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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


The Role Of Data Sharing In Transboundary Waterways: The Case Of The Helmand River Basin, Najibullah Loodin, Gabriel Eckstein, Vijay P. Singh, Rosario Sanchez Jan 2024

The Role Of Data Sharing In Transboundary Waterways: The Case Of The Helmand River Basin, Najibullah Loodin, Gabriel Eckstein, Vijay P. Singh, Rosario Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

While data and information exchanges theoretically play an effective role in the decision-making process of a shared watercourse, in practice, there are several challenges that prevent riparians from sharing data in an effective and cooperative manner. This chapter seeks to assess why the riparian nations of the Helmand River have failed to adopt an effective data exchange mechanism although both nations signed an internationally recognized bilateral water treaty in 1973. Applying a mixed study approach, the study draws on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to interpret the main obstacles of data sharing between Afghanistan, the upstream state, and Iran, …


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 And the electric industry’s outdated business model and regulatory framework are failing.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 …


Fishing And Fisheries Under International Water Law: A Dialogue Between Professor Gabriel Eckstein And Professor Paul Stanton Kibel, Gabriel Eckstein, Paul Stanton Kibel May 2023

Fishing And Fisheries Under International Water Law: A Dialogue Between Professor Gabriel Eckstein And Professor Paul Stanton Kibel, Gabriel Eckstein, Paul Stanton Kibel

Faculty Scholarship

On April 10 and 11, 2023, the Center on Urban Environmental Law (CUEL) at Golden Gate University School of Law hosted a two-day webinar on International Law Aspects of Fisheries and Hydropower in Europe. To open the webinar, Professor Gabriel Eckstein (of Texas A&M University School of Law) and Professor Paul Stanton Kibel (of Golden Gate University School of Law) participated in a keynote dialogue titled Fishing and Fisheries under International Water Law. What follows is a transcription of this dialogue between Professor Eckstein and Professor Kibel.


Species Survival Or The “3s Method”? How The Endangered Species Act Disincentivizes Landowner Cooperation And Threatens The Species It Supposedly Saves, William Edward Mahaffy Apr 2023

Species Survival Or The “3s Method”? How The Endangered Species Act Disincentivizes Landowner Cooperation And Threatens The Species It Supposedly Saves, William Edward Mahaffy

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) places restrictions on landowners when their property harbors endangered species. Though well-intentioned as a method of promoting species recovery, these restrictions actually have the reverse effect. Instead of accepting ESA regulations, landowners secretly eliminate endangered species from their property in what is colloquially known as “shoot, shovel, and shut up.” Collaboration between landowners and agencies is essential for species preservation. This Article illustrates the collaboration options, some within the limits of the ESA and others requiring its reform. The four options analyzed are (1) landowner peer review of species listing procedures, (2) congressional clarification of …


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, …


Do Not Put All Your Eggs In One Basket: Social Perspectives On Desalination And Water Recycling In Israel, Gretchen Sneegas, Lucas Seghezzo, Christian Brannstrom, Wendy Jepson, Gabriel Eckstein Nov 2022

Do Not Put All Your Eggs In One Basket: Social Perspectives On Desalination And Water Recycling In Israel, Gretchen Sneegas, Lucas Seghezzo, Christian Brannstrom, Wendy Jepson, Gabriel Eckstein

Faculty Scholarship

Israel has set ambitious goals in terms of the widespread adoption of desalination and water recycling technologies. Policymakers in Israel consider these technologies as the key to improve urban water security but knowledge of stakeholder views on this policy approach is not well established. We deployed the Q-methodology, a qualitative–quantitative approach, to empirically determine social perspectives on desalination and water recycling across a wide range of stakeholders in the Israeli water sector. We identified the following four distinctive social perspectives: (1) desalination should be the option of last resort; (2) desalination is moving us to an infinite resource; (3) equating …


The Environmental, Social, Governance (Esg) Debate Emerges From The Soil Of Climate Denial, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman Oct 2022

The Environmental, Social, Governance (Esg) Debate Emerges From The Soil Of Climate Denial, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman

