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Getting To Green: International Financing For Green Energy Infrastructure In Developing Countries, Zach Fechter, Meagan Corser Jun 2024

Getting To Green: International Financing For Green Energy Infrastructure In Developing Countries, Zach Fechter, Meagan Corser

Texas A&M Law Review

One of the symposium panels discussed financing clean energy projects. One panelist in particular expressed concern about how to build developing countries’ institutional capacity to utilize international financing for green energy. Global institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provide loans to developing countries conditioned on the countries privatizing and deregulating their energy sectors—otherwise known as austerity. While austerity measures may make sense in developed countries, this Comment argues that developing countries often lack the infrastructure needed to effectively utilize international financing precisely because the loans are conditioned on austerity. The World Bank and the IMF …


Turning Point: Green Industrial Policy And The Future Of U.S. Climate Action, Daniel A. Farber May 2024

Turning Point: Green Industrial Policy And The Future Of U.S. Climate Action, Daniel A. Farber

Texas A&M Law Review

In the first two years of the Biden presidency, Congress passed three massive funding bills, which poured hundreds of billions of dollars into clean energy infrastructure, research and development, and deployment of clean energy. Although these bills are not what lawyers are accustomed to thinking of as “environmental law,” they have the potential to launch a transformation of the energy sector. This development could not have come at a better time, given the Supreme Court’s increasingly skeptical attitude toward federal regulation.

Although the direct effect of these laws will be dramatic, this Article focuses on positive feedback loops that will …


Carrots, Sticks, And The Evolution Of U.S. Climate Policy, Brian Murray, Jonas Monast May 2024

Carrots, Sticks, And The Evolution Of U.S. Climate Policy, Brian Murray, Jonas Monast

Texas A&M Law Review

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enacted by Congress in 2022, is the most significant federal investment in decarbonization in U.S. history. The law makes hundreds of billions of dollars available for clean energy tax credits, grants to state and local governments, and other financial incentives for public and private investments. The IRA’s focus on incentives, or “carrots,” marks a significant departure from the emphasis on prescriptive regulations and penalties, or “sticks,” that are prominent in federal and state climate policies that predate the IRA. This Article situates the IRA within the existing climate policy framework and explores the long-term impacts …


Left Behind: Funding Climate Action In The Global South, Chinonso Anozie May 2024

Left Behind: Funding Climate Action In The Global South, Chinonso Anozie

Texas A&M Law Review

Global clean energy transition envisions zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as set by the United Nations. Consequentially, developed economies have made giant strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving full decarbonization. However, the opposite remains true in the Global South, lagging in financing its climate action. Despite being disproportionately impacted by climate change, financial efforts by developed economies and the Global South have failed in placing the latter’s countries at par with clean energy investments of developed countries. Absent adequate financing of climate action in the Global South, the net zero goal will be nothing but a mirage. …


Defrosting Regulatory Chill, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez Apr 2024

Defrosting Regulatory Chill, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

In Homer’s Odyssey, King Odysseus asked his men to tie him to the mast of his ship with the hope that he would not jump into the sea after listening to the Sirens. The Odyssey’s hero made a pact to bind himself in the future. He knew that the temptation would be impossible to resist without restraints. Similarly, the creators and advocates of international investment agreements believe that providing rights to foreign investors through international treaties will chill State policies that would harm the interests of investors in the future. The “rope” to tie the State is the threat of …


North American Energy In The Crossfire, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez, James W. Coleman Jan 2024

North American Energy In The Crossfire, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez, James W. Coleman

Faculty Scholarship

North America is the beating heart of global energy markets un-dergoing a terrible energy crisis that threatens to upend both the economy and global security. The clearest path out of this global crisis is increasing energy supplies from North America, which can restore energy security and drive a transition to cleaner energy sources. The U.S., Mexico, and Canada have abundant and varied resources to surmount this challenge but are in dire need of stronger cooperation across borders, and between private and public actors to achieve this goal. This Article shows how energy law changes in the U.S. and Mexico present …


Virtual Energy, Joel B. Eisen, Felix Mormann, Heather E. Payne Jan 2024

Virtual Energy, Joel B. Eisen, Felix Mormann, Heather E. Payne

Faculty Scholarship

From employment to education, many areas of our daily lives have gone virtual, including the virtual workplace and virtual classes. By comparison, the way we generate, deliver, and consume electricity is an anachronism. And the electric industry’s outdated business model and regulatory framework are failing. For the last century-and-a-half, we have relied on ever larger power plants to generate the electricity we consume, often hundreds of miles away from the point of production. But the outsized carbon footprint of these power plants and the need to transmit their output over long distances threaten the electric grid’s reliability, affordability, and long-term …


