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Liability for Public Deception: Linking Fossil Fuel Disinformation to Climate Damages

Over two dozen U.S. states and municipalities have filed lawsuits against fossil fuel companies, seeking abatement orders and compensation for climate damages based on theories such as public nuisance, negligence, and failure to warn, and alleging these companies knew about the dangers of their products, intentionally concealed those dangers, created doubt about climate science, and undermined public support for climate action.

Salmon, Climate Change, and the Future

This Article examines the nature of the threats that climate change poses and will continue to pose for salmon recovery, as well as possible legal responses to combat these threats. It also considers the future prospects of Pacific salmon in a world that will include significant climate change and other threats to preserving and equitably apportioning the salmon resource, whose environmental sensitivity and expansive life cycle will continue to pose substantial challenges for the foreseeable future.

Too Little Too Late: Underregulation of Contaminants of Emerging Concern

Underregulation is a common and persistent environmental law problem, with recent scholarly focus on individual contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), whose harm is not fully known. But little attention has been given to the general trend of underregulation with respect to these chemicals, or explaining why this systematic underregulation occurs. This Article posits that federal agencies have been unacceptably slow to initiate protective regulations, and even once regulations are promulgated, they leave regulatory gaps that continue to expose populations to harmful effects.

The Past, Present, and Future of Women in Environmental Law

The field of environmental law has seen many changes over the years, with demonstrable legal and policy victories for cleaner air and water. While the face of the environmental movement in its beginnings was predominantly male, women have become more prominent and influential within environmental law and policy over the decades.

Hazy Regulations: Cannabis and the Environment

The U.S. legal cannabis market is an estimated $60 billion industry, with approximately 28,000 businesses operating and employing upwards of 300,000 people, and growing rapidly. Large-scale cultivation requires significant energy usage, nutrient and pesticide inputs, and water usage, resulting in cumulative environmental impacts. Addressing these concerns raises complex legal issues because of cannabis’ federal classification as a Schedule 1 narcotic, which prevents federal agencies from collecting data on, providing guidance to, or regulating the industry.

Circular Economy Laws as a Means, Not an End: The Case of Sustainable Car Sharing

The circular economy has gone mainstream as a goal in the transitions toward a more sustainable society. Often, however, laws that promote a circular economy remain vague or narrowly focused on resource efficiency, obscuring the fact that they have multiple environmental effects and can lead to environmental trade offs. This Article examines how to properly frame circular economy laws for sustainability, focusing on product-service systems generally and the case of car sharing in particular.

Playing the Long Game: Expediting Permitting Without Compromising Protections

The Biden Administration’s efforts to promote clean energy have prompted calls for permit reform. A clean energy economy demands a global increase in mineral production, and some suggest environmental standards must be loosened. This premise fails to distinguish among causes of delay in the permitting process, and increased demand for minerals should not overshadow the productive purposes served by permitting. At the same time, there are opportunities to improve permitting without compromising health and safety standards.

Local Solutions to the Global Crisis: A Guide to Climate-Resilient Development

In February 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) promulgated climate-resilient development (CRD), which combines adaptation and mitigation as a principal strategy for managing climate change. This Article discusses local land use law in the context of CRD and provides a methodology for identifying and evaluating strategies that address the global climate crisis at the local level. Local governments have the power to integrate land use strategies that include CRD components, and the IPCC identified these strategies as effective tools for implementing CRD.

Clean Air Act Regulation After West Virginia and the Inflation Reduction Act

On October 29, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, a petition filed by several states and coal companies attacking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA’s) regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Court’s holding in this case would determine EPA’s continued ability to use the CAA—including the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) program—as a climate change tool.

Reducing Animal Agriculture Emissions: The Viability of a Farm Transition Carbon Offset Protocol

Animal agriculture is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offset markets allow entities to reduce their overall climate impact by financing projects that decrease emissions elsewhere. This Article analyzes the viability of an offset protocol that credits farms for transitioning from raising livestock to growing crops, based on the difference in emissions between these operations.