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The Legal And Administrative Risks Of Climate Regulation, Jonathan Adler Jan 2021

The Legal And Administrative Risks Of Climate Regulation, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

Dramatic and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) at acceptable levels. Prioritizing federal environmental regulation as the primary means of achieving these goals may be a strategic mistake. Regulatory mandates, particularly if based upon existing statutory authority, will be vulnerable to legal attack, obstruction, and delay. Climate legislation can reduce the legal risks and accelerate the rate of policy implementation, but only on the margin. Adopting regulatory controls, sector-by-sector, technology-by-technology will be immensely resource intensive for the EPA and other federal agencies. Even with authorizing legislation, federal regulatory strategies may ...


Uncooperative Environmental Federalism 2.0, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2020

Uncooperative Environmental Federalism 2.0, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Has the Trump Administration made good on its pledges to reinvigorate cooperative federalism and constrain environmental regulatory overreach by the federal government? Perhaps less than one would think. This paper, prepared for the Hastings Law Journal symposium, “Revolution of Evolution? Administrative Law in the Age of Trump,” provides a critical assessment of the Trump Administration’s approach to environmental federalism. Despite the Administration’s embrace of “cooperative federalism” rhetoric, environmental policy reforms have not consistently embodied a principled approach to environmental federalism in which the state and federal governments are each encouraged to focus resources on areas of comparative advantage.


The Environmental Protection Agency Turns Fifty, Jonathan Adler Jan 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency Turns Fifty, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

In anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary of the EPA’s founding, the Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law and the Case Western Reserve Law Review sponsored a symposium to look at the past, present, and future of the EPA. The conference featured an array of environmental-law and -policy experts, including individuals who served in environmental-policy positions in each of the last four presidential administrations, as well as the current EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler.

This article is an introduction for the articles from this conference that are published in this special symposium issue of the law review.


The Opportunities And Limitations Of Neutral Carbon Tariffs, Juscelino F. Colares, Ashwin Rode Jan 2017

The Opportunities And Limitations Of Neutral Carbon Tariffs, Juscelino F. Colares, Ashwin Rode

Faculty Publications

Because carbon taxes can lead to loss of competitiveness, applying tariffs on imports from non-carbon-restricting countries helps address the cost disadvantage faced by producers in carbon-restricting countries. Such tariffs, known as border carbon adjustments ("BCAs"), can also help reduce possible carbon "leakage," or the growth in foreign emissions due to increased production of carbon-intensive goods in non-carbon-restricting countries. We demonstrate that BCAs that do not exceed the burdens imposed by carbon taxation on domestic like products could be consistent with World Trade Organization ("WTO") rules. However, "neutral" (i.e., nondiscriminatory) BCAs might still be inefficiently high from a global welfare ...


Pleading Patterns And The Role Of Litigation As A Driver Of Federal Climate Change Legislation, Juscelino F. Colares, Kosta Ristovski Jan 2014

Pleading Patterns And The Role Of Litigation As A Driver Of Federal Climate Change Legislation, Juscelino F. Colares, Kosta Ristovski

Faculty Publications

Based on a variant of the Elliott-Ackerman-Millian theory that variable, potentially inconsistent and costly litigation outcomes induce industry to seek federal preemptive legislation to reign in such costs, we collect data on climate change-related litigation to determine whether litigation might motivate major greenhouse gas emitters to accept a preemptive, though possibly carbon-restricting, legislative compromise. We conduct a spectral cluster analysis on 178 initial federal and state judicial filings to reveal the most relevant groupings among climate change-related suits and their underlying pleading patterns. Besides exposing the general content and structure of climate change-related filings, this study identifies major specific pleading ...


Conservative Principles For Environmental Reform,, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2013

Conservative Principles For Environmental Reform,, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Major environmental policy reform is long overdue. The current regulatory architecture was erected in the 1970s. Since then meaningful reforms have been few and far between. A few reforms and regulatory expansions were adopted in the 1980s, and Congress enacted significant reforms to the Clean Air Act in 1990. Only the most minor environmental bills have been enacted since then.


