Regulatory Policy

DuPont Found Liable In First of 3,500 Lawsuits


Chemical Used in Teflon Linked to Numerous Health Problems, but its Use is Still Legal Under TSCA

Yesterday, a jury in the Southern District of Ohio found DuPont liable for a woman’s kidney cancer in the first of 3,500 suits the company faces. The cases all stem from DuPont’s use and disposal of perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA) or C8. The chemical is used to make Teflon, among other things, and the most recent […]

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Lost in the Ozone Again

The Ozone Standard, Regulatory Pragmatism, and the Rule of Law

  EPA issued a new regulation last week that mandates a reduction in ozone levels to 70 ppm from the current 75 ppm (originally set by the Bush Administration). The new regulation was immediately attacked by industry and environmentalists. According to industry, the regulation will be a job-killing burden on the economy. According to environmentalists, […]

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Is CCS the “best” system of emission reduction for coal-fired power plants?


Exploring Potential Challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard: PART II

This post is the second in a mini-series (see first post) exploring likely legal challenges to the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for power-plant greenhouse gas emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(b), and how those challenges might affect the Clean Power Plan. In my first post on EPA’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for […]

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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 […]

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Is Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS) the Biggest Threat to the Clean Power Plan?


Exploring potential challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard: PART I

This post is the first in a mini-series exploring likely legal challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for power-plant greenhouse gas emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(b), and how those challenges might affect the Clean Power Plan. I will leave detailed exploration of the Clean Power Plan for later posts, but suffice […]

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What’s New in Environmental Economics?


Some interesting recent publications.

It sometimes takes awhile for journals to reach my desk as they circulate among faculty, so this isn’t hot off the presses.  But I’ve been looking at some recent issues of JEEM (the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management), and I found a number of very interesting articles.  Fully grasping the articles would require a […]

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Resources on the Clean Power Plan

CCP series

and EPA’s Other Rulemakings under Clean Air Act § 111

On August 3rd, EPA released its long-awaited Clean Power Plan, which implements Clean Air Act § 111(d) to set the first-ever national standards for carbon emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants. The Clean Power Plan calculates reasonably achievable performance rates for existing coal, oil, and natural gas power plants across the country, and assigns an […]

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The Shadow Price of Carbon

Climate change disasters

Merging Cost-Benefit Analysis and Feasibility Analysis

The U.S. government has devoted a lot of time and effort to estimating the social cost of carbon.  This is basically a standard exercise in cost-benefit analysis, following a familiar three-step process: 1.   Impacts. Figure out the physical impacts of the emissions.  This involves setting up some emissions scenarios and then running computer simulations to […]

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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 […]

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And a Child Shall Sue Them: Ambitious New Climate Lawsuit Filed Against Obama Administration

James Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Will This Litigation Be More Successful Than Earlier, Related "Atmospheric Trust" Lawsuits?

Late last week, attorneys representing children from around the nation filed a provocative new lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the Obama Administration is violating the children’s constitutional rights by not taking far more dramatic steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change concerns. The newly-filed complaint in the lawsuit, Juliana ex rel. […]

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