Faculty Scholarship

It has been almost six decades since Rachel Carson’s ominous warning of pending environmental disaster. During 2019 the United Nations requested urgent action from world leaders, given that “just over a decade is all that remains to stop irreversible damage from climate change.” With every passing year, damage resulting from destructive climate change causes increased pain, suffering, death and massive property loss. During 2020 and 2021 alone, severe weather events have included: destructive fires in California; record breaking freeze, power outage, and threat to the electrical grid in Texas; continuation of disruptive drought in U.S. Western states; and record-breaking high …


Current Challenges In The Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin: Old Disputes In A New Century, Regina M. Buono, Gabriel Eckstein Aug 2022

Current Challenges In The Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin: Old Disputes In A New Century, Regina M. Buono, Gabriel Eckstein

Faculty Scholarship

The Rio Grande River traverses 2000 kilometres of the international border between Mexico and the United States. The river and its tributaries are governed by a series of border treaties and institutions, as well as under the domestic laws of each nation. Often lauded for enabling innovative and collaborative governance, in recent years the complicated regime has come under pressure as domestic and international water governance institutions struggle under the strain of climate change, population growth, and other stressors on water supply and demand in the region. This chapter considers three of the major challenges currently facing the Rio Grande …


Ownership Concentration: Lessons From Natural Resources, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Aug 2022

Ownership Concentration: Lessons From Natural Resources, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Concentration of ownership over land or other resources is both a sign and a cause of inequality. Concentration of ownership makes access to such resources difficult for those less powerful, and it can have negative effects on local communities that benefit from a more distributed ownership pattern. Such concentration goes against the antimonopoly principles behind the homesteading land policies and the legal regimes that regulate many natural resources. This Essay suggests that where concentration is a concern, one might draw lessons for reform by looking to the field of natural resources law, which employs a range of deconcentration mechanisms affecting …


Come Hell Or No Water: The Story Of Sandbranch And The Unincorporated Community Fight For Public Services, Daeja Pemberton Jun 2022

Come Hell Or No Water: The Story Of Sandbranch And The Unincorporated Community Fight For Public Services, Daeja Pemberton

Student Scholarship

Sandbranch is the only unincorporated community left in Dallas County, and the residents of this majority-Black, impoverished community have had their cries for basic necessities—such as clean, running water—largely ignored. With the County and the City of Dallas not remedying the problem so far, there is a question as to who is responsible for providing water and other public services to the community’s eighty residents. As it currently stands, Texas law simply permits local governments to offer assistance to unincorporated communities but does not mandate that affirmative measures be taken to ensure that these communities are provided for. What is …


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 …


Natural Transplants, Vanessa Casado-Pérez, Yael R. Lifshitz Jun 2022

Natural Transplants, Vanessa Casado-Pérez, Yael R. Lifshitz

Faculty Scholarship

Policymakers are constantly faced with the complex task of managing novel challenges. At times, these challenges result from new technologies: Consider fights over allocating air rights for drones or decisions about how to share scarce vaccines in a pandemic. Other times the resources are old, but the challenges are new, such as how to fairly allocate water in times of unprecedented drought or previously undesirable rare earth minerals that are in demand for modern manufacturing and energy production. Often, instead of carefully tailoring a regime to the new resource, decisionmakers simply rely on mechanisms they are familiar with. When jurisdictions …


Can You Dig It? Yes, You Can! But At What Cost?: A Proposal For The Protection Of Domestic Fossils On Private Land, Bridget Roddy May 2022

Can You Dig It? Yes, You Can! But At What Cost?: A Proposal For The Protection Of Domestic Fossils On Private Land, Bridget Roddy

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Paleontological resources require similar protections to archaeological resources because the threat of looting, improper excavation, and market demand are analogous. Paleontological resources are responsible for informing much of scientists’ understanding of evolution and the history of the planet, just as cultural property helps to inform the evolution of humanity and culture. Once either object is removed from its original context, there is an immediate and invaluable loss of information that could have illuminated important information about the past. When either is removed from the environment in which they were created, a nonrenewable link to the past is lost.

