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Full-Text Articles in Law

Climate Zoning, Christopher Serkin Apr 2024

Climate Zoning, Christopher Serkin

Notre Dame Law Review

As the urgency of the climate crisis becomes increasingly apparent, many local governments are adopting land use regulations aimed at minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The emerging approaches call for loosening zoning restrictions to unlock greater density and for strict new green building codes. This Article argues that both approaches are appropriate in some places but not in others. Not all density is created equal, and compact multifamily housing at the urban fringe may actually in-crease GHG emissions. Moreover, where density is appropriate, deregulation will not necessarily produce it. And, finally, green building codes will increase housing costs and so …


Energy Justice And Renewable Rikers, Rebecca Bratspies Jan 2024

Energy Justice And Renewable Rikers, Rebecca Bratspies

University of Miami Law Review

Unsustainable energy practices generate the lion’s share of global carbon emissions as well as staggering levels of deadly particulate pollution. Replacing the current dirty, fossil fuel-based system with affordable, clean energy is both a human rights imperative and a climate change necessity. This transition, which has already begun, creates the opportunity to do things differently. By confronting the structural racism embedded in existing energy structures, we can build a just transition rather than just a transition. This Article uses New York City’s Renewable Rikers project as a case study to explore how we might take advantage of the intersections between …


Catalyzing Climate Resilience In The Electric Utility Sector: Investor-Backed Utilities Must Prepare For The Approaching Storm, Jose J. Gonzalez Jan 2024

Catalyzing Climate Resilience In The Electric Utility Sector: Investor-Backed Utilities Must Prepare For The Approaching Storm, Jose J. Gonzalez

Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review

Communities and businesses that fail to take proactive measures will be devastated by the impacts of climate change. Across the United States, public and private entities have taken steps to protect companies and communities from climate change. However, financial restrictions and shareholder concerns have slowed such a response from the electric utility sector. This inaction has devastated communities such as Paradise, California and Lahaina, Hawaii. This Comment identifies how electric utility companies should utilize recently passed federal legislation, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, to finance large-scale projects to update America's power grid. This Comment also argues …


Carbon Pricing For A Just Transition, Jeff Todd Jan 2024

Carbon Pricing For A Just Transition, Jeff Todd

University of Colorado Law Review

The legal tools to avoid the potential disasters of climate change are already available, at least according to economists. Economists overwhelmingly prefer carbon pricing tools like carbon taxes and cap-and-trade programs to combat climate change and guide the energy transition. Carbon pricing is more cost effective at lowering carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) than other legal options such as efficiency standards, renewable portfolio standards, subsidies, and tax credits and deductions. Unlike those other options, carbon pricing targets both the supply of and the demand for GHG-emitting products and services; moreover, it gives firms and consumers flexibility in how best …


Big Oil Liability In Canada: Lessons From The Us And The Netherlands, David W-L Wu Oct 2023

Big Oil Liability In Canada: Lessons From The Us And The Netherlands, David W-L Wu

Dalhousie Law Journal

The number of nuisance and negligence tort claims in the US against “Big Oil” companies have grown significantly in the last five years. The Netherlands case of Milieudefensie et al v Royal Dutch Shell represents the first major success of such a claim internationally. While the US cases and Milieudefensie demonstrate starkly different approaches as to how to seek accountability from Big Oil for climate change harms, the increasing judicial engagement on these issues may mean the time is right for similar lawsuits in Canada. Three Canadian common law causes of action are examined: nuisance, negligence, and unjust enrichment. Defences …


Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under The Endangered Species Act, Eric Biber Sep 2023

Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under The Endangered Species Act, Eric Biber

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Despite the devastating impact climate change will have on biodiversity, most legal scholars and policymakers are skeptical that the flagship statute for protecting biodiversity in the United States, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), should be deployed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This skepticism has been driven by the concern that using the ESA to regulate greenhouse gases could lead to administrative issues, legal chaos, and political backlash that might endanger the Act overall.

