William W. Buzbee

Professor of Law

B.A., Amherst College; J.D., Columbia

Areas of Expertise:

Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Legislation

William W. Buzbee is a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. He joined Georgetown from Emory Law School, where he was a professor...

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William W. Buzbee is a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. He joined Georgetown from Emory Law School, where he was a professor of law, directed Emory’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, founded and oversaw its Turner Environmental Law Clinic, and co-directed Emory’s Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance. He has been a visiting professor of law at Columbia, Cornell and Illinois law schools, as well as a visitor at Georgetown in 2012, and has served as a professor for the Leiden-Amsterdam-Columbia Law School Summer Program in American Law. Professor Buzbee also is a founding Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, a Washington D.C.-based regulatory think tank. Professor Buzbee was awarded the 2007-2008 Emory Williams Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. He teaches environmental law, administrative law, legislation and regulation, and seminars on environmental, regulatory, and constitutional law subjects. His most recent seminar explores “The Art of Regulatory War.”

Professor Buzbee's scholarship focuses on environmental law, administrative law, regulatory federalism, and other public law topics. His books include the recently published Fighting Westway: Environmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War that Transformed New York City (Cornell University Press 2014) and Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law and Reality of Federalism’s Core Question (Cambridge University Press, hardcover 2009, paperback 2011) (William W. Buzbee editor and contributor). He has been a co-author of the 5th , 6th , and forthcoming 7th editions of Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer). Law review scholarship includes publications in New York University Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Stanford Law Review (co-authored), Cornell Law Review (co-authored), George Washington Law Review, Iowa Law Review, The Journal of Law and Politics and in an array of other journals, books, news outlets, and blogs. Three of his articles have been named among the 10 best environmental or land use law articles of that year and republished in the Land Use and Environment Law Review. He regularly assists with appellate and Supreme Court environmental, federalism, and regulatory litigation, and also has testified before congressional committees on environmental and regulatory matters. Professor Buzbee clerked for United States Judge Jose A. Cabranes, and before becoming a professor was an attorney-fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and did environmental, land use and litigation work for the New York City law firm, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. JD, Columbia Law School, 1986; BA, Amherst College, magna cum laude, 1983.

Featured Scholarship

  • William W. Buzbee, Fighting Westway: Environmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War that Transformed New York City (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press 2014).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker, Daniel Bodansky & Emily Hammond, Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 7th ed. 2015).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker, Daniel Bodansky & Emily Hammond, Teacher's Manual to Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 7th ed. 2015).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Climate Federalism, Regulatory Failure and Reversal Risks, and Entrenching Innovation Incentives, in The Law and Policy of Environmental Federalism: A Comparative Analysis 145-168 (Kalyani Robbins ed., Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar 2015).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Regulatory Strategy Diversity in United States Environmental Law, in Environmental Decision Making (Robert Glicksman & Leroy Paddock eds., Edward Elgar forthcoming).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Transportation as a Climate Wedge and Challenge under U.S. Law, in Encyclopedia of Environmental Law: Climate Encyclopedia (Daniel Farber & Marjan Peters eds., Edward Elgar forthcoming).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Anti-Regulatory Skewing and Political Choice in UARG, 39 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 63-77 (2015).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
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All Scholarship 2000 - Present

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • William W. Buzbee, Regulatory Strategy Diversity in United States Environmental Law, in Environmental Decision Making (Robert Glicksman & Leroy Paddock eds., Edward Elgar forthcoming).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Transportation as a Climate Wedge and Challenge under U.S. Law, in Encyclopedia of Environmental Law: Climate Encyclopedia (Daniel Farber & Marjan Peters eds., Edward Elgar forthcoming).   

Books

  • William W. Buzbee, Ctr. for Progressive Reform, Issue Alert No. 1506, The Clean Power Plan: Issues to Watch (2015).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker, Daniel Bodansky & Emily Hammond, Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 7th ed. 2015).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker, Daniel Bodansky & Emily Hammond, Teacher's Manual to Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 7th ed. 2015).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Fighting Westway: Environmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War that Transformed New York City (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press 2014).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker & Daniel Bodansky, Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 6th ed. 2011).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker & Daniel Bodansky, Teacher's Manual to Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 6th ed. 2011).   
  • Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism's Core Question (William W. Buzbee ed., Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press 2009).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker & A. Dan Tarlock, Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 5th ed. 2007).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Robert L. Glicksman, David L. Markell, Daniel R. Mandelker & A. Dan Tarlock, Teacher's Manual to Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (New York: Aspen Publishers 5th ed. 2007).   

