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2022

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Environmental Law

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Articles 1 - 30 of 180

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Antiregulatory Arsenal, Antidemocratic Can(N)Ons, And The Waters Wars, William W. Buzbee Dec 2022

The Antiregulatory Arsenal, Antidemocratic Can(N)Ons, And The Waters Wars, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Clean Water Act has become a centerpiece in an enduring multifront battle against both environmental regulation and federal regulatory power in all of its settings. This Article focuses on the emergence, elements, and linked uses of an antiregulatory arsenal now central to battles over what are federally protected “waters of the United States.” This is the key jurisdictional hook for CWA jurisdiction, and hence, logically, has become the heart of CWA contestation. The multi-decade battle over Waters protections has both drawn on emergent antiregulatory moves and generated new weapons in this increasingly prevalent and powerful antiregulatory arsenal. This array …


Deitche Earns Karen Hastie Williams Fellowship, James Owsley Boyd Dec 2022

Deitche Earns Karen Hastie Williams Fellowship, James Owsley Boyd

Keep Up With the Latest News from the Law School (blog)

La’Kendra Deitche, a 2L from Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been selected as one of eight—and the only one from outside the Washington, D.C. area—Karen Hastie Williams Leadership Fellows, a prestigious fellowship awarded by the D.C. Bar.

Deitche will complete a leadership orientation session followed by a six-month fellowship, from January through June 2023, on the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources community. The D.C. Bar offers 20 communities that help members develop expertise in specific practice areas.


The Dream Of Property: Law And Environment In William T. Vollmann’S Dying Grass And Leslie Marmon Silko’S Almanac Of The Dead, Ted Hamilton Dec 2022

The Dream Of Property: Law And Environment In William T. Vollmann’S Dying Grass And Leslie Marmon Silko’S Almanac Of The Dead, Ted Hamilton

Faculty Journal Articles

This article describes how the law inflects the narration of environmental conflict in William T. Vollmann’s Dying Grass (2015) and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (1991). By focusing on the legal common sense of settler colonialism—its emphasis on private property in land and its subjugation of Indigenous peoples to the guardianship of the state—the article explores the ways in which Vollmann’s and Silko’s novels present counternarratives to the law’s story of justified conquest. Combining a law and literature approach with ecocriticism, this article highlights the importance of the legal imagination in defining human-land relations in the United States. …


Conflicts Between Ghg Accounting Methodologies In The Steel Industry, John Biberman, Perrine Toledano, Baihui Lei, Max Lulavy, Rohini Ram Mohan Dec 2022

Conflicts Between Ghg Accounting Methodologies In The Steel Industry, John Biberman, Perrine Toledano, Baihui Lei, Max Lulavy, Rohini Ram Mohan

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Accurate, verifiable, and comparable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data throughout supply chains in the materials sector are necessary to drive decarbonization. This is particularly the case for the steel supply chain, a major source of GHG emissions with untapped potential for reduction. However, emissions accounting methods used by the steel industry suffer from gaps and misalignment, resulting in significant differences in reported GHG emissions. The result is a patchwork reporting landscape vulnerable to manipulation and miscommunication, generating little actionable data for policymakers, producers, customers, and investors. These shortcomings highlight the need for a harmonized carbon accounting framework for the steel …


Liability For Public Deception: Linking Fossil Fuel Disinformation To Climate Damages, Jessica A. Wentz, Benjamin Franta Dec 2022

Liability For Public Deception: Linking Fossil Fuel Disinformation To Climate Damages, Jessica A. Wentz, Benjamin Franta

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Over two dozen U.S. states and municipalities have filed lawsuits against fossil fuel companies, seeking abatement orders and compensation for climate damages based on theories such as public nuisance, negligence, and failure to warn, and alleging these companies knew about the dangers of their products, intentionally concealed those dangers, created doubt about climate science, and undermined public support for climate action. This Article examines how tort plaintiffs can establish a causal nexus between public deception and damages, drawing from past litigation, particularly claims filed against manufacturers for misleading the public about the risks of tobacco, lead paint, and opioids. A …