In this article, I draw on three different elements to argue that the ESA could plausibly be used to regulate greenhouse gases. Specifically, I draw on recent …


Why Stop Grazing The Climate Commons?, Brigham Daniels Sep 2023

Why Stop Grazing The Climate Commons?, Brigham Daniels

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Many have argued that climate change is the textbook example of a tragedy of the commons. Assuming that is correct, to make headway on climate change, we would expect an enforceable agreement that provides for global collective action. The tragedy of the commons assumes that those who cut back when others do not are—to use the formal language of game theorists—suckers. So, the last thing we would expect is a surge of unilateral action. Contrary to theory, for the past decade, unilateral climate action has flourished among governments, businesses, other organizations, and individuals.

Is the number of climate suckers growing …


The Great Climate Migration: A Critique Of Global Legal Standards Of Climate-Change Caused Harm, Mariah Stephens Jul 2023

The Great Climate Migration: A Critique Of Global Legal Standards Of Climate-Change Caused Harm, Mariah Stephens

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Approximately 2.4 billion people, or about forty percent of the global population, live within sixty miles (one hundred kilometers) of a coastline. The United Nations (“U.N.”) determined that “a sea level rise of half a meter could displace 1.2 million people from low-lying islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with that number almost doubling if the sea level rises by two metres.” The U.N. also reports that “sudden weather-related hazards” have internally displaced an annual average of 21.5 million people since 2008. Within the next few decades, this number is likely to continue to increase. …


Editors' Note, Rachel Keylon, Meghen Sullivan Jul 2023

Editors' Note, Rachel Keylon, Meghen Sullivan

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

For more than two decades, the Sustainable Development Law and Policy Brief (“SDLP”) has published works analyzing emerging legal and policy issues within the fields of environmental, energy, sustainable development, and natural resources law. SDLP has also prioritized making space for law students in the conversation. We are honored to continue this tradition in Volume XXIII.


Introduction, Gabriella Mickel, Samantha Blend Jun 2023

Introduction, Gabriella Mickel, Samantha Blend

Pace Environmental Law Review

No abstract provided.


Oil, Indifference, And Displacement: An Indigenous Community Submerged And Tribal Relocation In The 21st Century, Jared Munster Apr 2023

Oil, Indifference, And Displacement: An Indigenous Community Submerged And Tribal Relocation In The 21st Century, Jared Munster

American Indian Law Journal

Coastal land loss driven by erosion and subsidence, and amplified by climate change, has forced the abandonment and resettlement of the remote Louisiana Indigenous community of Isle de Jean Charles. This relocation, to a relatively ‘safer’ site inland has led to division among the residents and will inevitably cause irreparable damage to the culture and traditions of the Houma and Biloxi Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogees peoples who called this small, isolated island home. Driven to the water’s edge by European colonization of south Louisiana, this community developed a dynamic subsistence lifestyle based on agriculture, hunting, and fishing which survived undisturbed …


About Sdlp, Sdlp Mar 2023

About Sdlp, Sdlp

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The Sustainable Development Law & Policy Brief (ISSN 1552-3721) is a student-run initiative at American University Washington College of Law that is published twice each academic year. The Brief embraces an interdisciplinary focus to provide a broad view of current legal, political, and social developments. It was founded to provide a forum for those interested in promoting sustainable economic development, conservation, environmental justice, and biodiversity throughout the world.


Accounting For Climate Change In United States Regional Ocean Planning: Comparing The Obama And Trump National Ocean Policies To A Climate-Forward Approach, Taylor Goelz Mar 2022

Accounting For Climate Change In United States Regional Ocean Planning: Comparing The Obama And Trump National Ocean Policies To A Climate-Forward Approach, Taylor Goelz

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

No abstract provided.


“At What Cost?’: The Future Of Securities Enforcement In Climate Change Litigation, Angela Washington Mar 2022

“At What Cost?’: The Future Of Securities Enforcement In Climate Change Litigation, Angela Washington

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

No abstract provided.


Climate Gentrification: An Imminent Threat To Oceanfront Cities, Marcel Apple Mar 2022

Climate Gentrification: An Imminent Threat To Oceanfront Cities, Marcel Apple

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Overview

Traditionally, gentrification occurs when real estate prices appreciate, leading to significant cultural change in low-income communities and involuntary displacement of low-income residents. In recent years, Miami, Florida is beginning to feel the impacts of “climate gentrification.” High-income buyers, who historically develop property close to the ocean, are affected by rising sea levels and increasingly look inland to develop areas on higher ground. The influx of real estate investments in these is expected to lead to spiking home prices and property taxes, forcing many longtime community members to abandon their homes.

