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Full-Text Articles in Law

Fears, Faith, And Facts In Environmental Law, William W. Buzbee Jan 2024

Fears, Faith, And Facts In Environmental Law, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Environmental law has long been shaped by both the particular nature of environmental harms and by the actors and institutions that cause such harms or can address them. This nation’s environmental statutes remain far from perfect, and a comprehensive law tailored to the challenges of climate change is still elusive. Nonetheless, America’s environmental laws provide lofty, express protective purposes and findings about reasons for their enactment. They also clearly state health and environmental goals, provide tailored criteria for action, and utilize procedures and diverse regulatory tools that reflect nuanced choices.

But the news is far from good. Despite the ambitious …


The Lawlessness Of Sackett V. Epa, William W. Buzbee Jan 2024

The Lawlessness Of Sackett V. Epa, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

When the Supreme Court speaks on a disputed statutory interpretation question, its words and edicts undoubtedly are the final judicial word, binding lower courts and the executive branch. Its majority opinions are the law. But the Court’s opinions can nonetheless be assessed for how well they hew to fundamental elements of respect for the rule of law. In particular, law-respecting versus law-neglecting or lawless judicial work by the Court can be assessed in the statutory interpretation, regulatory, and separation of power realms against the following key criteria, which in turn are based on some basic rule of law tenets: analysis …


Climate Choice Architecture, Felix Mormann Jan 2023

Climate Choice Architecture, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Personal choices drive global warming nearly as much as institutional decisions. Yet, policymakers overwhelmingly target large-scale industrial facilities for reductions in carbon emissions, with individual and household emissions a mere afterthought. Recent advances in behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and related fields have produced a veritable behavior change revolution. Subtle changes to the choice environment, or nudges, have improved stake-holder decision-making in a wide range of contexts, from healthier food choices to better retirement planning. But the vast potential of choice architecture remains largely untapped for purposes of climate policy and action. This Article explores that untapped potential and makes the …


Cows V. Capitalists: Visions Of A Post-Carbon Economy, Alison Peck Jul 2021

Cows V. Capitalists: Visions Of A Post-Carbon Economy, Alison Peck

Journal of Food Law & Policy

I was tempted to entitle this book review something like, "Why the Farm Bill Is the Key to Our Energy Future (Hint: It's Not About Ethanol, Methane Emissions, or Carbon Sinks)." But in addition to being too long to fit across the header of a law review page, such a title would have been slightly misleading. Actually, in Simon Fairlie's view, our future is about ethanol, methane emissions, and carbon sinks - but not in the way our current agricultural policies understand and deal with these subjects.


The History And Future Of Genetically Modified Crops: Frankenfoods, Superweeds, And The Developing World, Brooke Glass-O'Shea Jan 2021

The History And Future Of Genetically Modified Crops: Frankenfoods, Superweeds, And The Developing World, Brooke Glass-O'Shea

Journal of Food Law & Policy

In a 1992 letter to the New York Times, a man named Paul Lewis referred to genetically modified (GM) crops as "Frankenfood," and wryly suggested it might be "time to gather the villagers, light some torches and head to the castle." Little did Lewis know that his neologism would become the rallying cry for activists around the world protesting the dangers of genetic engineering. The environmental activist group Greenpeace made great use of the "Frankenfood" epithet in their anti-GM campaigns of the 1990s, though they have since backed away from the word and the hardline stance it represents. But genetically …


The Carbon Price Equivalent: A Metric For Comparing Climate Change Mitigation Efforts Across Jurisdictions, Gabriel Weil Jan 2021

The Carbon Price Equivalent: A Metric For Comparing Climate Change Mitigation Efforts Across Jurisdictions, Gabriel Weil

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Climate change presents a global commons problem: Emissions reductions on the scale needed to meet global targets do not pass a domestic cost-benefit test in most countries. To give national governments ample incentive to pursue deep decarbonization, mutual interstate coercion will be necessary. Many proposed tools of coercive climate diplomacy would require a onedimensional metric for comparing the stringency of climate change mitigation policy packages across jurisdictions. This article proposes and defends such a metric: the carbon price equivalent. There is substantial variation in the set of climate change mitigation policy instruments implemented by different countries. Nonetheless, the consequences of …


The New Decade Of Construction Contracts: Technological And Climate Considerations For Owners, Designers, And Builders, Geoffrey F. Palachuk Dec 2020

The New Decade Of Construction Contracts: Technological And Climate Considerations For Owners, Designers, And Builders, Geoffrey F. Palachuk

Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law

In the next decade, the construction industry faces two intertwined risks: implementation of new technologies and the impacts of climate change. Those overlapping risks will present both practical and legal issues for design professionals, developers, builders, legislators, and the public at large. Although the average participant in the construction industry may not think twice about the emergence or adoption of new technologies, or the effect of climate change on the completed project, those issues present nuanced legal implications. Construction projects and their contracts must adapt. While companies seek to implement new technologies, provide sustainable products, optimize project systems, and maximize …


The “Green Patent Paradox” And Fair Use: The Intellectual Property Solution To Fight Climate Change, Samuel Cayton Dec 2020

The “Green Patent Paradox” And Fair Use: The Intellectual Property Solution To Fight Climate Change, Samuel Cayton

Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law

As the climate crisis consistently worsens, the United States’ response to the crisis has proven inconsistent. Even with the United States likely to recommit to the Paris Climate Agreement, political tensions will likely further delay a climate response. The polarized characterization of the Green New Deal, the inaction of scientifically misguided conservatives, and the incessant proposal for middle ground approaches lacking the urgency needed to change course all contribute to this delay. While swift action from the federal government is needed, looking to the private sector to transition to sustainability is equally important. Specifically, patent protection is a strong intellectual …


Back To The Future: Creating A Bipartisan Environmental Movement For The 21st Century, David M. Uhlmann Oct 2020

Back To The Future: Creating A Bipartisan Environmental Movement For The 21st Century, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

With a contentious presidential election looming amidst a pandemic, economic worries, and historic protests against systemic racism, climate action may seem less pressing than other challenges. Nothing could be further from the truth. To prevent greater public health threats and economic dislocation from climate disruption, which will disproportionately harm Black Americans, people of color, and indigenous people, this Comment argues that we need to restore the bipartisanship that fueled the environmental movement and that the fate of the planet—and our children and grandchildren—depends upon our collective action.


The Rise And Fall Of Clean Air Act Climate Policy, Nathan Richardson Sep 2020

The Rise And Fall Of Clean Air Act Climate Policy, Nathan Richardson

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The Clean Air Act has proven to be one of the most successful and durable statutes in American law. After the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, there was great hope that the Act could be brought to bear on climate change, the most pressing current environmental challenge of our time. Massachusetts was fêted as the most important environmental case ever decided, and, upon it, the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama built a sweeping program of greenhouse gas regulations, aimed first at emissions from road vehicles, and later at fossil fuel power plants. It was the most …


Implementing Nepa In The Age Of Climate Change, Jayni Foley Hein, Natalie Jacewicz Sep 2020

Implementing Nepa In The Age Of Climate Change, Jayni Foley Hein, Natalie Jacewicz

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The national government has a crucial role to play in combating climate change, yet federal projects continue to constitute a major source of United States greenhouse gas emissions. Under the National Environmental Policy Act, agencies must consider the environmental impacts of major federal actions before they can move forward. But agencies frequently downplay or ignore the climate change impacts of their projects in NEPA analyses, citing a slew of technical difficulties and uncertainties. This Article analyzes a suite of the most common analytical failures on the part of agencies with respect to climate change: failure to account for a project’s …


The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd Mar 2020

The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This Note analyzes recent litigation concerning the constitutionality of state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and similar environmental legislation designed to promote clean energy. It begins with a discussion of the current state of both federal and state responses to climate change. From there, it analyzes several legal challenges to state RPSs and other climate-related laws that focus on potential violations of the dormant Commerce Clause. It concludes with a brief exploration of how these cases fit the history and purpose of the dormant Commerce Clause. The Note argues that a narrow view of the doctrine is consistent with the purpose …


Are Securities Laws Effective Against Climate Change? A Proposal For Targeted Climate Related Disclosure And Ghg Reduction, Nate Chumley Jan 2020

Are Securities Laws Effective Against Climate Change? A Proposal For Targeted Climate Related Disclosure And Ghg Reduction, Nate Chumley

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

The New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil on October 24, 2018, claiming the company committed securities fraud in order to prop up the value of the company by publicly disclosing a higher proxy cost—or projected future cost—of climate change regulation than the internal cost used. Following this lawsuit, a federal class action was filed utilizing the same legal theory on the same facts. These lawsuits should be viewed as part of the larger history of lawsuits against large fossil fuel companies for climate change-related harms. Public nuisance theory largely captured a set of lawsuits against these …


Testimony Before The House Committee On Science, Space And Technology, Charles Tiefer Sep 2016

Testimony Before The House Committee On Science, Space And Technology, Charles Tiefer

