Naughton. First, the Tenth Circuit held EPA was incorrect to disapprove Wyoming’s best available retrofit technology determination for Wyodak because EPA based its disapproval on noncompliance with guidelines that are optional to determine the best available retrofit technology for Wyodak. These same guidelines are nonbinding on Naughton as well, and the court held the petitioners failed to persuade the court that EPA’s approval of Naughton was arbitrary and capricious because the petitioners did not establish why Wyoming’s …


Many Miles To Go Before We Sleep: The Long Road To Creating A Comprehensive Global Plastics Treaty, Dr. Gerry Nagtzaam 2024 Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Many Miles To Go Before We Sleep: The Long Road To Creating A Comprehensive Global Plastics Treaty, Dr. Gerry Nagtzaam

Villanova Environmental Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Pest Or Guest, Friend Or Foe? Reframing The "Hard Look" Doctrine's Role In Environmental Pesticide Policy, James J. Burke 2024 Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Pest Or Guest, Friend Or Foe? Reframing The "Hard Look" Doctrine's Role In Environmental Pesticide Policy, James J. Burke

Villanova Environmental Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Arizona V. Navajo Nation, Sarah K. Yarlott 2024 University of Montana, Alexander Blewett III School of Law

Arizona V. Navajo Nation, Sarah K. Yarlott

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Arizona v. Navajo Nation clarified the United States’ trust duties to protect tribal water rights under the Winters doctrine and the 1868 Treaty with the Navajo. Under the Winters doctrine, Indian reservations are permanent homes that include an implicit reservation of water rights. However, Winters did not elaborate on the United States’ role in securing those rights. In Navajo Nation, the Court settled whether the United States has an implied duty under its trust obligations to take affirmative steps in securing water rights for tribes; the Court held no such implied duty exists.


Sackett V. Environmental Protection Agency, Meridian Wappett 2024 University of Montana, Alexander Blewett III School of Law

Sackett V. Environmental Protection Agency, Meridian Wappett

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In 2007, the Sacketts began developing a property a few hundred feet from Priest Lake in Northern Idaho by filling their lot with gravel. The EPA determined the lot constituted a federally protected wetland under the WOTUS definition because the lot was near a ditch that fed into a creek flowing into Priest Lake, a navigable intrastate lake. The EPA halted the construction. The Sacketts sued the EPA, arguing the CWA did not apply to their property. The Supreme Court held that the CWA did not apply to the Sacketts property because the CWA only covers wetlands and streams that …


Energy Justice And Renewable Rikers, Rebecca Bratspies 2024 CUNY School of Law

Energy Justice And Renewable Rikers, Rebecca Bratspies

University of Miami Law Review

Unsustainable energy practices generate the lion’s share of global carbon emissions as well as staggering levels of deadly particulate pollution. Replacing the current dirty, fossil fuel-based system with affordable, clean energy is both a human rights imperative and a climate change necessity. This transition, which has already begun, creates the opportunity to do things differently. By confronting the structural racism embedded in existing energy structures, we can build a just transition rather than just a transition. This Article uses New York City’s Renewable Rikers project as a case study to explore how we might take advantage of the intersections between …


Evolving Legal Conceptions Of “Energy Communities”, Uma Outka 2024 University of Kansas School of Law

Evolving Legal Conceptions Of “Energy Communities”, Uma Outka

University of Miami Law Review

The concept of “energy communities” has had long-standing and evolving significance in the United States and in other countries around the world. Under the Biden Administration, the term “energy communities” has acquired new legal meanings that differ by context and continue to evolve. This Article traces the shifting meaning of “energy communities” and examines how it relates to other dominant references to “communities” in the context of energy law and policy, including environmental justice, low-income, underserved, and disadvantaged communities, as well as newer community-scale energy system innovations, such as community solar or “advanced energy communities.” International comparisons, such as with …


It's A Soft Shell Life For Me: The Case For Expanding Npdes Permitting To Include Causes Of Ocean Acidification, Natalie L. Nowatzke 2024 University of Maine School of Law

It's A Soft Shell Life For Me: The Case For Expanding Npdes Permitting To Include Causes Of Ocean Acidification, Natalie L. Nowatzke

Ocean and Coastal Law Journal

Ocean acidification, a lesser-known counterpart to climate change, is primarily caused by the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This absorption, in turn, reduces the ocean’s pH, and has detrimental effects on the health of the entire ecosystem. This Comment examines the applicability of the “functional equivalent test,” coined by the Supreme Court in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, to the causes of ocean acidification. Using this test, this Comment proposes expanding NPDES permitting under the Clean Water Act to cover some landbased sources emitting carbon dioxide.