Reclaiming Regulatory Intermediation For The Public, Daniel E. Walters Nov 2023

Reclaiming Regulatory Intermediation For The Public, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship

Managerial governance is often operationalized through outsourcing the regulatory function from public institutions—for example, administrative agencies—to private organizations. In virtually any sector, it is possible to identify private “regulatory intermediaries” that step between public agencies and regulated parties to perform tasks traditionally played by government actors—for example, the development of regulatory standards, auditing, compliance assurance, enforcement, and more. Although this reliance on private regulatory intermediaries may in some cases be highly advantageous to government institutions since it may sometimes allow government agencies to do more regulatory work than their own resources and capacity might allow—it comes at significant costs of …


Grid Governance In The Energy-Trilemma Era: Remedying The Democracy Deficit, Daniel E. Walters, Andrew N. Kleit May 2023

Grid Governance In The Energy-Trilemma Era: Remedying The Democracy Deficit, Daniel E. Walters, Andrew N. Kleit

Faculty Scholarship

Transforming the electric power grid is central to any viable scenario for addressing global climate change, but the process and politics of this transformation are complex. The desire to transform the grid creates an “energy trilemma” involving often conflicting desires for reliability, cost, and decarbonization; and, at least in the short run, it is difficult to avoid making tradeoffs between these different goals. It is somewhat shocking, then, that many crucial decisions about electric power service in the United States are made not by consumers or their utilities, nor by state public utilities commissions or federal regulators. Instead, for much …


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 …


Characterizing Legal Implications For The Use Of Transboundary Aquifers, Gabriel Eckstein Nov 2022

Characterizing Legal Implications For The Use Of Transboundary Aquifers, Gabriel Eckstein

Faculty Scholarship

Groundwater resources that traverse political boundaries are becoming increasingly important sources of freshwater in international and intranational arenas worldwide. This is a direct extension of the growing need for new sources of freshwater, as well as the impact that excessive extraction, pollution, climate change, and other anthropogenic activities have had on surface waters. It is also a function of the growing realization that groundwater respects no political boundaries, and that aquifers traverse jurisdictional lines at all levels of political geography.

Due to this growing awareness, questions pertaining to responsibility and liability are now being raised in relation to the use, …


In The Name Of Energy Sovereignty, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez Nov 2022

In The Name Of Energy Sovereignty, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

Throughout history, the phrase "In the name of the King" justified actions that trumped the rights of citizens in order to safeguard the interests of the Crown. Today, in the name of energy sovereignty, states deploy the government apparatus to access oil and gas in other parts of the world, build pipelines on private lands, subsidize renewable energy, and nationalize their oil and power industries. States justify each of these actions by noting that they create a sense of energy independence, ensure security, or achieve other social and economic goals. Energy, however, cannot be trapped in one "realm." Its nature …


Lumpy Social Goods In Energy Decarbonization: Why We Need More Than Just Markets For The Clean Energy Transition, Daniel E. Walters Jun 2022

Lumpy Social Goods In Energy Decarbonization: Why We Need More Than Just Markets For The Clean Energy Transition, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship

To avoid the worst consequences of global climate change, the United States must achieve daunting targets for decarbonizing its electric power sector on a very short timescale. Policy experts largely agree that achieving these goals will require massive investment in new infrastructure to facilitate the deep integration of renewable fuels into the electric grid, including a new national high-voltage electric transmission network and grid-scale electricity storage, such as batteries. However, spurring investment in these needed infrastructures has proven to be challenging, despite numerous attempts by regulators and policymakers to clear a path for market-driven investment. Unchecked, this problem threatens to …


Groundwater Laws And Regulations: Survey Of Sixteen U.S. States, Abigail Adams, Jack Beasley, Rebekah Bratcher, Justin Clas, Jackson Field, Ian Gaunt, Ashley Graves, Merrick Hayashi, Jenna Lusk, Matthew Maslanka, Erin Milliken, Connor Pabich, Margaret Reed, A. Wesley Remschel, Lauren Thomas, Ashley Wilde Apr 2022

Groundwater Laws And Regulations: Survey Of Sixteen U.S. States, Abigail Adams, Jack Beasley, Rebekah Bratcher, Justin Clas, Jackson Field, Ian Gaunt, Ashley Graves, Merrick Hayashi, Jenna Lusk, Matthew Maslanka, Erin Milliken, Connor Pabich, Margaret Reed, A. Wesley Remschel, Lauren Thomas, Ashley Wilde

EENRS Program Reports & Publications

This report is the second volume in a continuing project designed to explore and articulate the groundwater laws and regulations of all fifty U.S. states. This particular report presents surveys for sixteen states throughout the country. The first volume featured thirteen state surveys and can be found at: http://www.law.tamu.edu/usgroundwaterlaws.

