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Full-Text Articles in Law

When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle Nov 2105

When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle

Josh Eagle

Environmental law scholars, practitioners, and policymakers have wrestled for some time with the implications of climate change for environmental law. There is widespread, although not universal, agreement that climate change requires greater flexibility in environmental legal systems. Flexibility—reduced procedural requirements for administrative agency decision making and less rigid substantive standards—would allow the agencies that implement environmental law to adapt to a future world characterized by dynamic, uncertain changes in natural resource systems. According to its proponents, flexibility would make it easier for agencies to more frequently update their management or regulatory decisions to respond to changed conditions, and ...


When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle Nov 2105

When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle

Eric Biber

Environmental law scholars, practitioners, and policymakers have wrestled for some time with the implications of climate change for environmental law. There is widespread, although not universal, agreement that climate change requires greater flexibility in environmental legal systems. Flexibility—reduced procedural requirements for administrative agency decision making and less rigid substantive standards—would allow the agencies that implement environmental law to adapt to a future world characterized by dynamic, uncertain changes in natural resource systems. According to its proponents, flexibility would make it easier for agencies to more frequently update their management or regulatory decisions to respond to changed conditions, and ...


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

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 ...


Park County Environmental Council V. Montana Department Of Environmental Quality, 477 P.3d 288 (Mont. 2020), Holly Seymour Sep 2021

Park County Environmental Council V. Montana Department Of Environmental Quality, 477 P.3d 288 (Mont. 2020), Holly Seymour

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The Montana Supreme Court held in 2020 that loopholes in the Montana Environmental Procedure Act ("MEPA") review process violate Montana's constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. The holding sets a strong precedent requiring statutory protections to prevent harm to the environment before it occurs.


Mtsun, Llc V. Mont. Dep't Of Pub. Serv. Regulation, Ryan W. Frank Dec 2020

Mtsun, Llc V. Mont. Dep't Of Pub. Serv. Regulation, Ryan W. Frank

Public Land & Resources Law Review

MTSUN, LLC initiated negotiations for a power purchase agreement with NorthWestern Energy in September of 2015 for a potential solar energy facility in eastern Montana. In December of 2016, at an impasse in contract negotiations with NorthWestern, MTSUN filed a petition with the Montana Public Service Commission requesting that the agency exercise its statutory authority to set the terms of the contract for the proposed project. Following MTSUN’s petition, the PSC issued a series of orders and reconsiderations which ultimately reconfigured the entirety of the agreement, including the terms that the parties had previously agreed upon. After exhausting its ...


A Defense Of The Regulatory Takings Doctrine: A Historical Analysis Of This Conflict Between Property Rights And Public Good And A Prediction For Its Future, Andrew Parslow Jul 2020

A Defense Of The Regulatory Takings Doctrine: A Historical Analysis Of This Conflict Between Property Rights And Public Good And A Prediction For Its Future, Andrew Parslow

William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review

Since man first left the state of nature and formed property rights, there have been issues when states desire to use the property of another for what they consider to be the greater good. In their wisdom, the Founding Fathers of the United States built on centuries of historical principles ranging from the Romans to the English and enshrined in the Fifth Amendment the common law notion that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The rise of environmentalism has brought a new frontier to the ancient struggle between the rights of individuals and the ...


Community-Driven Climate Solutions: How Public-Private Partnerships With Land Trusts Can Advance Climate Action, Jessica Grannis Jul 2020

Community-Driven Climate Solutions: How Public-Private Partnerships With Land Trusts Can Advance Climate Action, Jessica Grannis

William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review

In 2018 and 2019, several landmark developments demonstrated the failings of past efforts to address climate change and the need for new and more ambitious solutions. In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) released a dire report indicating that the window is rapidly closing for countries to dramatically reduce emissions in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and predicting dramatic consequences to the environment and public health if countries fail to take action; young activists started taking to the streets to demand more ambitious action to address climate change; and, at the 25th Conference ...


George Perkins Marsh: Anticipating The Anthropocene, Robin Kundis Craig Jan 2020

George Perkins Marsh: Anticipating The Anthropocene, Robin Kundis Craig

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

This chapter, part of the forthcoming volume PIONEERS OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, explores the vision of humanity's influence on social-ecological systems that George Perkins Marsh provided to the world in his 1964 work, MAN AND NATURE, OR PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY AS MODIFIED BY HUMAN ACTION, republished in 1874 as THE EARTH AS MODIFIED THROUGH HUMAN ACTION. In addition to tracing how Marsh and these publications influenced nature resources and environmental law in the United States well into the 20th century, this chapter also argues that Marsh anticipated, in many respects, the environmental legal and policy issues of the Anthropocene by tracing ...