All Faculty Scholarship

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I served in the House General Counsel’s office in 1984-1995, becoming General Counsel (Acting). (Since 1995, I have been Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law,)

So, I have lengthy fulltime experience, including extensive work on Congressional subpoenas. My work takes in whether the House, or this Committee, may justifiably try to enforce subpoenas against state Attorneys General (the answer being: no). I have had more years of experience than almost anyone else in House history focused on this area. While the other professors on this panel have done various …


Water, Water Everywhere, But Just How Much Is Clean?: Examining Water Quality Restoration Efforts Under The United States Clean Water Act And The United States-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Jill T. Hauserman Jul 2016

Water, Water Everywhere, But Just How Much Is Clean?: Examining Water Quality Restoration Efforts Under The United States Clean Water Act And The United States-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Jill T. Hauserman

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Climate Change And Water Transfers, Jesse Reiblich, Christine A. Klein Apr 2014

Climate Change And Water Transfers, Jesse Reiblich, Christine A. Klein

Pepperdine Law Review

Climate change adaptation is all about water. Although some governments have begun to plan for severe water disruptions, many have not. The consequences of inaction, however, may be dire. As a report of the U.N. Environment Programme warns, “countries that adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach potentially risk the lives of their people, their ecosystems and their economies.” In the United States, according to one study, nearly 60% of the states are unprepared to deal with the impending crisis. Responding to this void, we offer what we believe is the first comprehensive, state-by-state survey of water allocation law and its …


When Scientific Palmers Make Policy: The Impact And Future Of Cap-And-Trade In The United States, Sophia Hamilton Sep 2012

When Scientific Palmers Make Policy: The Impact And Future Of Cap-And-Trade In The United States, Sophia Hamilton

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

No abstract provided.


Development And Dissemination Of Clean Cookstoves: A Model Law For Developed Countries, Scott Miller Jul 2012

Development And Dissemination Of Clean Cookstoves: A Model Law For Developed Countries, Scott Miller

Drafting Model Laws on Indoor Pollution for Developing and Developed Nations (July 12-13)

21 pages.

"This model law was developed at a legislative drafting workshop on July 12-13, 2012, entitled Drafting Model Laws on Indoor Pollution for Developing and Developed Nations, which was sponsored by the Center for Energy & Environmental Security and the Colorado Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law Review at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, Colorado."-- Excerpted from 24 Colo. Nat. Resources, Energy & Envtl. L. Rev. 355 (2013).

"Scott Miller ed."


Development And Dissemination Of Clean Cookstoves: A Model Law For Developing Countries, Lakshman Guruswamy Ed. Jul 2012

Development And Dissemination Of Clean Cookstoves: A Model Law For Developing Countries, Lakshman Guruswamy Ed.

Drafting Model Laws on Indoor Pollution for Developing and Developed Nations (July 12-13)

24 pages.

"This model law was developed at a legislative drafting workshop on July 12-13, 2012, entitled Drafting Model Laws on Indoor Pollution for Developing and Developed Nations, which was sponsored by the Center for Energy & Environmental Security and the Colorado Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law Review at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, Colorado." Excerpted from 24 Colo. Nat. Resources, Energy & Envtl. L. Rev. 331 (2013).


Arctic Justice: Addressing Persistent Organic Pollutants, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson Jan 2012

Arctic Justice: Addressing Persistent Organic Pollutants, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

This article recommends enhanced governance of persistent organic pollutants through incentives to develop environmentally sound, climate friendly technologies as well as caution in developing the Arctic. It highlights the toxicity challenges presented by POPs to Arctic people and ecosystems.


Innovation Cooperation: Energy Biosciences And Law, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson Jan 2011

Innovation Cooperation: Energy Biosciences And Law, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

This Article analyzes the development and dissemination of environmentally sound technologies that can address climate change. Climate change poses catastrophic health and security risks on a global scale. Universities, individual innovators, private firms, civil society, governments, and the United Nations can unite in the common goal to address climate change. This Article recommends means by which legal, scientific, engineering, and a host of other public and private actors can bring environmentally sound innovation into widespread use to achieve sustainable development. In particular, universities can facilitate this collaboration by fostering global innovation and diffusion networks.


Tribes As Essential Partners In Achieving Sustainable Governance, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson Jan 2011

Tribes As Essential Partners In Achieving Sustainable Governance, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

Indigenous peoples have modeled sustainable development around the world. Incentivizing the innovation and instillation of wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources can come in the form of public funding, including renewable portfolio standards, feed in tariffs and green tag programs. This article analyzes ways in which tribal communities are helping to expand cooperative good governance.