Homeowners in these communities already report approaches from developers …


Energy Grid Decarbonization: A Tale Of Resistance And Compliance In Florida, Rachel Tennant Jan 2022

Energy Grid Decarbonization: A Tale Of Resistance And Compliance In Florida, Rachel Tennant

Mitchell Hamline Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice

No abstract provided.


Tightening The Legal ‘Net’: The Constitution’S Supremacy Clause Straddle Of The Power Divide, Steven Ferrey Dec 2021

Tightening The Legal ‘Net’: The Constitution’S Supremacy Clause Straddle Of The Power Divide, Steven Ferrey

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This article analyzes Constitutional Supremacy Clause tensions in preempting state law that addresses climate change and the rapid warming of the Planet. Net metering laws, enacted in 80% of U.S. states, are a primary legal mechanism to control and mitigate climate warming. This article analyzes three recent federal court decisions creating a preemptive Supremacy Clause stand-off between federal and state law and presents a detailed state-by-state analysis of which those 80% of states’ laws could be preempted by legal challenge.

If state net metering laws affected only ordinary technologies, this issue would not be front and center with global warming. …


Held V. State, Alec D. Skuntz Oct 2021

Held V. State, Alec D. Skuntz

Public Land & Resources Law Review

On March 13, 2020, a group of 16 Montana children and teenagers filed a complaint in the First Judicial District, Lewis and Clark County against the State of Montana and several state agencies. These young Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief against Defendants for their complicity in continuing to extract and release harmful amounts of greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Plaintiffs premised their argument on the Montana Constitution’s robust environmental rights and protections. The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss which the District Court granted in-part and denied in-part. Held provides a roadmap for future litigation by elucidating …


When Fast-Tracking Slows You Down: Reconsidering Nationwide Permit 12 Use For Large-Scale Oil Pipelines, Megan Rulli Oct 2021

When Fast-Tracking Slows You Down: Reconsidering Nationwide Permit 12 Use For Large-Scale Oil Pipelines, Megan Rulli

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

The consumption of oil pervades everyday life in America. The network of pipelines transporting oil from field to consumer is largely invisible. Until a major news event bursts pipelines onto headlines, this indispensable and invisible system fuels the country without fanfare. At the same time, concern over global climate change has made new large-scale projects for fossil fuel extraction and consumption highly controversial. The Keystone XL (“KXL”) pipeline was originally designed to transport crude oil extracted from oil sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico for international export. After more than a decade of false starts, the project currently …


Vecinos Para El Bienestar De La Comunidad Costera V. Ferc, Malcolm M. Gilbert Aug 2021

Vecinos Para El Bienestar De La Comunidad Costera V. Ferc, Malcolm M. Gilbert

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The D.C. Circuit Court remanded three Brownsville, TX LNG approval orders to FERC for failing to adequately explain conclusions around environmental justice and climate concerns. The Court ordered FERC to reevaluate whether the projects are in the public interest. The LNG terminals and pipeline will disproportionately impact low-income, minority communities, and substantial greenhouse gas emissions from production and export will contribute to anthropogenic climate change. This case note explores the role that environmental justice and climate change play in federal agency decision-making processes, analyzes the legal framework for the Court's decision, and discusses how the outcome of this litigation could …


Ancestral Comprehensions For A Policy For The Future Of The Earth: The Narrative Of The South American Andes In The Face Of The Global Climate Crisis, Erick Pajares G., Eduardo Calvo B., Jorge Iván Palacio P., Juan José Munar M., Carlos Loret De Mola, Darío Espinoza M., Yuri Godoy P., Gustavo Mora R. Jun 2021

Ancestral Comprehensions For A Policy For The Future Of The Earth: The Narrative Of The South American Andes In The Face Of The Global Climate Crisis, Erick Pajares G., Eduardo Calvo B., Jorge Iván Palacio P., Juan José Munar M., Carlos Loret De Mola, Darío Espinoza M., Yuri Godoy P., Gustavo Mora R.

Pace Environmental Law Review

No abstract provided.