Social Science And The Analysis Of Environmental Policy, Cary Coglianese, Shana Starobin Jan 2020

Social Science And The Analysis Of Environmental Policy, Cary Coglianese, Shana Starobin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As much as environmental problems manifest themselves as problems with the natural environment, environmental problems--and their solutions--are ultimately social and behavioral in nature. Just as the natural sciences provide a basis for understanding the need for environmental policy and informing its design, the social sciences also contribute in significant ways to the understanding of the behavioral sources of environmental problems, both in terms of individual incentives and collective action challenges. In addition, the social sciences have contributed much to the understanding of the ways that laws and other institutions can be designed to solve environmental problems. In this paper, we ...


Protecting Natural Resources - Forever: The Obligations Of State Officials To Uphold "Forever" Constitutional Provisions, Rachel E. Deming Sep 2019

Protecting Natural Resources - Forever: The Obligations Of State Officials To Uphold "Forever" Constitutional Provisions, Rachel E. Deming

Pace Environmental Law Review

This Article analyzes the attacks on a state constitutional conservation lands program since the election of a governor and state legislature opposed to environmental regulation in 2010 – a precursor to current happenings at the federal level under the Trump administration. Former Florida Governor Rick Scott and his administration have spent an average of over $40 million a year in taxpayer money to defend and, in most cases, pay judgments, in lawsuits challenging mandates of the Florida Constitution.

I examine this issue of ignoring or deliberately violating constitutional requirements through the lens of state constitutional provisions that protect natural resources, focusing ...


Who Takes A Dam: Regulatory Confusion And Surging Opportunities For Small Dam Removal In Rural Maine, Grady R. Burns Aug 2019

Who Takes A Dam: Regulatory Confusion And Surging Opportunities For Small Dam Removal In Rural Maine, Grady R. Burns

Maine Law Review

This Comment examines the regulatory regimes surrounding the removal of state-regulated small dams in Maine by comparing the relatively underdeveloped regime in Maine with the much more coherent and robust regime in neighboring New Hampshire. When compared to more deliberate regimes, Maine’s system lacks key features, including a streamlined permitting program and a single clearinghouse for information, resources, and regulatory enforcement. Given the significant opportunities afforded by a coherent regulatory small dam removal regime, this Comment recommends that Maine follow the example of other states by creating a river restoration and dam removal program, re-establishing its statewide dam inventory ...


Conservation, Regionality, And The Farm Bill, Jess R. Phelps Aug 2019

Conservation, Regionality, And The Farm Bill, Jess R. Phelps

Maine Law Review

Over the past several Farm Bills, there has been a somewhat subtle shift in program design to better incorporate regional perspectives/localized areas of conservation concern into national conservation program delivery. The purpose of this Article is to specifically explore the various roles that regional considerations play in existing Farm Bill conservation programs and also consider whether further developments in this direction could result in more flexible program delivery, more effective partnerships, and ultimately, better conservation outcomes. To this end, section II will provide an overview of the history of the Farm Bill, from its origins to the emergence of ...


Juliana V. United States, Daniel Brister May 2019

Juliana V. United States, Daniel Brister

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In 2015, a group of adolescents between the ages of eight and nineteen filed a lawsuit against the federal government for infringing upon their civil rights to a healthy, habitable future living environment. Those Plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States alleged that the industrial-scale burning of fossil fuels was causing catastrophic and destabilizing impacts to the global climate, threatening the survival and welfare of present and future generations. Seeking to reduce the United States’ contributions to atmospheric carbon dioxide, Plaintiffs demanded injunctive and declaratory relief to halt the federal government’s policies of promoting and subsidizing fossil fuels, due to ...


Solenex Llc V. Jewell, F. Aaron Rains Jan 2019

Solenex Llc V. Jewell, F. Aaron Rains

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In Solenex LLC v. Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior cancelled a highly contentious oil and gas lease in Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine area, an environmentally sensitive and culturally significant area to the Blackfeet Tribe, nearly thirty years after the lease had been issued. Solenex, a Louisiana based oil and gas company and holder of the lease, brought this action to enjoin the cancellation. The District Court for the District of Columbia agreed with Solenex and found that the Secretary’s decision took an unreasonable amount of time and violated good-faith contractual obligations. On these grounds, the court found the ...