From Coase To Collaborative Property Decision-Making: Green Economy Innovation, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson Jan 2011

From Coase To Collaborative Property Decision-Making: Green Economy Innovation, Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

Prof. Elizabeth Burleson

This Article considers the advantages and disadvantages of market-based program design, natural gas regulation, and enhanced international understanding. Transitioning to a green economy involves dedicating efforts towards environmentally sound energy innovation. RGGI, natural gas, and climate change represent sustainability challenges. Optimizing cooperative transboundary green innovation can facilitate inclusive decision-making just as public participation by civil society can help economies transition to environmentally sound energy use. Building upon progress made in the human rights and environment fields can advance both and enhance resilience.


Nepa In The Hot Seat: A Proposal For An Office Of Environmental Analysis, Aliza M. Cohen Oct 2010

Nepa In The Hot Seat: A Proposal For An Office Of Environmental Analysis, Aliza M. Cohen

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Judicial deference under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) can be problematic. It is a well-established rule of administrative law that courts will grant a high degree of deference to agency decisions. They do this out of respect for agency expertise and policy judgment. This deference is applied to NEPA lawsuits without acknowledging the special pressures that agencies face while assessing the environmental impacts of their own projects. Though there is a strong argument that these pressures undermine the reasons for deferential review, neither the statute nor the courts have provided plaintiffs with adequate means to remedy this problem. Agency …


From The Greenhouse To The Poorhouse: Carbon Emissions Control And The Rules Of Legislative Joinder, David A. Super Jan 2010

From The Greenhouse To The Poorhouse: Carbon Emissions Control And The Rules Of Legislative Joinder, David A. Super

Faculty Scholarship

Pending legislation to address carbon emissions would include large subsidies for existing emitters. These subsidies make little sense economically or politically. Worse, they divert resources needed to address two crucial issues that the proposed legislation largely ignores: the impact of raising carbon costs on low-income people and the massive structural federal deficit. A carbon tax or cap-and-trade system would increase costs substantially not only for transportation but for food and housing. With poverty rising even before the current economic downturn, these price increases’ consequences could be dire. The structural deficit will require deflationary tax increases or spending cuts. Combining carbon …


Critique Of U.S. House Bill 2454 On Climate Change, Michael J. Waggoner Jan 2010

Critique Of U.S. House Bill 2454 On Climate Change, Michael J. Waggoner

Publications

The U.S. House of Representatives, in June 2009, approved a bill to create a cap and trade system and a system of regulations and subsidies to address the problems of climate change. The U.S. Senate is now considering remedies for climate change. The approach of House Bill 2454 is ill-advised, and should be rejected by the Senate, because of the problems outlined below. I propose that these problems that would not be presented by a carbon tax, a simpler and more effective remedy for the risk of climate change.


Climate Change And Institutional Competence, Mark Squillace Jan 2010

Climate Change And Institutional Competence, Mark Squillace

Publications

No abstract provided.


Carbon Regulation And Its Impact On The Appalachian Basin: Why The Coal-Fired Energy Industry In Appalachia Should Embrace, Prepare For, And Help Shape A Comprehensive Legislative Scheme That Limits Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mark L. Belleville Jan 2009

Carbon Regulation And Its Impact On The Appalachian Basin: Why The Coal-Fired Energy Industry In Appalachia Should Embrace, Prepare For, And Help Shape A Comprehensive Legislative Scheme That Limits Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mark L. Belleville

Mark L. Belleville

The premise of this article – the coal-fired energy industry in Appalachia should embrace, prepare for, and help shape a comprehensive federal legislative scheme that limits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions – may sound counterintuitive. Why would an industry that emits greenhouse gases (GHGs) get on board with a national plan to limit GHG emissions? The reason is threefold. First, some form of regulation limiting emissions is inevitable. Second, in many respects, a comprehensive federal scheme is preferable to the current patchwork that exists. Finally, a comprehensive federal scheme can be tailored to be advantageous (or at least …


Indigenous Peoples And Environmental Justice: The Impact Of Climate Change, Rebecca Tsosie Mar 2007

Indigenous Peoples And Environmental Justice: The Impact Of Climate Change, Rebecca Tsosie

The Climate of Environmental Justice: Taking Stock (March 16-17)

Presenter: Rebecca Tsosie, Professor of Law, Arizona State University

1 page.


Climate Justice: The Next Movement [Outline], Richard J. Lazarus Mar 2007

Climate Justice: The Next Movement [Outline], Richard J. Lazarus

The Climate of Environmental Justice: Taking Stock (March 16-17)

Presenter: Richard J. Lazarus, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

2 pages.