The Dynamics And Global Implications Of Subglobal Carbon-Restricting Regimes, Juscelino F. Colares Jan 2013

The Dynamics And Global Implications Of Subglobal Carbon-Restricting Regimes, Juscelino F. Colares

Faculty Publications

The European Union and Australia have enacted comprehensive carbon-restricting reforms that will affect both domestic and foreign industries. After describing these reforms in detail, the article develops a microeconomic analytical model that explains the impact these regimes have on the dynamics of inter-firm competition in carbon-restricting nations and how they will also influence technology choices by certain industries in carbon-friendly nations. Specifically, exporters and producers operating in vertically-integrated industries in carbon-friendly nations will increasingly elect carbon-efficient technologies to minimize costs as they adjust to a changing international regulatory environment. The article hypothesizes that this shift in the carbon intensity of ...


Interstate Competition And The Race To The Top, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2012

Interstate Competition And The Race To The Top, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

This essay, based on remarks at the 211 Federalist Society Student Symposium, discusses some of the benefits of federalism. Many of the benefits of federalism derive from interjurisdictional competition, as competition among jurisdictions is a powerful means to discover and promote welfare-enhancing policies. Decentralizing authority over various policy matters also leaves states free to account for regional variation and can facilitate policy discovery and entrepreneurship and reduce the risks of policy failures. While the arguments for decentralization are strong, there are persuasive justifications for federal intervention in some instances, such as the existence of interstate spillovers. Fears of a “race ...


Water Rights, Markets, And Changing Ecological Conditions, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2012

Water Rights, Markets, And Changing Ecological Conditions, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Conventional environmentalist thought is suspicious of private markets and property rights. The prospect of global climate change, and consequent ecological disruptions, has fueled the call for additional limitations on private markets and property rights. This essay, written for the Environmental Law Symposium on 21st Century Water Law, presents an alternative view. Specifically, this essay briefly explains why environmental problems generally, and the prospect of changing environmental conditions such as those brought about by climate change in particular, do not counsel further restrictions on private property rights and markets. To the contrary, the prospect of significant environmental changes strengthens the case ...


Eyes On A Climate Prize: Rewarding Energy Innovation To Achieve Climate Stabilization, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2011

Eyes On A Climate Prize: Rewarding Energy Innovation To Achieve Climate Stabilization, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at double their pre-industrial levels (or lower) will require emission reductions far in excess of what can be achieved with current or projected levels of technology at a politically acceptable cost. Substantial technological innovation is required if the nations of the world are to come anywhere close to proposed emission reduction targets. Neither traditional federal support for research and development of new technologies nor traditional command-and-control regulations are likely to spur sufficient innovation. Technology inducement prizes, on the other hand, have the potential to incentivize and accelerate the rate of technological innovation in the ...


Reforming Our Wasteful Hazardous Waste Policy, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2008

Reforming Our Wasteful Hazardous Waste Policy, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Federal hazardous waste regulation and cleanup programs suffer from poor prioritization, insufficient flexibility, high costs, and questionable benefits. Many of these problems are a result of excessive regulatory centralization. With the enactment of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Comprehensive Emergency Response, Cleanup and Liability Act (CERCLA, aka "Superfund") Congress centralized environmental policy questions that are, in many respects, inherently local in nature. This produced a "mismatch" between those jurisdictions with regulatory primacy and the nature of the environmental problems at issue.

Contamination of soil and groundwater are site-specific, rarely crossing state lines. Due to the local nature ...


Common Law Environmental Protection: Introduction, Jonathan H. Adler, Andrew P. Morriss Jan 2008

Common Law Environmental Protection: Introduction, Jonathan H. Adler, Andrew P. Morriss

Faculty Publications

Today there is widespread dissatisfaction with many aspects of federal environmental law. The apparent success of early environmental regulations notwithstanding, many analysts and academics have begun to reexamine the potential of common law causes of action to supplement, if not supplant, portions of the existing regulatory regime. Yet whatever the failings of the environmental regulatory state, the common law has failings of its own, including the failure to protect many ecological resources in the period before the enactment of federal environmental law. This essay is the introduction to a paper-only symposium on Common Law Environmental Protection, forthcoming in the Case ...


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

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

Faculty Publications

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


Sepas, Climate Change, And Corporate Responsibility: The Contribution Of Local Government, Catherine J. Lacroix Jan 2008

Sepas, Climate Change, And Corporate Responsibility: The Contribution Of Local Government, Catherine J. Lacroix

Faculty Publications

Municipalities in the United States are increasingly active in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Data suggest that the physical layout of communities and the buildings they contain make significant contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and thus to climate change. One useful tool for municipalities could be the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), pioneered in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at the federal level and subsequently adopted as a policymaking guide in the State Environmental Policy Acts (SEPAs) of many states. A SEPA requires state governments - and, in six states, local governments as well - to consider the environmental effects ...