The Genie Is Out Of The De-Extinction Bottle: A Problem In Risk Regulation And Regulatory Gaps, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2019

The Genie Is Out Of The De-Extinction Bottle: A Problem In Risk Regulation And Regulatory Gaps, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Once the province of horror films and fantasy, the idea of recreating extinct life forms is poised to move from science fiction to laboratories and from there to the world at large. While “de-extinction is not something that will take place tomorrow . . . scientists are making major advancements, and eventual success appears inevitable.” Spurred on by the burgeoning field of genetic engineering, it was only a matter of time before scientists turned their attention to recreating extinct life forms, either for the thrill of it or in atonement for the human role in the extinction process.

But science appears to be ...


Strategic Institutional Positioning: How We Have Come To Generate Environmental Law Without Congress, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2018

Strategic Institutional Positioning: How We Have Come To Generate Environmental Law Without Congress, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

When examining legislation authorizing administrative agencies to promulgate rules, we are often left asking whether Congress “delegates” away its lawmaking authority by giving agencies too much power and discretion to decide what rules should be promulgated and to determine how rich to make their content. If the agencies get broad authority, it is not too hard to understand why they would fulsomely embrace the grant to its fullest. Once agencies are let loose by broad grants of rulemaking authority and they are off to the races, we are also often left scratching our heads wondering why Congress fails to intervene ...


Tribal Tools & Legal Levers For Halting Fossil Fuel Transport & Exports Through The Pacific Northwest, Mary Christina Wood Dec 2018

Tribal Tools & Legal Levers For Halting Fossil Fuel Transport & Exports Through The Pacific Northwest, Mary Christina Wood

American Indian Law Journal

As alarming scientific predictions crystallize into the realities of today’s climate crisis, tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest find themselves on the front lines of a global assault launched by the fossil fuel industry. Encouraged by President Trump’s declaration of intent to unleash $50 trillion of America’s domestic fossil fuels, corporations push for massive expansion of the nation’s fossil fuel infrastructure—even as the world races towards irrevocable climate thresholds. The unprecedented onslaught hinges on the Pacific Northwest as a key link in a global market scheme. The coastal region sits as a proposed industrial gateway ...


Measuring Brief (Fossil Creek Watchers, Inc.), Lowell J. Chandler, Nathan A. Burke Nov 2018

Measuring Brief (Fossil Creek Watchers, Inc.), Lowell J. Chandler, Nathan A. Burke

Pace Environmental Law Review Online Companion

No abstract provided.


Measuring Brief (Enerprog, Llc), Mehrded Safvati, Joshua Smith, Gabriela S. Perez Nov 2018

Measuring Brief (Enerprog, Llc), Mehrded Safvati, Joshua Smith, Gabriela S. Perez

Pace Environmental Law Review Online Companion

No abstract provided.


Measuring Brief (Epa), Zachary Jones, Narayan Subramanian, Shravya Govindgari Nov 2018

Measuring Brief (Epa), Zachary Jones, Narayan Subramanian, Shravya Govindgari

Pace Environmental Law Review Online Companion

No abstract provided.


2018 Bench Memorandum Nov 2018

2018 Bench Memorandum

Pace Environmental Law Review Online Companion

No abstract provided.


2018 Competition Problem Nov 2018

2018 Competition Problem

Pace Environmental Law Review Online Companion

No abstract provided.


Highway Culverts, Salmon Runs, And The Stevens Treaties: A Century Of Litigating Pacific Northwest Tribal Fishing Rights, Ryan Hickey Oct 2018

Highway Culverts, Salmon Runs, And The Stevens Treaties: A Century Of Litigating Pacific Northwest Tribal Fishing Rights, Ryan Hickey

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Isaac Stevens, then Superintendent of Indian Affairs and Governor of Washington Territory, negotiated a series of treaties with Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest during 1854 and 1855. A century and a half later in 2001, the United States joined 21 Indian tribes in filing a Request for Determination in the United States District Court for the District of Washington. Plaintiffs alleged the State of Washington had violated those 150-year-old treaties, which remained in effect, by building and maintaining culverts under roads that prevented salmon passage. This litigation eventually reached the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held in favor ...