Climate Change And Indigenous Groups: The Rise Of Indigenous Voices In Climate Litigation, Maria Antonia Tigre Dec 2022

Climate Change And Indigenous Groups: The Rise Of Indigenous Voices In Climate Litigation, Maria Antonia Tigre

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Climate change’s pervasive human rights impacts on populations worldwide are widespread and now widely known. One avenue to address these human rights impacts is the growth of rights-based climate litigation. There are now hundreds of cases worldwide grounded on human rights claims. However, less attention has been brought to how vulnerable groups are disproportionally affected by climate change. Indigenous groups, in particular, are disproportionately affected by climate change due to their connection to their land and dependence on their ecosystems. To increase global attention and seek legal remedies to address how Indigenous communities are impacted by climate change, Indigenous groups …


Roadmap To Zero-Carbon Electrification Of Africa By 2050: The Green Energy Transition And The Role Of The Natural Resource Sector (Minerals, Fossil Fuels, And Land), Jeffrey D. Sachs, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Efosa Uwaifo, Bryan Michael Sherrill Nov 2022

Roadmap To Zero-Carbon Electrification Of Africa By 2050: The Green Energy Transition And The Role Of The Natural Resource Sector (Minerals, Fossil Fuels, And Land), Jeffrey D. Sachs, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Efosa Uwaifo, Bryan Michael Sherrill

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

All Africans — whether living in urban or rural areas — need access to affordable, clean, efficient, reliable, climate-proof, and renewable energy for both residential and productive uses to achieve sustainable development objectives. At the same time, the world is moving to decarbonization by 2050, and Africa will be part of this global trend. Prospective oil and gas projects in Africa will no longer be pursued as overseas markets, and financing will shrink. At the same time, Africa’s vast renewable energy potential, in the solar and hydropower sectors especially, will engage increasingly bankable and highly attractive investments. In net terms, …


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 …


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 …


Wise Practices: Indigenous-Settler Relations In Laurentian Great Lakes Fishery Governance And Water Protection, Kate J. Mussett, Susan Bell Chiblow, Deborah Mcgregor, Rod Whitlow, Ryan Lauzon, Kaitlin Almack, Nicholas Boucher, Alexander T. Duncan, Andrea J. Reid Oct 2022

Wise Practices: Indigenous-Settler Relations In Laurentian Great Lakes Fishery Governance And Water Protection, Kate J. Mussett, Susan Bell Chiblow, Deborah Mcgregor, Rod Whitlow, Ryan Lauzon, Kaitlin Almack, Nicholas Boucher, Alexander T. Duncan, Andrea J. Reid

Articles & Book Chapters

Ongoing tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities working in support of the protection and management of fish and water in North America have necessitated a shift from current structures towards relationships built upon and driven by respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility. Similarly, the cumulative and evolving effects of climate change, industrialization, resource extraction, and displacement of Indigenous Peoples from their traditional and contemporary lands and waters requires purposeful application of decolonizing methods in aquatic systems management and protection, which in turn aids in the re-establishment of agency to Indigenous Peoples. This article endeavors to outline critical differences in ‘best …


Going Concerns And Environmental Concerns: Mitigating Climate Change Through Bankruptcy Reform, Alexander Gouzoules Oct 2022

Going Concerns And Environmental Concerns: Mitigating Climate Change Through Bankruptcy Reform, Alexander Gouzoules

Faculty Publications

This article examines how legislative reforms to the Bankruptcy Code could mitigate the effects of climate change, speed the adoption of renewable energy, and contribute to U.S. compliance with the Paris Agreement of 2015. It analyzes the benefits derived by the fossil fuel industry from Chapter 11, which allows extractive firms to survive boom-and-bust cycles caused by volatile oil and gas prices. Insolvent polluters are preserved as going concerns during price collapses, only to resume and expand production as prices recover.

