Saturday, July 16, 2005
On Friday, July 15, the D.C. Circuit in a split decision (2-1) upheld EPA's decision not to regulate carbon dioxide.
The court's opinion was penned by Judge Randolph. The court held that, where the standing inquiry and merits so overlap, the court has jurisdiction to determine the merits. The court then declined to decide whether EPA had authority to regulate carbon dioxide, but concluded that EPA had properly exercised its discretion not to regulate. Judge Sentelle concurred in judgment (ala Hamdi) and wrote a dissent concluding that the petitioners lacked standing. Judge Tatel wrote a dissenting opinion. He concluded that petitioners have standing and rejected the court's holding that there is an Article III exception where the jurisdictional question and the merits overlapped. He indicated that EPA has authority to regulate. He also concluded that, while the arbitrary and capricious standard applies to EPAs decisions, EPA must make a reasoned judgment whether greenhouse gases meet the endangerment standard and if they do, EPA must regulate.
A request for rehearing and rehearing en banc is almost certain.
Because the majority did not reach the statutory authority argument, the case should not affect California's controls on carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.
Friday, July 15, 2005
BBC reported that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared that cliimate change does pose a threat to natural and cultural World Heritage sites. The Committee stopped short of listing Sagarmatha National Park in the Himalayas, the Huascaran National Park in Peru and the Belize Barrer reef on the danger list. Had the sites been listed, the 180 nations that are parties to the World Heritage Convention would have been legally obligated to cut greenhouse gas emissions as a means to protect the sites. The Committee launched an investigation to determine whether the sites should be placed on the danger list Link: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | UN investigates Everest threat.
One current site was expanded and seven new sites were added yesterday. Link: UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The sites range from the Gulf of California, Norweigan fjords, Thai forests, a South African meteor impact site, Egyptian whale fossils, an Indian Himalayan valley, a Panamanian marine site, and the Shiretoko pennisula in Japan. See the IUCN description of these sites.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The startling figures are that 1 billion people are squatters now and 3 billion squatters are expected to inhabit the world's cities by 2050. Link: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Eco-designs on future cities.
I have been reviewing the excellent casebook produced by Christine Klein, Federico Chever, and Bret Birdsong. The last chapter deals with wildfire management, which has captured the attention of my pyromaniacal natural resources students. For those of you who teach this topic, GAO has just issued a report on US wildfire management efforts. Link: GAO wildfire management policy options.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Last week's question: should US erect barriers to Chinese ownership of US resources and if so, how? There were no takers on the question, but Congressional hearings started today. Link: Critics see security threat in China oil bid - Yahoo! News.
The Washington Post reports that the Chinese are moving in on oil companies because they fear US hegemony of Middle East oil resources. Explaining China's Interest in Oil Companies.
China is also reportedly offering assurances that it will not back off of its offer based on U.S. government review. UNOCAL board offered assurances
Monday, July 11, 2005
The European Commission has issued a final notice to 11 nations
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Finland-Aland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia
for failing to finalize national legislation implementing the Strategic Environmental Assessment directive. A referral to the European Court of Justice and ultimately monetary penalties could follow. Link: EUROPA - Rapid - Press Releases. This action was accompanied by similar enforcement action regarding electrical wastes, noise, and public information access.
Our deans' lists of where to publish are probably:
Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Michigan, NYU, Georgetown, etc.
But, for "impact", as measured by John Doyle of Washington & Lee>
18 Yale Journal on Regulation
19 Harvard Environmental Law Review
53 Columbia Journal of Environmental Law
72 Stanford Environmental Law Journal
101 Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum
122 Virginia Environmental Law Journal
138 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review
149 Environmental Law
164 Ecology Law Quarterly
239 UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy
Jim Salzman of Duke Law School participated in the AAAS symposium on sustainable development last Friday. Here's the report.
In the final discussion of the afternoon, "Sustainable Development," the panel agreed that overall population growth itself isn't going to be the major influence on the state of the world's ecosystems. Rather, as ecologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, explained, the greatest change in impact will come from the 1 billion people--think China--whose living standards are poised to rival those of North Americans. Cheap and clean energy won't necessarily obviate the impact, noted James Salzman of Duke University Law School in Durham, because other problems such as habitat destruction would remain. The big challenge will be how to deal with the interaction of multiple threats, said William Clark of Harvard University in Boston.
This is the reaction from Science Link: G-8 Plan Light on Climate Change Commitments -- Marshall and Kintisch 2005 (711): 2 -- sciencenow.
The G8 issued a communique recognizing the importance of climate change and inviting an international dialogue on climate change, clean energy, and sustainable development. G8 Communique The dialogue would monitor implementation of the G8's newly created plan of action. G8 Plan of Action The Pew Center has summarized the G8 developments. Pew Center Summary
The National Academies of 11 major nations issued a joint statement on climate change. National Academies Statement The CEOs of 24 global corporations endorsed government action to provide development of and protection for market investment in climate change. Business Statement
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Three word titles are optimal and there appears to be an inverse correlation between title length/subtitles and rank. A very short attention span?!? :)
The Top 10 for recently posted papers (WITH LINKED ABSTRACTS) are:
Rank Title Author Most Recent Revision Hits
1 Chevron Step Zero Cass Sunstein June 23, 2005 196 Hits
2 A New Progressivism Cass Sunstein June 8, 2005 144 Hits
3 Irreversible and Catastrophic Cass Sunstein June 24, 2005 116 Hits
4 An Economic Theory of Brett Frishmann April 22, 2005 91 Hits
Infrastructure and Commons
5 Gender, Race, and Risk Perception Dan Kahan June 22, 2005 87 Hits
The Influence of Cultural Donald Braman
6 The Private Life of Public Law Michael Vandenbergh June 1, 1005 67 Hits
7 The Story of Lucas v. South Carol Rose April 25, 2005 57 Hits
Carolina Coastal Council:
Between the Developers and the Deep Blue Sea
8 Signaling Social Responsibility: Jason Johnston June 9, 2005 55 Hits
On the Law and Economics of
Market Incentives for Corporate
9 Regulation by Adaptive Management:
is it Possible? J.B. Ruhl June 8, 2005 52 Hits
is it Possible
10 The (Non)Uniqueness of
Environmental Law Jay Wexler May 18, 2005 40 Hits
Link: SSRN Top Downloads.