Environmental Law as a Three-Legged Stool


Ad. Law provides the process and institutions, while Torts and Property concepts underly the substance.

Environmental law is a formidable tangle of long, complicated statutes and sometimes arcane judicial doctrines.  But underneath all that, I’d like to suggest, there’s a very simple structure, rooted in legal basics. The procedural and structural framework for environmental law is provided by administrative law, supplemented in a few areas like Superfund by ordinary civil […]

Continue Reading

Faculty Openings in Environmental Law

Some schools are still formulating their hiring plans, but others are clearly in the market.

Ax in past years, I’ve been collecting information about faculty openings in environmental, natural resources, and energy law.  I’ll update this as I receive more information.  Here’s what I’ve got so far: University of Delaware is seeking a Distinguished Named Professorship in Energy and the Environment. Environmental law scholars are encouraged to apply (UD has […]

Continue Reading

Can We Trust the Science? The Challenge of Irreproducible Results

In the peer review process, articles submitted to scientific journals are sent to experts in the field who then assess the methodology, results and conclusions. Based on their feedback, authors often revise and re-submit, publishing an improved article as a result. Peer reviewers rarely attempt the actual experiments described in the paper.  Irreproducible results are […]

Continue Reading

The Horse Manifesto

law books

"The Law of the Horse" is a disparaging term for a legal field. We should embrace it.

It’s fairly common to refer to environmental law or energy law as being like the Law of the Horse – implying that they are somewhat ersatz legal fields. For those who are not familiar with the reference, The Law of the Horse was apparently the title of a legal treatise that collected all the cases […]

Continue Reading

A (Sometimes) Beautiful Equilibrium

John Nash

John Nash's contribution to game theory illuminates environmental issues.

John Nash and his wife died yesterday in a cab crash while returning from a trip to Norway to receive a major mathematical prize.  He is best known to the public because of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which described his struggle with mental illness.  His concept of the Nash Equilibrium is basic to a […]

Continue Reading

Requiem for a Bottom-Feeder

High Cost of Free Parking

UCLA's Don Shoup Has Transformed Urban Planning

Every scholar wants to do good, productive, important work, but I suppose all us secretly would like to redefine our fields — to go down in academic history, so to speak. Virtually none of us do. But UCLA’s Don Shoup, who is retiring this year from the Urban Planning department, is one who has. And […]

Continue Reading

The Unreasonable Risk of TSCA Reform

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is no doubt generating significant conflict, including claims of undue industry influence, competing bills from prominent members of the same party, consternation among states, and divisions among health and environmental groups.  And it may also be the closest we have gotten to TSCA reform—ever.  […]

Continue Reading

Is Laurence Tribe a Sellout?

Robert Frost: The Poet as Psychologist

Actually, No

Ann’s excellent post concerning Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus’ evisceration of Laurence Tribe raises an important question: why on earth would Tribe make such patently absurd arguments? Ann delicately suggests that the money Tribe is getting from fossil fuel interests may have “addled his judgment.” I’m not so sure. Obviously, we can’t put the man […]

Continue Reading

Larry Tribe Smacked Down by Professors Revesz, Freeman and Lazarus


Argument that Clean Power Plant an "Unconstitutional Power Grab" Ridiculed

Famed constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe is serving red meat to opponents of  climate change regulation.  Not only is he  representing Peabody Coal in a pending court challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, but this week he testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee  that EPA, in adopting the plan, is […]

Continue Reading

Do the Poor Undervalue the Environment?

Untreated Monsoon Sewage in India: Does Anybody Care?

The Emerging Sub-Field of "Envirodevonomics" Seeks to Find Out

It’s hardly news that environmental quality in the Global South is often disastrous. Even middle income countries such as China and India face enormous pollution problems and destruction of ecosystems. But why? Do people in the Global South not care? Or is something else going on? A new paper in the Journal of Economic Literature […]

Continue Reading