This article proposes novel legislative reforms to the Bankruptcy Code that would require insolvent fossil fuel producers to liquidate …


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 …


Confronting State Violence: Lessons From India's Farmer Protests, Smita Narula Oct 2022

Confronting State Violence: Lessons From India's Farmer Protests, Smita Narula

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

In December 2021, following a year of sustained mass protests, farmers in India forced the repeal of three controversial Farm Laws that attempted to deregulate India’s agricultural sector in service of corporate interests. Farmers feared that the laws would dismantle price supports for key crops, jeopardize their livelihoods, and facilitate a corporate takeover of India’s agrarian economy. This Article situates India’s historic farmer protests in the context of the country’s longstanding agrarian crisis and the corporate capture of agriculture worldwide. I argue that the protests arose in response not only to the Farm Laws, but also to decades of state-sponsored …


Neutralizing The Atmosphere, Shelley Welton Oct 2022

Neutralizing The Atmosphere, Shelley Welton

All Faculty Scholarship

“Net zero” has rapidly become the new organizing paradigm of climate change law. In the past few years, thousands of countries, companies, states, and cities have developed pledges that promise by a set date—typically around 2050—that any carbon they emit will be counterbalanced by capturing an equal amount of carbon out of the atmosphere. Collectively, these pledges now cover more than 91% of the global economy. This widespread adoption of scientifically aligned climate policy appears on its surface like a cause for celebration. However, concerns are mounting. To date, critiques of net zero have centered on what this Feature terms …


Issue Brief: Impact Assessment And Responsible Business Guidance Tools In The Extractive Sector: An Environmental Human Rights Toolbox For Government, Business, Civil Society & Indigenous Groups, Sara L. Seck, Penelope Simmons, Charlotte Connolly Sep 2022

Issue Brief: Impact Assessment And Responsible Business Guidance Tools In The Extractive Sector: An Environmental Human Rights Toolbox For Government, Business, Civil Society & Indigenous Groups, Sara L. Seck, Penelope Simmons, Charlotte Connolly

Responsible Business Conduct and Impact Assessment Law

This issue brief provides an overview of the impact assessment and responsible business conduct toolbox for the extractive sector. The toolbox provides guidance on how governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous groups may encourage and adopt a human rights approach to impact assessment (IA). It forms part of a broader research project aimed at highlighting the interrelationship between IA laws and Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) tools, funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grant: Informing Best Practices in Environmental & Impact Assessments (the “KSG”).


Regulation Weakness And Lack Of Public Awareness Has Impeded The Implementation Of Environmental Policies In Saudi Arabia, Nada Gurmalla Algamdy Sep 2022

Regulation Weakness And Lack Of Public Awareness Has Impeded The Implementation Of Environmental Policies In Saudi Arabia, Nada Gurmalla Algamdy

Dissertations & Theses

This research aimed to substantially illustrate that the weakness of environmental regulations and lack of public participation in urban planning alongside poor public awareness in Saudi Arabia has inhibited the implementation of environmental policies across this region. To study these issues, this research compared the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“KSA”) to the United States (“US”) building on numerous studies to illustrate how the identified weaknesses correlate with weak or ineffective environmental policies. It is well known that it would be better to use a European country “because it's known that the EU has tough environmental measures" as a model for …


International Investment Law And The Extractive Industries, Ella Merrill, Jesse Coleman, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Sep 2022

International Investment Law And The Extractive Industries, Ella Merrill, Jesse Coleman, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

As of April 2022, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) tallied 3,218 international investment treaties, of which 2,558 are in force. Investors in extractive industries (the oil, gas, and mining sectors) have used investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms embedded in these treaties to challenge a wide range of host state actions and inactions that have allegedly negatively affected their investments. Those claims, and the threats thereof, restrict states’ ability to maximize the benefits, and their ability to limit environmental and social harms, resulting from the exploitation of natural resources. This briefing note provides an introduction to international …


Law, Labour And Landscape In A Just Transition, Adrian A. Smith, Dayna Nadine Scott Sep 2022