Collaboration Through Nepa: Achieving A Social License To Operate On Federal Public Lands, Temple Stoellinger, L. Steven Smutko, Jessica M. Western Oct 2018

Collaboration Through Nepa: Achieving A Social License To Operate On Federal Public Lands, Temple Stoellinger, L. Steven Smutko, Jessica M. Western

Public Land & Resources Law Review

As demand and consumption of natural gas increases, so will drilling operations to extract the natural gas on federal public lands. Fueled by the shale gas revolution, natural gas drilling operations are now frequently taking place, not only in the highly documented urban settings, but also on federal public lands with high conservation value. The phenomenon of increased drilling in sensitive locations, both urban and remote, has sparked increased public opposition, requiring oil and gas producers to reconsider how they engage the public. Oil and gas producers have increasingly deployed the concept of a social license to operate to gain ...


Public-Private Conservation Agreements And The Greater Sage-Grouse, Justin R. Pidot Oct 2018

Public-Private Conservation Agreements And The Greater Sage-Grouse, Justin R. Pidot

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In 2015, the Obama Administration announced its conservation plans for the greater sage-grouse, an iconic bird of the intermountain west.Political leadership at the time described those plans as the “largest landscape-level conservation effort in U.S. history,”and they served as the foundation for a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) that a listing of the bird was not warranted under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The Trump Administration appears poised to substantially amend the plans, although an array of interested parties have urged that the plans be left intact. Regardless of the outcome of ...


Streamlining The Production Of Clean Energy: Proposals To Reform The Hydroelectricity Licensing Process, Travis Kavulla, Laura Farkas Oct 2018

Streamlining The Production Of Clean Energy: Proposals To Reform The Hydroelectricity Licensing Process, Travis Kavulla, Laura Farkas

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Hydroelectric power is an efficient and clean source of power. In an era when air emissions dominate public concern about the environmental effects of the energy sector, it is a paradox that among the most highly regulated energy projects are hydroelectric dams, which do not combust fuel. This is partly due to a failure of successive statutory enactments,which have transformed hydroelectric licensing from a regulatory “one-stop shop” with a single regulator, to a process chained to a bewilderingnumber of often conflicting regulatory agencies, often riven with delay. Hydroelectric licensing has also failed because its capacious standard of review encourages ...


Center For Biological Diversity V. Zinke, Ryan Hickey Oct 2018

Center For Biological Diversity V. Zinke, Ryan Hickey

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The oft-cited “arbitrary and capricious” standard revived the Center for Biological Diversity’s most recent legal challenge in its decades-long quest to see arctic grayling listed under the Endangered Species Act. While this Ninth Circuit decision did not grant grayling ESA protections, it did require the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its 2014 finding that listing grayling as threatened or endangered was unwarranted. In doing so, the court found “range,” as used in the ESA, vague while endorsing the FWS’s 2014 clarification of that term. Finally, this holding identified specific shortcomings of the challenged FWS finding ...


Friends Of Animals V. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Bradley E. Tinker Oct 2018

Friends Of Animals V. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Bradley E. Tinker

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In Friends of Animals v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the Ninth Circuit held that the plain language of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act allows for the removal of one species of bird to benefit another species. Friends of Animals argued that the Service’s experiment permitting the taking of one species––the barred owl––to advance the conservation of a different species––the northern spotted owl––violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The court, however, found that the Act delegates broad implementing discretion to the Secretary of the Interior, and neither the Act nor the underlying international conventions limit ...


California Sea Urchin Commission V. Bean, Thomas C. Mooney-Myers Sep 2018

California Sea Urchin Commission V. Bean, Thomas C. Mooney-Myers

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In California Sea Urchin Commission v. Bean, the Ninth Circuit upheld the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to end an experimental sea otter colony and translocation program. Commercial fishing groups sought reversal of the decision due to their interest in maintaining the translocation program which reduced otter predation on commercially valuable shellfish. While the Ninth Circuit held the group had standing, it then applied the Chevron test and determined the agency’s actions were reasonable.


Droughts, Floods, And Wildfires: Paleo Perspectives On Diaster Law In The Anthropocene, Ryan Stoa Mar 2018

Droughts, Floods, And Wildfires: Paleo Perspectives On Diaster Law In The Anthropocene, Ryan Stoa

Ryan B. Stoa

Humanity's impact on the earth has become so pronounced that momentum is building toward adopting a new term for the modem geological age-the "Anthropocene." The term signifies that human activity has reached a scale that it is now a planetary force capable of shaping ecosystems and natural processes. And yet, anthropocentric natural resources management and environmental lawmaking in the United States reveal a lack of control in managing natural systems and fostering resilience to extreme events. These systems do not easily conform to the whims of reactionary environmental policies. Droughts, floods, and wildfires, in particular are often conceptualized as ...