Existing laws …


2019–2020 Colorado Oil And Gas Law Update, William D. Farrar Apr 2022

2019–2020 Colorado Oil And Gas Law Update, William D. Farrar

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Colorado courts and the state’s legislature were quite active in 2019 and 2020 on the oil and gas administrative law front. Namely, the Colorado General Assembly enacted changes to the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Act in response to the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez. While the Martinez case was not principally a substantive oil and gas case, the resulting fallout from the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision made sweeping changes to the state’s statutory laws. The decision will also result in major administrative law changes affecting the Colorado oil & gas …


Louisiana, Keith B. Hall Apr 2022

Louisiana, Keith B. Hall

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This article examines significant developments in Louisiana oil and gas law during 2021, beginning with developments arising from court cases, then legislation, and finally regulations.


Texas: Survey Of Selected 2021 Oil And Gas Cases And Statutes, William D. Farrar Apr 2022

Texas: Survey Of Selected 2021 Oil And Gas Cases And Statutes, William D. Farrar

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

The Texas Supreme Court was quite active in 2021, issuing several oil and gas opinions; however, two were quite controversial, drawing numerous amicus curie from industry groups, oil and gas attorneys, and academia. In Concho Resources, Inc. v Ellison, the court held that a subsequently executed, inconsistent instrument, even without words of grant, may divest a record mineral title. And, in Broadway National Bank v. Yates Energy Corp., the court held that prior title holders may divest a current record title holder of their title by executing a correction deed without the joinder of, or notice to, the …


Alabama, Florida, Georgia, And Tennessee, Brandt P. Hill, Hugh Gainer Apr 2022

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, And Tennessee, Brandt P. Hill, Hugh Gainer

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

There were no decisions by federal or state courts in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or Tennessee between fall 2020 and fall 2021 directly relevant to oil and gas companies or operations. However, there were several decisions that may nonetheless be of interest to the industry, including two opinions by the United States Supreme Court in water-rights cases. We discuss these opinions below.


Northern Rocky Mountain Region: Montana, Wyoming, And Idaho, Stephen R. Brown Apr 2022

Northern Rocky Mountain Region: Montana, Wyoming, And Idaho, Stephen R. Brown

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article examines significant developments in oil and gas law for the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, including Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.


Appalachian Basin–Pennsylvania, West Virginia, And Ohio–Oil And Gas Law Developments, Ross H. Pifer, Chloe J. Marie Apr 2022

Appalachian Basin–Pennsylvania, West Virginia, And Ohio–Oil And Gas Law Developments, Ross H. Pifer, Chloe J. Marie

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This article addresses oil and gas case law developments that have occurred within the Appalachian Basin’s primary oil and gas producing states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during 2021 by reviewing opinions issued by the highest appellate courts within each of these three states. The oil and gas law topics addressed by these state supreme courts during 2021 have ranged from those occurring upstream, such as leasing, to those occurring downstream, such as approval of a utility rate increase for the extension of a natural gas pipeline.


New Mexico, Sharon T. Shaheen Apr 2022

New Mexico, Sharon T. Shaheen

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article examines significant developments in New Mexico oil and gas law.


Perspective On Wildgrass Oil & Gas Committee V. Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission And The Embracing Of Associated Standing, Ralph A. Cantafio, Miles C. Nowak, Cody J. Watson Apr 2022

Perspective On Wildgrass Oil & Gas Committee V. Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission And The Embracing Of Associated Standing, Ralph A. Cantafio, Miles C. Nowak, Cody J. Watson

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

The ongoing litigations between the Wildgrass Oil & Gas Committee (“Wildgrass”) and, among others, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) serve as a microcosm of the political and legal horizons that define the microscope used to examine Colorado oil and gas development. This set of litigations began administratively with the application for permits before the COGCC and, over the passage of time, weaved its way through the District Court of the City and County of Denver (the “State District Court”), the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (the “Federal District Court”), the Colorado Court of …


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 …


Everything Is Bigger In Texas, Including The Need To Incentivize And Implement Innovative Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems As A Method Of Water Reuse, Haley Varnadoe Apr 2022

Everything Is Bigger In Texas, Including The Need To Incentivize And Implement Innovative Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems As A Method Of Water Reuse, Haley Varnadoe