Law, Labour And Landscape In A Just Transition, Adrian A. Smith, Dayna Nadine Scott

Articles & Book Chapters

Taking conflicts over new solar energy projects on the agricultural landscape in the global North as its backdrop, the chapter demonstrates how work and labour (including that performed in the North by workers from the global South) are erased both by the opponents and the proponents of such projects. The erasure is consistent with prevailing ways of knowing the human-environment nexus, shaped by an underlying political economy derivative of how international law has constructed and maintained the foundational liberal mythology that separates labour from land. Grounded in our commitment to pursuing a ‘just transition’ to decarbonisation – that is to …


The Polar Silk Road And The Future Governance Of Northern Sea Route, Nengye Liu, Jan Jakub Solski Sep 2022

The Polar Silk Road And The Future Governance Of Northern Sea Route, Nengye Liu, Jan Jakub Solski

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

This article examines China’s Polar Silk Road (PSR) and its legal implications for the future governance of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). It first discusses China’s economic and geopolitical interests in the so-called Polar Silk Road. The article then focuses on comparing Russian regulation of the NSR and Chinese regulation of foreign vessels as a coastal state. Both China and Russia are contracting parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The comparison of domestic legislations aims to provide a detailed analysis on convergence and divergence of their implementation and enforcement of the UNCLOS on …


Resurfacing Sovereignty: Who Regulates Surface Mining In Indian Country After Mcgirt?, Robin M. Rotman, Sam J. Carter Sep 2022

Resurfacing Sovereignty: Who Regulates Surface Mining In Indian Country After Mcgirt?, Robin M. Rotman, Sam J. Carter

Faculty Publications

This article examines disputes over surface mining jurisdiction on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation post-McGirt and the larger implications for sovereignty and environmental justice in Indian Country that follow. Part II summarizes the history of federal, state, and tribal relations and provides an analysis of the McGirt decision and its potential impacts on natural resource issues. Part III offers an examination of jurisdictional uncertainties post-McGirt through an in-depth discussion of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and the State of Oklahoma v. United States Department of the Interior case. Drawing from the examination of surface mining regulation, Part IV …


Testimony, Free Speech Under Attack: The Legal Assault On Environmental Activists And The First Amendment, Anita Ramasastry Sep 2022

Testimony, Free Speech Under Attack: The Legal Assault On Environmental Activists And The First Amendment, Anita Ramasastry

Presentations

No abstract provided.


The Carbon Market And Its Regulation In Brazil, Gabriel Wedy, Weber Amaral, Cacia Pimentel Sep 2022

The Carbon Market And Its Regulation In Brazil, Gabriel Wedy, Weber Amaral, Cacia Pimentel

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

At present, the global geopolitical scenario is based on an economy undergoing a post-pandemic recovery, with inflation unleashed in various developed countries and a war conflict in Europe, which entails an overall increase in energy prices, food insecurity and a breakdown of supply chains. Under such circumstances, the outlook is one of enormous pressure on the mitigation and adaptation plans of the United Nations, which seeks to revert climate warming caused by human actions in the post-industrial revolution era. The watchword is decarbonizing the global economy by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and changing carbon-intensive production regimes. Indeed, countries, companies, …


Flint Michigan Drinking Water Crisis, J. David Aiken Aug 2022

Flint Michigan Drinking Water Crisis, J. David Aiken

Cornhusker Economics

Briefly covers the Flint, Michigan drinking water crisis including providing some background, a timeline of events, and key takeaways from the perspective of public policy.

This article was originally prepared for distribution to students in Aiken's AECN 357 environmental and natural resources law course.


