This Month's Issue of ELR

Volume 51 Issue 12 —

by Chandler Randol, John Shideler, Phillip Ludvigsen, and Cait Lamberton

Environmentally conscious financiers are increasingly pursuing green ventures, especially through green bonds and stocks, social investing, and social benefit corporations. On September 21, 2021, the Environmental Law Institute hosted a panel of experts for its Environmental Law and Finance Series that explored the regulatory process for green bonds and stocks, best practices for advising stakeholders and clients interested in green bonds, and the opportunities and challenges of leveraging green financial tools to combat climate change. This Dialogue presents a transcript of that discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

by Sam Kalen

We are told the transition to a zero-carbon economy will depend upon the United States’ ability to assure a sufficient supply of rare earths and minerals such as cobalt, nickel, or lithium. The Biden Administration is intent on promoting some new form of a critical mineral policy, and calls for reforming the 1872 Mining Law have persisted for well over one hundred years. This Article is designed to provoke a meaningful conversation about a critical minerals policy informed by our past. It cautions against a myopic focus on critical minerals, and suggests that moving forward demands reforming the 1872 law. That reform could incorporate streamlining efforts tethered to a modern public land planning process that mirrors the approval of renewable energy projects on public lands. Arresting climate change and ensuring an adequate supply of inputs to a new green economy necessitates sacrifices, but our treasured public land resources should not succumb to hasty decisions.

by Rachel Jacobson, Matthew F. Ferraro, and Cary Glynn

As in prior years, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 contains a variety of provisions setting U.S. Department of Defense priorities for energy, environmental, and natural resource issues. These include measures that represent some degree of consensus on these often-politicized topics. In this Article, the fourth in an annual series, the authors canvass how the Act addresses a host of issues in the areas of climate resiliency, energy management, hazardous substances, and environmental and natural resource management, and its implications for practitioners in these areas.

by Shiyuan Jing

Evaluating government programs is a relatively new idea for China’s government and policymakers. Many policies and programs continue to be evaluated based on procedural standards rather than on actual performance. This Article investigates how program evaluations and the knowledge they produce find their way into China’s environmental policy. It argues that without procedurally adequate, well-managed evaluation programs, the value of China’s various policy pilots as learning exercises would be greatly reduced, presenting current case studies and explaining patterns in China’s recent environmental policies. This China discourse could help international readers understand program evaluation and its relationship to environmental law, and thus its practical significance in modern climate governance.

In the Courts

District court remands recovery plan for Mexican gray wolf.

In the Agencies

CEQ proposes to reimplement NEPA procedures.

In the Congress

Bill proposing to repeal EPA's renewable
fuels program introduced in the House.

In the States

Maine proposed to adopt California’s Advanced Clean Trucks Rule.