Climate Change Regulation Through Litigation: New York’s Investigation of ExxonMobil under the Martin Act

By Chris Erickson* In November 2015, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began an investigation into whether ExxonMobil made public statements about climate change that conflicted with its own internal research.[1] Schneiderman issued a subpoena to ExxonMobil ordering production of documents related to its internal climate change research and the use of that research in […]

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Cultural Heritage Protection as Environmental Protection

by Joel Richert* For the first time, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has prosecuted the destruction of cultural heritage. [1] In 2012, the Ansar Eddine, an Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb associated militant group based in Northern Mali, captured the city of Timbuktu and imposed strict Islamic law on a previously moderate society. [2] Ahmad […]

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Arming the Paris Agreement

By Sean Higgins* World leaders and international corporations expressed alarm that President Donald Trump’s administration will threaten the Paris Agreement on climate change.[1] They are concerned that Trump will withdraw, undermining the agreement’s goal.[2] However, America’s withdrawal is unlikely because the agreement allows Trump to not comply with the agreement without incurring sanctions. This potential […]

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Navigating with an Ocean Liner: The Clean Water Rule, Trump’s Executive Order, and the Future of “Waters of the United States”

Kacy Manahan* I. Introduction The scope of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction has been controversial throughout the statute’s history. Reconciling the extent of Congress’ Commerce Clause authority with the reality of vast hydrological connections across the United States has been an unenviable task delegated to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United […]

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The Federalist Regulations: The EPA and the Rush to Regulate Methane

By Joe Moeller* In May of 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency issued the final rules in a series of three Clean Air Act regulations.[1] The rules’ purpose was to increase monitoring of methane and prevent leakage into the atmosphere. The methane rules are also a useful, though flawed, example of the “experimentation” principle of federalism. […]

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Hydrofluorocarbon Reduction: A Climate Success Story

By David Imhoff* Note: As of the time of writing, it is not clear what effect the incoming administration will have on climate policy and the phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons in the United States.  In the late 1800s, mechanical refrigeration was beginning to revolutionize food processing and transportation.  [1] These early refrigerators generally used ammonia, sulfur […]

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