Environmental Law

Wildfires throughout the West are a drastic consequence of climate change. In California especially, the costs of wildfires have become unbearable. Current statutory solutions, such as Assembly Bill 1054 (AB-1054), focus on apportioning liability for damages between insurance companies, government programs, and the electric utilities that often spark the fires, but legislation often fails to address the factors that make damages so astronomical...

Agriculture systems are extremely susceptible to the consequences of climate change. Extreme weather events, changing temperature patterns, and invasive pests and weeds threaten our nation’s crop yields and food security. U.S. agriculture is also a leading contributor to climate change, as industrial farming and land management practices emit around a third of nationwide greenhouse gases. Certain climate-friendly agriculture practices have the...

Buildings in the United States are responsible for nine percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and improvement of building energy efficiency through strong building energy codes can help achieve signifi­cant emissions reductions and cost savings. But building energy code regula­tion across the country is inconsistent: Some states have statewide codes with ambitious clean energy targets, while others have no statewide codes at all....

BANKS AND CLIMATE GOVERNANCE

Sarah E. Light & Christina P. Skinner*

Major banks in the United States and globally have begun to assert an active role in the transition to a low-carbon economy and the reduction of climate risk through private environmental and climate governance. This Essay situates these actions within historical and economic contexts: It explains how the legal foundations of banks’ sense of social purpose intersect with their economic incentives to finance major structural tran­sitions in society....

Introduction In the landmark decision McGirt v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court held that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation in eastern Oklahoma had never been disestablished by Congress, and it thus remained “Indian country” under federal law for purposes of criminal jurisdiction. This decision also carried the potential to alter the regulatory landscape of Oklahoma in […]

Over the coming decades, experts estimate that twenty-five percent of all plant and animal species may go extinct. Climate change directly contributes to species extinction through ecosystem shift, and accelerates other drivers of extinction such as destruction of habitat and pollution. The Endangered Species Act is the only legal tool in the United States to directly protect against the threat of species extinction, and critical...

Faced with potentially staggering human and economic costs, governments around the world are beginning to plan and implement adaptive measures designed to stem the effects of climate change. Some of these adaptations will likely benefit certain property owners and communities at the expense of others. For example, seawalls intended to save valuable parcels of land from sea-level rise could wind up forcing seawater onto neighboring parcels that...

This Note examines the disparate treatment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the regulatory cost–benefit analysis and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review contexts. In Zero Zone, Inc. v. United States Department of Energy, the Seventh Circuit upheld the use of the social cost of carbon (SCC) when agencies consider GHG emissions in their cost–benefit analyses. At the same time, courts have almost uniformly rejected...

Introduction President Donald Trump has quickly marshalled the powers of the presidency to challenge President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy. Facing an increasingly intransigent Congress, the Obama Administration placed significant emphasis on rulemaking and other administrative actions to push its progressive agenda. Whatever the merits of this approach, many of these actions are not safe from […]