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LATEST PRINT

A Disability Rights Approach to Climate Governance

Despite international recognition of the greater vulnerability of persons with disabilities to climate change, disability issues have received little attention from practitioners, policy makers, and scholars in this field. As countries move forward with measures to combat climate change and adapt to its impacts, it is critical to understand how these efforts can be designed and implemented in ways that can respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of disabled persons.

Nov 20, 2020

Whither the Regulatory “War on Coal”? Scapegoats, Saviors, and Stock Market Reactions

Complaints about excessive economic burdens associated with regulation abound in contemporary political and legal rhetoric. In recent years, perhaps nowhere have these complaints been heard as loudly as in the context of U.S. regulations targeting the use of coal to supply power to the nation’s electricity system, as production levels in the coal industry dropped by nearly half between 2008 and 2016.

Nov 20, 2020

Rebuilding Trust: Climate Change, Indian Communities, and a Right to Resettlement

According to most estimates, more than one hundred million people will be permanently displaced by climate change by 2050. Among the people most at risk of displacement are American Indians. If the government does nothing, or simply does not do enough, hundreds of Indian communities across the United States will be destroyed, the members of these communities devastated, endangered, and displaced.

Nov 20, 2020

The Roman Public Trust Doctrine: What Was It, and Does It Support an Atmospheric Trust?

Through building waves of legal scholarship and litigation, a group of legal academics and practitioners is advancing a theory of the public trust doctrine styled as the “atmospheric trust.” The atmospheric trust would require the federal and state governments to regulate public and private actors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to abate climate change.

Nov 20, 2020
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LATEST CURRENTS

Easing Off the Gas: Efficient and Equitable Policy for Passenger Vehicle Emissions Reduction

There are various public policy approaches to addressing passenger vehicle carbon emissions. In this article I review three possible approaches: raising emissions standards; alternative fuel vehicle subsidies; and congestion charging zones. I propose a set of criteria for evaluating these different policies, and apply those criteria to the three policies. I conclude that a combination of increased passenger vehicle emissions standards and subsidies for alternative fuel vehicles represents the best policy approach.

Oct 26, 2020

Smart Grids Need Smart Privacy Laws: Reconciling the California Consumer Privacy Act with Decentralized Electricity Models

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants strong privacy rights, including allowing a consumer to opt out of the sale of her information to third parties, and to request that a business delete her information from its records. At the same time, the electricity industry is transitioning towards a decentralized distribution scheme, where electricity providers use consumer information and blockchain technology to improve energy efficiency. The CCPA is problematic to this shift in electricity distribution in two ways.

Aug 18, 2020

Colluding to Save the World: How Antitrust Laws Discourage Corporations from Taking Action on Climate Change

“The loftiest of purported motivations do not excuse anti-competitive collusion among rivals. That’s long-standing antitrust law.” So begins a USA Today opinion piece by Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General and head of the Antitrust Division. Delrahim was defending a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into four major automakers who had recently announced they would continue to meet California’s fuel efficiency standards even as the Trump Administration moved to roll back higher efficiency standards at the federal level. The agreement between the automakers will likely lead to higher prices for consumers, which—regardless of other positive benefits—could be illegal under antitrust law. But should it be?

Jul 27, 2020

Salmon Lessons For The Delta Smelt: Unjustified Reliance On Hatcheries In The USFWS October 2019 Biological Opinion

Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, in October 2019 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) of the Trump Administration issued a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) for coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project (2019 USFWS BiOp). The 2019 USFWS BiOp issued by the Trump Administration found that anticipated water project operations would not jeopardize the survival of the endangered delta smelt, a fish species dependent on low-salinity conditions and found only in the brackish estuary where the freshwater of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers mix with the seawater of the San Francisco Bay. The “no jeopardy” determination in the 2019 USFWS BiOp contrasted with the previous 2008 USFWS BiOp, which found that anticipated water project operations would likely push the endangered delta smelt into extinction due to elevated salinity levels.

Jun 26, 2020
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Ecology Law Quarterly, one of the nation’s most respected and widely read environmental law journals.