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Equitable Electrification: Could City and State Policies Aggravate Energy Insecurity?

Progressive cities and states have begun enacting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, one of the leading sources of such emissions in the United States. The same jurisdictions have also generally committed to pursuing decarbonization equitably, without exacerbating the disadvantages faced by historically marginalized communities. Electrification is currently a favored policy for decarbonizing buildings. This Article examines the potential for building electrification to impact tenant energy costs through a case study of New York City.

Financially Equivalent but Behaviorally Distinct? Pollution Tax and Cap-and-Trade Negotiations

Economic theory suggests that pollution tax and cap-and-trade regulations can be functionally equivalent. Environmentalists tend to prefer the firm emissions cap in cap-and-trade programs, while economists and business interests tend to prefer the price certainty of tax programs. But both may be overlooking behavioral distinctions between the two policies. Using a novel randomized case experiment, this Article tests whether the framing changes negotiated policies.

Achieving “Some” Upfront Certainty and Resolve in Superfund Settlements

Superfund practitioners are waiting to see whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will designate perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate, two chemicals in the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) group, as CERCLA hazardous substances. Such a designation may lead to selected remedies being modified and further work being required at Superfund sites where remedies were believed to be complete. This Article explores potential future liability by reviewing provisions of the 2021 Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) Model Consent Decree.

Beyond Bake Sales: Environmental Justice Through Superfund Removal Actions

This Comment provides a basic introduction to the Superfund removal program, a program through which millions of dollars are allocated through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 10 regional offices each year for cleaning up contaminated sites that are not designated “Superfund” sites, and particularly encourages consideration of Superfund removals to address growing concerns for environmental justice.

The Acceleration of Climate Creep: The Court Crashes, Congress Surges

This Comment takes up two recent conflicting developments: the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, which was designed to undercut present and future federal climate action, and Congress’ surprising countermove passing climate legislation in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act, which has dramatically accelerated development of the rule of law around climate change in the United States.

Analyzing West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

On the final day of the 2021-2022 term, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. The majority (6-3) opinion limited the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under Clean Air Act §111(d), in part by invoking the “major questions doctrine.” The decision has implications for EPA’s authority both to regulate emissions from stationary sources and to regulate greenhouse gases more broadly.

Agricultural Exceptionalism, Environmental Injustice, and U.S. Right-to-Farm Laws

While the environmental justice movement has gained traction in the United States, the relationship between agri-food systems and environmental injustices in rural areas has yet to come into focus. This Article explores the relationship between U.S. agricultural exceptionalism and rural environmental justice through examining right-to-farm laws.

Rising Tides-Toward a Federal Climate Resilience Fund

Climate impacts in the United States disproportionately fall on low-income communities and communities of color. As the costs of climate adaptation mount, municipalities and states have brought litigation against fossil fuel companies to recover for extensive damage caused by climate change. Drawing on lessons from previous tobacco and asbestos suits, this Article argues that damages litigation—while properly heard in state courts—has significant shortcomings as an equitable climate change adaptation strategy.

State Protections of Nonfederal Waters: Turbidity Continues

This Comment examines the legal framework for state protection of nonfederal waters and its implications for cooperative federalism. After a brief overview and legal background, it identifies some recent state actions that attempt to fill gaps in coverage created by changes in federal interpretations of the Clean Water Act. It then summarizes the current scope of state regulation of waters in every state, in order to discern the likely impact of changes at the federal level on the status of waters in the states.