God, Gaia, The Taxpayer And The Lorax: Standing, Justiciability, And Separation Of Powers After Massachusetts And Hein, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2008

God, Gaia, The Taxpayer And The Lorax: Standing, Justiciability, And Separation Of Powers After Massachusetts And Hein, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court decided two important standing cases during the October 2006 term: Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation and Massachusetts v. EPA. The latter is important for what it did, the former for what it did not do. Whereas Hein hewed closely - perhaps too closely - to prior standing precendents, the Massachusetts decision substantially departed from existing precedent and established a new doctrine of special solicitude to state standing. Both decisions involved generalized grievances about federal government policies that affect citizens as a whole, but point in opposite directions. In many respects the opinions are in significant tension with each ...


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

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

Faculty Publications

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


Warming Up To Climate Change Litigation, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2007

Warming Up To Climate Change Litigation, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

The surprise in Massachusetts v. EPA was not that it was a close, hotly contested case. Rather, the surprise was the facility and ease with which the Court majority dispatched opposing arguments and redefined prior precedents. Not content to widen doctrines on the margins, Justice Stevens' majority opinion blazed a new path through the law of standing and unearthed newfound regulatory authority for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Under the Court's new interpretation, the Clean Air Act ("CAA" or "the Act") provides EPA with roving authority, if not responsibility, to regulate any substance capable of causing or contributing ...


The Green Costs Of Kelo: Economic Development Takings And Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler Feb 2006

The Green Costs Of Kelo: Economic Development Takings And Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

This Article is the first academic paper to systematically consider the environmental impact of the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London and of economic development condemnations more generally. Kelo upheld economic development takings - condemnations that transfer property from one private owner to another solely on the ground that doing so might improve the local economy or increase tax revenue. The decision stands in sharp contrast to the Michigan Supreme Court's ruling in County of Wayne v. Hathcock, which forbade the use of eminent domain for economic development.

Part I briefly explains the rationales of ...


Conservation Cartels: How Competition Policy Conflicts With Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler Feb 2006

Conservation Cartels: How Competition Policy Conflicts With Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

The alleged purpose of antitrust law is to improve consumer welfare by proscribing actions and arrangements that reduce output and increase prices. Conservation seeks to improve human welfare by maximizing the long-term productive use of natural resources, a goal that often requires limiting consumption to sustainable levels. While conservation measures might increase prices in the short run, they enhance consumer welfare by increasing long-term production and ensuring the availability of valued resources over time. That is true whether the restrictions are imposed by a private conservation cartel or a government agency. Insofar as antitrust law fails to take this into ...


Free And Green: A New Approach To Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler Feb 2006

Free And Green: A New Approach To Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Most Americans consider themselves environmentalists, yet most experts are dissatisfied with existing environmental regulations, which are both inefficient and inequitable. Worse, many don't serve environmental goals. This article outlines an alternative approach to environmental policy based on market institutions and property rights rather than central-planning and bureaucratic control. The aim is both to improve environmental protection and lessen the costs ? Economic and otherwise ? Of achieving environmental goals. It seeks to ensure that Americans' environmental values are advanced without sacrificing the individual liberties the American government was created to protect.

The problem with current regulatory approaches is not merely that ...


When Is Two A Crowd: The Impact Of Federal Action On State Environmental Regulation, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2006

When Is Two A Crowd: The Impact Of Federal Action On State Environmental Regulation, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

This article seeks to identify the ways in which federal actions can influence state regulatory choices in the context of environmental policy. The federal government may directly influence state policy choices by preempting state policies or by inducing state cooperation through the use of various incentives and penalties for state action. The federal government may indirectly, and perhaps unintentionally, influence state policy choices as well. Federal policies may encourage greater state regulation by reducing the costs of initiating regulatory action or by placing issues on state policy agendas. Federal regulation may also discourage or even "crowd-out" state-level regulatory action by ...