Calming The Waters: The International Atomic Energy Agency As A Viable Model To Address Water Weaponization, Jenna Beasley 2024 Emory University School of Law

Calming The Waters: The International Atomic Energy Agency As A Viable Model To Address Water Weaponization, Jenna Beasley

Emory International Law Review

No abstract provided.


Shareholder Primacy Versus Shareholder Accountability, William W. Bratton 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Shareholder Primacy Versus Shareholder Accountability, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

When corporations inflict injuries in the course of business, shareholders wielding environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) principles can, and now sometimes do, intervene to correct the matter. In the emerging fact pattern, corporate social accountability expands out of its historic collectivized frame to become an internal subject matter—a corporate governance topic. As a result, shareholder accountability surfaces as a policy question for the first time. The Big Three index fund managers, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, responded to the accountability question with ESG activism. In so doing, they defected against corporate legal theory’s central tenet, shareholder primacy. Shareholder primacy builds …


Public Primacy In Corporate Law, Dorothy S. Lund 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Public Primacy In Corporate Law, Dorothy S. Lund

Seattle University Law Review

This Article explores the malleability of agency theory by showing that it could be used to justify a “public primacy” standard for corporate law that would direct fiduciaries to promote the value of the corporation for the benefit of the public. Employing agency theory to describe the relationship between corporate management and the broader public sheds light on aspects of firm behavior, as well as the nature of state contracting with corporations. It also provides a lodestar for a possible future evolution of corporate law and governance: minimize the agency costs created by the divergence of interests between management and …


Corporate Law In The Global South: Heterodox Stakeholderism, Mariana Pargendler 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Corporate Law In The Global South: Heterodox Stakeholderism, Mariana Pargendler

Seattle University Law Review

How do the corporate laws of Global South jurisdictions differ from their Global North counterparts? Prevailing stereotypes depict the corporate laws of developing countries as either antiquated or plagued by problems of enforcement and misfit despite formal convergence. This Article offers a different view by showing how Global South jurisdictions have pioneered heterodox stakeholder approaches in corporate law, such as the erosion of limited liability for purposes of stakeholder protection in Brazil and India, the adoption of mandatory corporate social responsibility in Indonesia and India, and the large-scale program of Black corporate ownership and empowerment in South Africa, among many …


Robo-Voting: Does Delegated Proxy Voting Pose A Challenge For Shareholder Democracy?, John Matsusaka, Chong Shu 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Robo-Voting: Does Delegated Proxy Voting Pose A Challenge For Shareholder Democracy?, John Matsusaka, Chong Shu

Seattle University Law Review

Robo-voting is the practice by an investment fund of mechanically voting in corporate elections according to the advice of its proxy advisor— in effect fully delegating its voting decision to its advisor. We examined over 65 million votes cast during the period 2008–2021 by 14,582 mutual funds to describe and quantify the prevalence of robo-voting. Overall, 33% of mutual funds robo-voted in 2021: 22% with ISS, 4% with Glass Lewis, and six percent with the recommendations of the issuer’s management. The fraction of funds that robo-voted increased until around 2013 and then stabilized at the current level. Despite the sizable …


The Esg Information System, Stavros Gadinis, Amelia Miazad 2024 Seattle University School of Law

The Esg Information System, Stavros Gadinis, Amelia Miazad

Seattle University Law Review

The mounting focus on ESG has forced internal corporate decision-making into the spotlight. Investors are eager to support companies in innovative “green” technologies and scrutinize companies’ transition plans. Activists are targeting boards whose decisions appear too timid or insufficiently explained. Consumers and employees are incorporating companies sustainability credentials in their purchasing and employment decisions. These actors are asking companies for better information, higher quality reports, and granular data. In response, companies are producing lengthy sustainability reports, adopting ambitious purpose statements, and touting their sustainability credentials. Understandably, concerns about greenwashing and accountability abound, and policymakers are preparing for action.