Addressing Correlations Between Gender-Based Violence And Climate Change: An Expanded Role For International Climate Change Law And Education For Sustainable Development, Achinthi C. Vithanage Jun 2021

Addressing Correlations Between Gender-Based Violence And Climate Change: An Expanded Role For International Climate Change Law And Education For Sustainable Development, Achinthi C. Vithanage

Pace Environmental Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Carbon Storage Future Of Public Lands, Tara Righetti, Jesse Richardson, Kris Koski, Sam Taylor Jun 2021

The Carbon Storage Future Of Public Lands, Tara Righetti, Jesse Richardson, Kris Koski, Sam Taylor

Pace Environmental Law Review

To meet the climate and energy goals set forth by the Biden Administration and the Paris Agreement, the United States must dramatically reduce carbon emissions. Use of public lands for carbon dioxide removal activities, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), has the potential to advance carbon reduction goals and concurrently provide economic revitalization opportunities to communities dependent on fossil industries. Current federal law presents numerous challenges and opportunities associated with utilization of federal pore space for CCUS. Although federal grant programs and tax incentives encourage deployment of CCUS technologies, legal and land-management issues related to public lands have received …


Contested Places, Utility Pole Spaces: A Competition And Safety Framework For Analyzing Utility Pole Association Rules, Roles, And Risks, Catherine J.K. Sandoval Feb 2021

Contested Places, Utility Pole Spaces: A Competition And Safety Framework For Analyzing Utility Pole Association Rules, Roles, And Risks, Catherine J.K. Sandoval

Catholic University Law Review

As climate change augurs longer wildfire seasons, safe, reliable, and competitive energy and communications markets depend on sound infrastructure and well-calibrated regulation. The humble wooden utility pole, first deployed in America in 1844 to extend telegraph service, forms the twenty-first century’s technological scaffold. Utility poles are increasingly contested places where competition, safety, and reliability meet. Yet, regulators and academics have largely overlooked the risks posed by century-old private utility pole associations in California, composed of private and public utility pole owners and some entities who attach facilities to utility poles. No academic articles have examined the rules, roles, and risks …


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

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

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

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


The Fossil Fuel Industry’S Push To Target Climate Protesters In The U.S., Grace Nosek Dec 2020

The Fossil Fuel Industry’S Push To Target Climate Protesters In The U.S., Grace Nosek

Pace Environmental Law Review

At the very moment when the United Nations has called for profound shifts in social and economic systems to avert climate catastrophe, state and non-state actors in the United States (U.S.) are using a series of tactics to target and stifle climate protesters. Although the move to stifle climate protesters is often framed as a government effort, this Article argues it is critical to draw out the role of the fossil fuel industry in initiating, amplifying, and supporting such tactics.

This Article highlights the role the fossil fuel industry has played in supporting the targeting and restricting of climate protesters …


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

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

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

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


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

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

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

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


Beneficial Precaution: A Proposed Approach To Uncertain Technological Dangers, Edward L. Rubin Jan 2020

Beneficial Precaution: A Proposed Approach To Uncertain Technological Dangers, Edward L. Rubin

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

As a result of the specialization and cumulation of knowledge in the era of High Modernity, research and development in most technical fields is largely incomprehensible to anyone outside that field. What should policy makers do when technical specialists disagree, and particularly when some predict an oncoming catastrophe and others dismiss the concern? This is the situation with the so-called Singularity, the point at which machines design, build, and operate other machines. Some experts in cybernetics and artificial intelligence argue that this is imminent, while others consign the possibility to science fiction. If the skeptics are right, nothing need be …


Climate Perspectives Across The Generations, Dan Farber Jan 2020

Climate Perspectives Across The Generations, Dan Farber

Natural Resources Journal

Climate change is a multi-generational problem, but it does not impact all generations in the same way. Correspondingly, older Americans and younger ones differ greatly in how they perceive the issue and how they respond. The wave of youth activism epitomized by Greta Thunburg is on one side of this generation gap. Donald Trump’s climate skepticism is on the other. We’re talking about large groups of people, so there is a range of attitudes on both sides, but these two individuals represent the generational differences in dramatic form. My goal today is to explore these generational differences. I want to …