The purpose of the project is to compile and present the groundwater laws and regulations of every state in the United States that could then be used in a series of comparisons of groundwater governance principles, strategies, issues, and challenges. Professor Gabriel Eckstein at Texas A&M University School of Law and …


The Case For Corporate Climate Ratings: Nudging Financial Markets, Felix Mormann, Milica Mormann Dec 2021

The Case For Corporate Climate Ratings: Nudging Financial Markets, Felix Mormann, Milica Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Capital markets are cast as both villain and hero in the climate playbill. The trillions of dollars required to combat climate change leave ample room for heroics from the financial sector. For the time being, however, capital continues to flow readily toward fossil fuels and other carbon-intensive industries. Drawing on the results of an empirical study, this Article posits that ratings of corporate climate risk and governance can help overcome pervasive information asymmetries and nudge investors toward more climate-conscious investment choices with welfare-enhancing effects.

In the absence of a meaningful price on carbon, three private ordering initiatives are trying to …


When Drills And Pipelines Cross Indigenous Lands In The Americas, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez May 2021

When Drills And Pipelines Cross Indigenous Lands In The Americas, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

From the Missouri River, passing through the Sonora Desert, all the way down to the Amazon Forest and the Andean Mountains, drills and pipelines are crossing over indigenous lands. In an energy-thirsty continent, there is no land left to spare, not even tribal land. Many of these energy infrastructure projects involve international investments that are protected by treaties and enforced by arbitral tribunals. At the same time, tribal communities have an internationally recognized right to receive prior and informed consultation before they are affected by projects of this nature. The Article focuses on the clash of rights between energy extraction …


Whither The Regulatory "War On Coal"? Scapegoats, Saviors, And Stock Market Reactions, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Oct 2020

Whither The Regulatory "War On Coal"? Scapegoats, Saviors, And Stock Market Reactions, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship

Complaints about excessive economic burdens associated with regulation abound in contemporary political and legal rhetoric. In recent years, perhaps nowhere have these complaints been heard as loudly as in the context of U.S. regulations targeting the use of coal to supply power to the nation’s electricity system, as production levels in the coal industry dropped by nearly half between 2008 and 2016. The coal industry and its political supporters, including the president of the United States, have argued that a suite of air pollution regulations imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration seriously undermined coal companies’ …


Litigating Epa Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective Of Environmental Rulemaking In The Courts, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Jun 2020

Litigating Epa Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective Of Environmental Rulemaking In The Courts, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Clean Energy Equity, Felix Mormann May 2019

Clean Energy Equity, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Solar, wind, and other clean, renewable sources of energy promise to mitigate climate change, enhance energy security, and foster economic growth. But many of the policies in place to promote clean energy today are marred by an uneven distribution of economic opportunities and associated financial burdens. Tax incentives for renewables cost American taxpayers billions of dollars every year, yet the tax code effectively precludes all but the largest banks and most profitable corporations from reaping the benefits of these tax breaks. Other policies, such as renewable portfolio standards that set minimum quota to create demand for renewable electricity require such …


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


The Fine Print Of The Mexican Energy Reform, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez Oct 2018

The Fine Print Of The Mexican Energy Reform, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

Five years ago, when Mexico transformed its energy sector, most commentators were worried about the government’s capacity to implement the reform. What would the upstream contracts look like? Would the auctions be transparent? How would international companies react? After two successful auction rounds, 107 signed contracts, and the creation of viable regulatory agencies to manage and monitor the reform agenda, the questions have changed. Today, Mexico’s capacity to implement energy reforms and attract foreign investment is no longer in doubt. Today, the most pressing questions about the reform concern its long-term sustainability. Can it survive the Mexican electoral cycles? Will …


Mexico's Energy Reform And The 2012 U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Agreement. An Opportunity For Efficient, Effective And Safe Exploitation Of The Gulf Of Mexico, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez Jul 2018

Mexico's Energy Reform And The 2012 U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Agreement. An Opportunity For Efficient, Effective And Safe Exploitation Of The Gulf Of Mexico, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

Nature knows no legal boundaries. Resources cannot be stopped by walls with barbwire; no matter how high some people want to build them. They cross- national territories and expand under their logic. They belong to many nations, and they are there for the responsible exploitation of their communities. The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and its rich hydrocarbon deposits are no exceptions. The implication of this is that for the development of this enclosed sea area to be efficient, effective, and safe it requires not only the cooperation of government officials but also the inclusion of other actors, such as academic …