In this …


Stakeholder Governance On The Ground (And In The Sky), Stephen Johnson, Frank Partnoy 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Stakeholder Governance On The Ground (And In The Sky), Stephen Johnson, Frank Partnoy

Seattle University Law Review

Professor Frank Partnoy: This is a marvelous gathering, and it is all due to Chuck O’Kelley and the special gentleness, openness, and creativity that he brings to this symposium. For more than a decade, he has been open to new and creative ways to discuss important issues surrounding business law and Adolf Berle’s legacy. We also are grateful to Dorothy Lund for co-organizing this gathering.

In introducing Stephen Johnson, I am reminded of a previous Berle, where Chuck allowed me some time to present the initial thoughts that led to my book, WAIT: The Art and Science of Delay. Part …


Stakeholder Capitalism’S Greatest Challenge: Reshaping A Public Consensus To Govern A Global Economy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Michael Klain 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Stakeholder Capitalism’S Greatest Challenge: Reshaping A Public Consensus To Govern A Global Economy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Michael Klain

Seattle University Law Review

The Berle XIV: Developing a 21st Century Corporate Governance Model Conference asks whether there is a viable 21st Century Stakeholder Governance model. In our conference keynote article, we argue that to answer that question yes requires restoring—to use Berle’s term—a “public consensus” throughout the global economy in favor of the balanced model of New Deal capitalism, within which corporations could operate in a way good for all their stakeholders and society, that Berle himself supported.

The world now faces problems caused in large part by the enormous international power of corporations and the institutional investors who dominate their governance. These …


Delegated Corporate Voting And The Deliberative Franchise, Sarah C. Haan 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Delegated Corporate Voting And The Deliberative Franchise, Sarah C. Haan

Seattle University Law Review

Starting in the 1930s with the earliest version of the proxy rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has gradually increased the proportion of “instructed” votes on the shareholder’s proxy card until, for the first time in 2022, it required a fully instructed proxy card. This evolution effectively shifted the exercise of the shareholder’s vote from the shareholders’ meeting to the vote delegation that occurs when the share-holder fills out the proxy card. The point in the electoral process when the binding voting choice is communicated is now the execution of the proxy card (assuming the shareholder completes the card …


A Different Approach To Agency Theory And Implications For Esg, Jonathan Bonham, Amoray Riggs-Cragun 2024 Seattle University School of Law

A Different Approach To Agency Theory And Implications For Esg, Jonathan Bonham, Amoray Riggs-Cragun

Seattle University Law Review

In conventional agency theory, the agent is modeled as exerting unobservable “effort” that influences the distribution over outcomes the principal cares about. Recent papers instead allow the agent to choose the entire distribution, an assumption that better describes the extensive and flexible control that CEOs have over firm outcomes. Under this assumption, the optimal contract rewards the agent directly for outcomes the principal cares about, rather than for what those outcomes reveal about the agent’s effort. This article briefly summarizes this new agency model and discusses its implications for contracting on ESG activities.


Stakeholder Governance As Governance By Stakeholders, Brett McDonnell 2024 Seattle University School of Law

Stakeholder Governance As Governance By Stakeholders, Brett Mcdonnell

Seattle University Law Review

Much debate within corporate governance today centers on the proper role of corporate stakeholders, such as employees, customers, creditors, suppliers, and local communities. Scholars and reformers advocate for greater attention to stakeholder interests under a variety of banners, including ESG, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and stakeholder governance. So far, that advocacy focuses almost entirely on arguing for an expanded understanding of corporate purpose. It argues that corporate governance should be for various stakeholders, not shareholders alone.

This Article examines and approves of that broadened understanding of corporate purpose. However, it argues that we should understand stakeholder governance as extending well …


The Need For Corporate Guardrails In U.S. Industrial Policy, Lenore Palladino 2024 Seattle University School of Law

The Need For Corporate Guardrails In U.S. Industrial Policy, Lenore Palladino

Seattle University Law Review

U.S. politicians are actively “marketcrafting”: the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act collectively mark a new moment of robust industrial policy. However, these policies are necessarily layered on top of decades of shareholder primacy in corporate governance, in which corporate and financial leaders have prioritized using corporate profits to increase the wealth of shareholders. The Administration and Congress have an opportunity to use industrial policy to encourage a broader reorientation of U.S. businesses away from extractive shareholder primacy and toward innovation and productivity. This Article examines discrete opportunities within the …


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