Jurisdictional Mismatch In Environmental Federalism, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2005

Jurisdictional Mismatch In Environmental Federalism, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Jurisdictional mismatch plagues contemporary environmental law and policy. The division of authority and responsibility for environmental protection between the federal and state governments lacks any cohesive rationale or justification. The federal government regulates in many areas where there is no clear analytical basis for federal involvement. At the same time, the federal government is relatively absent where a stronger federal presence could be justified. Conversely, states are precluded, discouraged or otherwise inhibited from adopting environmental protections where state efforts would be worthwhile. At the same time, state intervention seeps into areas where a dominant federal role would be more defensible ...


Back To The Future Of Conservation: Changing Perceptions Of Property Rights & Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2005

Back To The Future Of Conservation: Changing Perceptions Of Property Rights & Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Property rights hold a central place in our Constitutional design and provide the foundation for America's market economy. Admiration of private property has not been universal, however. Some environmental scholars and policymakers have been particularly critical of classical liberal conceptions of private property on both theoretical and practical grounds, suggesting that traditional, classical liberal notions of property rights are incompatible with the demands of environmental protection. These perspectives influenced the development of command-and-control environmental regulation in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, however, the perception of private property's role in environmental conservation has begun to change. Disregard ...


Judicial Federalism And The Future Of Federal Environmental Regulation, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2005

Judicial Federalism And The Future Of Federal Environmental Regulation, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

This article assesses the current and likely impact of the Supreme Court's federalism cases on federal environmental regulation. As a result of this assessment, the article seeks to make four points: (1) Thus far, the Supreme Court's federalism cases have had a limited impact on federal regulation, as federal courts have not used these cases as a basis for limiting the reach of federal regulatory authority. (2) Notwithstanding this limited impact, the underlying logic of the Supreme Court's cases does pose a challenge for federal regulation, particularly in the Commerce Clause context. (3) The thrust of the ...


The Fable Of Federal Regulation: Reconsidering The Federal Role In Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2004

The Fable Of Federal Regulation: Reconsidering The Federal Role In Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

This essay posits that many federal environmental laws were adopted for the wrong rea- sons. Further, it suggests that environmental protections could be improved if more policy decisions were left in the hands of state and local governments.


Introduction: The Virtues And Vices Of Skeptical Environmentalism, Jonathan H. Adler, Andrew P. Morriss Jan 2002

Introduction: The Virtues And Vices Of Skeptical Environmentalism, Jonathan H. Adler, Andrew P. Morriss

Faculty Publications

Introduction to the symposium on Bjorn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist" Cleveland, Ohio, 2002.


Fables Of The Cuyahoga: Reconstructing A History Of Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2002

Fables Of The Cuyahoga: Reconstructing A History Of Environmental Protection, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

On June 22, 1969, just before noon, an oil slick and assorted debris under a railroad trestle on the Cuyahoga River caught fire. The fire attracted national media attention, and helped prompt the passage of federal environmental laws. A river on fire was a symbol of earth in need of repair, and federal regulation was the reparative tool of choice. Much of the Cuyahoga story is mythology, however, a fable with powerful symbolic force. The river did burn in 1969 - as it and other rivers had burned many times before - and today the Cuyahoga and many U.S. rivers are ...


Legal Obstacles To Private Ordering In Marine Fisheries, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2002

Legal Obstacles To Private Ordering In Marine Fisheries, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Part II of this Article surveys the challenges of marine conservation, the failures of existing regulatory regimes, and the potential for property rights in marine resources. Part III discusses the nature of private ordering, providing examples that arise from the fisheries context. Part IV discusses how legal rules can inhibit private ordering. That section focuses in particular on how antitrust law has impeded cooperative fishery management. Part V then explores possibilities for overcoming antitrust obstacles to private ordering. This Article concludes with some broader thoughts about the implications of this research for resource conservation.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Emissions Trading In North America, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2002

Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Emissions Trading In North America, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Introducation to the symposium on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in the Canada/U.S. Context: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Emissions Trading in North America: Kyoto Treaty and U.S. Initiatives, Cleveland, Ohio, 2002.


Limited Liability In Environmental Law, George W. Dent Jan 1991

Limited Liability In Environmental Law, George W. Dent

Faculty Publications

The social importance and immense costs of pollution make environmental law an ideal arena for reconsidering theories of limited liability for tort. This article examines the question in the context of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CER-CLA).1 Part I reviews the text and legislative history of the Act. Part II analyzes the CERCLA case law on the liability of controlling persons, especially those involving parent corporations. Part III discusses the general theory of limited liability and its exceptions. Part IV applies this general theory to CERCLA and finds that its special features call for distinctive approaches ...