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


Free Trade In Electric Power, Joel B. Eisen, Felix Mormann Feb 2018

Free Trade In Electric Power, Joel B. Eisen, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

This Article develops the core legal framework of a new electricity-trading ecosystem in which anyone, anytime, anywhere, can trade electricity in any amount with anyone else. The proliferation of solar and other distributed energy resources, business model innovation in the sharing economy, and climate change present enormous challenges — and opportunities — for America’s energy economy. But the electricity industry is ill equipped to adapt to and benefit from these transformative forces, with much of its physical infrastructure, regulatory institutions, and business models a relic of the early days of electrification. We suggest a systematic rethinking to usher in a …


Regulatory Fracture Plugging: Managing Risks To Water From Shale Development, Caroline Cecot Jan 2018

Regulatory Fracture Plugging: Managing Risks To Water From Shale Development, Caroline Cecot

Texas A&M Law Review

Debates about the desirability of widespread shale development have highlighted outstanding uncertainty about its health, safety, and environmental impacts—most prominently, its water-contamination risks—and the ability of current institutions to deal with these impacts. States, the primary regulators of oil and gas extraction, face pressure from the energy industry, local communities, and, in some cases, the federal government to strike the right balance between energy production and the health and safety of individuals and the environment—an elusive balance given the ongoing risk uncertainty. This dynamic is not especially unique to fracking, or even oil and gas extraction; instead, this dynamic, characterized …


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.S.-Mexico and U.S.- …


Voter Psychology And The Carbon Tax, Gary M. Lucas Jr Oct 2017

Voter Psychology And The Carbon Tax, Gary M. Lucas Jr

Faculty Scholarship

Economists across the political spectrum argue that a carbon tax is the most effective and economically efficient policy for addressing climate change. Voters, however, strongly oppose the carbon tax and instead favor “green” subsidies and command-and-control regulations. If carefully designed, these policies might complement a carbon tax, but by themselves, they will make global warming mitigation incredibly expensive and perhaps even infeasible. Moreover, if poorly designed, subsidies and regulations can be counterproductive.

This Article argues that the public dislikes the carbon tax because the tax possesses attributes that make it psychologically unappealing relative to other climate policy instruments. The Article …


Fading Into The Sunset: Solar And Wind Energy Get Give More Years Of Tax Credits With A Phase-Down, Felix Mormann May 2016

Fading Into The Sunset: Solar And Wind Energy Get Give More Years Of Tax Credits With A Phase-Down, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

In the closing weeks of 2015, the solar and wind energy industries scored a major policy victory as Congress voted to extend the tax credits that have been a key driver of recent renewable energy deployment in the United States. Legislators reached a rare bipartisan compromise when renewable energy advocates agreed to lit the 40-year old export embargo on U.S. oil in exchange for an extra ive years of tax credit support for solar and wind energy. Renewable energy practitioners can now help their clients take advantage of these incentives for several more years and would be wise to do …


Regulating Pot To Save The Polar Bear: Energy And Climate Impacts Of The Marijuana Industry, Gina S. Warren Jan 2015

Regulating Pot To Save The Polar Bear: Energy And Climate Impacts Of The Marijuana Industry, Gina S. Warren

Faculty Scholarship

It goes by many names: cannabis, marijuana, pot, chronic, grass, reefer, shwag, Mary Jane. Whatever the name, the trend is clear: the weed is legal but the herb ain’t green. Nearly half of all U.S. states have enacted—or have pending— legislation to legalize, decriminalize, or in some way permit the use and cultivation of marijuana. As a result, marijuana has become a significant topic of conversation in the U.S.— especially in the areas of social policy and criminal law. One conversation yet to reach fruition, however, is the industry’s projected impacts on energy demand and the climate. As the industry …


Beyond Tax Credits: Smarter Tax Policy For A Cleaner, More Democratic Energy Future, Felix Mormann Jul 2014

Beyond Tax Credits: Smarter Tax Policy For A Cleaner, More Democratic Energy Future, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies have the potential to mitigate climate change, secure America’s energy independence, and create millions of green jobs. In the absence of a price on carbon emissions, however, these long-term benefits will not be realized without near-term policy support for renewables. This Article assesses the efficiency of federal tax incentives for renewables and proposes policy reform to more cost-effectively promote renewable energy through capital markets and crowdfunding.

Federal support for renewable energy projects today comes primarily in the form of tax incentives such as accelerated depreciation and, critically, tax credits. Empirical evidence reveals that …