Online Articles

Texas street covered with snow after a storm.

Renewable Energy Framed as the Culprit of Texas Blackouts

April 20, 2021 by Lawrence Corbeille Climate change Energy Environmental Law Review Syndicate Fossil Fuels Renewable Energy

By Blake Ellis, Staff Contributor
In February 2021, the state of Texas experienced unprecedented power outages caused by severe winter storms. Conservative politicians and media were quick to blame the use of renewable energy as the culprit of the outages. The facts present a different explanation.

The Public Trust Doctrine: A Cracked Foundation

April 15, 2021 by Camilla Brandfield-Harvey Natural Resources Public Lands State and Local

By Myles Douglas Young, Administrative Editor

The utilization of the Public Trust Doctrine in litigations is often premised on its supposed ancient Roman pedigree. This article explores the origins of the doctrine and finds that, in fact, the ancient doctrine was quite different from the one we see in the United States today. What errors do scholars make, and what do those errors mean for the survival of the modern doctrine?

Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

We're Falling into a Ring of Fire: Taking Stock of Wildfire Liability Regimes from Varying Perspectives in the United States

March 31, 2021 by Drew Robertson Air Climate change Litigation Public Lands State and Local

By Alec Williams, Managing Editor

After a record-breaking wildfire season in 2020, lawsuits are likely to flood the dockets of federal and state courts across the United States. Wildfire liability determinations at either level can be complex, typically implicating many parties and exorbitant damage awards. However, in light of the projected impact of climate change on wildfire frequency and severity, such lawsuits may become increasingly commonplace.

Line of offshore wind turbines. Photo by Pål Espen Bondestad, licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Continued Progress with Vineyard Wind 1 is Promising for Offshore Wind Power

March 29, 2021 by Scott Fletcher

By Rachel Schwartz, Staff Contributor

On March 8, 2021, the Biden Administration took a significant step toward finalizing the approval of America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. Vineyard Wind 1, located 14 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, has the potential to power 400,000 homes.

The effects of climate change, including sea level rise and intense heat, threaten to make places like the island nation of Tuvalu uninhabitable within the next several decades.

The United States Needs a Plan for Climate-Driven Migration

January 29, 2021 by Alec Williams Climate change International Oceans Water

By Eleanor Hildebrandt, Staff Contributor

The effects of climate change will make swaths of the planet uninhabitable, displacing millions of people. How can the United States’ legal system facilitate an equitable, humanitarian response to those seeking safe resettlement within its borders?

Extending Tax Credits for Renewable Energy Projects – Is it an effective relief under COVID-19?

January 22, 2021 by Shannon Twiss Energy Renewable Energy

By Farrah Yan, Staff Contributor

COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty to renewable energy projects. Even though the government recently enacted bills to extend renewable energy tax credits, whether this relief will be effective is of a question. As Joe Biden has put great emphasis on funding clean energy projects for his upcoming term, the questions are: what are some effective methods to boost the renewable energy industry? Are these methods viable under COVID-19?

The United States may finally ratify the Kigali Amendment—with potential implementing legislation already underway

January 15, 2021 by Lawrence Corbeille Air Chemicals Climate change

Sara Zaat, Staff Contributor

Hydrofluorocarbons, an alternative to the ozone-depleting substances that damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer, are potent greenhouse gases that exacerbate climate change. These chemicals are scheduled for reduction under international law: the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Will the United States join the majority of U.N. Member States in committing to phasing down its hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption in accordance with international law in a Biden administration?