Student Scholarship

Texas will need to adapt to a drier climate and reduced water supplyin the 21st centuiyas the negative hydological effects ofclimnate change continue. Rising temperatures will accelerate evaporation of surface water resources, which in turn both increases rehance on depletable groundwater resources and decreases the amount of surface water available for aquifer rechaige. As a result, Texans who rely on either groundwater or suiface water to meet their domestic water needs-particularlyt hose in rurala id regions-mays uffer as both quantities decrease in the coming decades. The practice ofdomestic water reuse presents one solution to a decreasing water supply by safely …


Transboundary Aquifers, Raya Marina Stephan, Alice Aureli, Aurélien Dumont, Annukka Lipponen, Sarah Tiefenauer-Linardon, Christina Fraser, Alfonso Rivera, Shammy Puri, Stefano Burchi, Gabriel Eckstein, Christian Brethaut, Ziad Khayat, Karen Villholth, Lesha Witmer, Renee Martin-Nagle, Anita Milman, Francesco Sindico, James Dalton Apr 2022

Transboundary Aquifers, Raya Marina Stephan, Alice Aureli, Aurélien Dumont, Annukka Lipponen, Sarah Tiefenauer-Linardon, Christina Fraser, Alfonso Rivera, Shammy Puri, Stefano Burchi, Gabriel Eckstein, Christian Brethaut, Ziad Khayat, Karen Villholth, Lesha Witmer, Renee Martin-Nagle, Anita Milman, Francesco Sindico, James Dalton

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter gives an overview of the status of transboundary aquifers and the cooperation related to shared groundwater resources, highlighting the complexity of the assessment, analysis and management of these systems. It summarizes the main challenges regarding transboundary aquifers and the need for more comprehensive and integrated management, which would include technical, legal and organizational aspects as well as training and cooperation.


Legal And Other Institutional Aspects Of Groundwater Governance, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Alice Aureli, Stefano Burchi, Mohamed Bazza, Raya Marina Stephan, Gabriel Eckstein, Lesha Witmer, Margreet Zwarteveen, Aurélien Dumont, Danielle Gaillar-Picher, Rio Hada, Rebecca Welling, Maki Tsujimura Apr 2022

Legal And Other Institutional Aspects Of Groundwater Governance, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Alice Aureli, Stefano Burchi, Mohamed Bazza, Raya Marina Stephan, Gabriel Eckstein, Lesha Witmer, Margreet Zwarteveen, Aurélien Dumont, Danielle Gaillar-Picher, Rio Hada, Rebecca Welling, Maki Tsujimura

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter defines the linked concepts of groundwater governance and groundwater management, explaining how they differ from each other. Then, it describes the prevailing legal instruments for, and the institutional aspects of, groundwater management and governance.


Groundwater Policy And Planning, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Gabriel Eckstein, Kerstin Danert, Lesha Witmer, Rebecca Welling, Viviana Re, Katharina Davis, Lulu Zhang Apr 2022

Groundwater Policy And Planning, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Gabriel Eckstein, Kerstin Danert, Lesha Witmer, Rebecca Welling, Viviana Re, Katharina Davis, Lulu Zhang

Faculty Scholarship

Groundwater policy defines objectives, ambitions and priorities for managing groundwater resources, for the benefit of society. Planning translates policy into programmes of action. Both are often part of a wider water resource policy and planning framework, but the specific challenges pertaining to groundwater have traditionally received less attention than surface water.

The terms ‘policy,’ ‘strategy’ and ‘plans’ are used interchangeably in many countries and contexts.


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 …


Whose Water? Corporatization Of A Common Good, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Dec 2021

Whose Water? Corporatization Of A Common Good, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter encourages readers to think of agricultural communities in the era of climate change-induced droughts and population growth similar to when western Pennsylvania’s steel industry collapsed in the 1980s. If water must flow uphill to money, it should not leave a dust bowl behind. While this chapter’s proposals to address the effects on community build on examples of water reallocation where those effects have been addressed, both the just-transition literature and the experiences of some of the towns successfully adapting to abrupt changes in their economic tissue can offer lessons for areas suffering big water losses. In addition, privatization …