A Science-Based Policy For Managing Free-Roaming Cats, David Hunter, Christopher A. Lepczyk, David C. Duffy, David M. Bird, Michael Calver, Dmitry Cherkassky, Linda Cherkassky, Christopher R. Dickman, David Jessup, Travis Longcore, Scott R. Loss, Kerrie Anne T. Loyd, Peter P. Marra, John M. Marzluff, Reed F. Noss, Daniel Simberloff, Grant C. Sizemore, Stanley A. Temple, Yolanda Van Heezik Aug 2022

A Science-Based Policy For Managing Free-Roaming Cats, David Hunter, Christopher A. Lepczyk, David C. Duffy, David M. Bird, Michael Calver, Dmitry Cherkassky, Linda Cherkassky, Christopher R. Dickman, David Jessup, Travis Longcore, Scott R. Loss, Kerrie Anne T. Loyd, Peter P. Marra, John M. Marzluff, Reed F. Noss, Daniel Simberloff, Grant C. Sizemore, Stanley A. Temple, Yolanda Van Heezik

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Free-roaming domestic cats (i.e., cats that are owned or unowned and are considered ‘at large’) are globally distributed non-native species that have marked impacts on biodiversity and human health. Despite clear scientific evidence of these impacts, free-roaming cats are either unmanaged or managed using scientifically unsupported and ineffective approaches (e.g., trap-neuter-release [TNR]) in many jurisdictions around the world. A critical first initiative for effective, science-driven management of cats must be broader political and legislative recognition of free-roaming cats as a non-native, invasive species. Designating cats as invasive is important for developing and implementing science-based management plans, which should include efforts …


Scotus Invalidates Obama Clean Power Plan, J. David Aiken Aug 2022

Scotus Invalidates Obama Clean Power Plan, J. David Aiken

Cornhusker Economics

On June 30, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in the case of West Virginia v. EPA that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not implement the 2016 Obama administration Clean Power Plan (CPP). This article briefly discusses the CPP, the CPP litigation, the Court's opinion in West Virginia v. EPA, and what the decision means for Biden administration climate policy.


Zaagtoonaa Nibi (We Love The Water): Anishinaabe Community-Led Research On Water Governance And Protection, Nicole Latulippe, Deborah Mcgregor Aug 2022

Zaagtoonaa Nibi (We Love The Water): Anishinaabe Community-Led Research On Water Governance And Protection, Nicole Latulippe, Deborah Mcgregor

Articles & Book Chapters

This paper presents Indigenous community-led, collaborative, and community-engaged water governance research with a First Nations community in the Georgian Bay and Lake Huron region in northeastern Ontario, Canada. The methodology draws on Indigenous approaches to understanding and developing knowledge and is designed to build community capacity in research and in water protection and governance. This approach recognizes existing community strengths, including traditional knowledge, experiences, perspectives, and associated cultural perspectives and values, laws, responsibilities and lived experience in relation to water. Results identify and contextualize community-held responsibilities and legal principles pertaining to water that support culturally relevant water governance and strategic …


International Investment Governance And Achieving A Just Zero-Carbon Future, Ella Merrill, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Lisa E. Sachs Aug 2022

International Investment Governance And Achieving A Just Zero-Carbon Future, Ella Merrill, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

As developing countries continue to be the most negatively affected by climate change and the energy transition, it is increasingly critical that they receive foreign direct investment and financial support to build climate resilience, adapt to climate impacts, avoid carbon lock-in and fossil fuel dependence, and leverage their rich endowments of renewable and extractive resources to prepare for the zero-carbon future.

There is a disconnect and fundamental misalignment between international investment law and the international climate change regime, comprising the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. Existing investment treaties—including their centerpiece, investor–state dispute settlement …


Climate Science In Adaptation Litigation In The U.S., Jacob Elkin Aug 2022

Climate Science In Adaptation Litigation In The U.S., Jacob Elkin

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

The most prominent climate litigation to date has primarily focused on mitigation—reducing greenhouse gas emissions—but as climate impacts become more frequent, extreme, and intense, adaptation litigation will increase. Adaptation cases frequently rely on evidence drawn from scientific research into past and future climate change. This research oftentimes consists of one of two types of climate research: attribution studies of climate change to date, and future projections of climate change and its impacts.

Climate change attribution links human activity to climate change, especially changes in the statistics of extreme weather events. Increasingly, it is also beginning to be applied to impacts …


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 …