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • William W. Buzbee, Federalism-Facilitated Regulatory Innovation and Regression in a Time of Environmental Legislative Gridlock, 28 Geo. Envtl. L. Rev. 451-483 (2016).    [W] [WWW]
  • William W. Buzbee, Anti-Regulatory Skewing and Political Choice in UARG, 39 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 63-77 (2015).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
  • William W. Buzbee, Bruce Myers, Wm. Robert Irvin & Michael W. Evans, Panel, The Scope of Congressional Authority to Protect the Environment, 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10977-10988 (2010).    [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Clean Air Act Dynamism and Disappointments: Lessons for Climate Legislation to Prompt Innovation and Discourage Inertia, 32 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 33-77 (2010).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, State Greenhouse Gas Regulation, Federal Climate Change Legislation, and the Preemption Sword, 1 San Diego J. Climate & Energy L. 23-61 (2009).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Preemption Hard Look Review, Regulatory Interaction, and the Quest for Stewardship and Intergenerational Equity, 77 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1521-1581 (2009).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Adjudicatory Triggers of Enhanced Ambient Environment Information, 83 Ind. L.J. 583-607 (2008).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Asymmetrical Regulation: Risk, Preemption, and the Floor/Ceiling Distinction, 82 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1547-1619 (2007).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Interaction's Promise: Preemption Policy Shifts, Risk Regulation, and Experimentalism Lessons, 57 Emory L.J. 145-165 (2007).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Jamison Colburn, Jeffrey B. Clark & Brian Wolfman, Panel, Access to Courts After Massachusetts v. EPA: Who Has Been Left Standing?, 37 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10692-10704 (2007).   
  • William W. Buzbee, Contextual Environmental Federalism, 14 N.Y.U. Envtl. L.J. 108-129 (2005).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, The Regulatory Fragmentation Continuum, Westway and the Challenges of Regional Growth, 21 J.L. & Pol. 323-363 (2005).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Recognizing the Regulatory Commons: A Theory of Regulatory Gaps, 89 Iowa L. Rev. 1-64 (2003).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee & Robert A. Schapiro, Unidimensional Federalism: Power and Perspective in Commerce Clause Adjudication, 88 Cornell L. Rev. 1199-1277 (2003).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Urban Form, Health, and the Law's Limits, 93 Am. J. Pub. Health 1395-1399 (2003).    [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Accountability Conceptions and Federalism Tales: Disney's Wonderful World?, 100 Mich. L. Rev. 1290-1311 (2002) (reviewing Richard E. Foglesong, Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando (2001)).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee & Robert A. Schapiro, Legislative Record Review, 54 Stan. L. Rev. 87-161 (2001).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Smart Growth Micro-Incentives and the Tree-Cut Tax Case, 17 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 999-1012 (2001).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Standing and the Statutory Universe, 11 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol'y F. 247-285 (2001).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Sprawl's Dynamics: A Comparative Institutional Analysis Critique, 35 Wake Forest L. Rev. 509-537 (2000).    [HEIN] [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, The One-Congress Fiction in Statutory Interpretation, 149 U. Pa. L. Rev. 171-249 (2000).    [HEIN] [W]

Book Chapters and Collected Works

  • William W. Buzbee, Climate Federalism, Regulatory Failure and Reversal Risks, and Entrenching Innovation Incentives, in The Law and Policy of Environmental Federalism: A Comparative Analysis 145-168 (Kalyani Robbins ed., Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar 2015).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Conclusion: The Menu of Preemption Choice Variables, in Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism's Core Question 301-304 (William W. Buzbee ed., Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press 2009).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Federal Floors, Ceilings, and the Benefits of Federalism's Institutional Diversity, in Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism's Core Question 98-115 (William W. Buzbee ed., Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press 2009).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Introduction, in Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism's Core Question 1-10 (William W. Buzbee ed., Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press 2009).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Regulatory Underkill in an Era of Anti-Environmental Majorities, in Strategies for Environmental Success in an Uncertain Judicial Climate 141-161 (Michael Allan Wolf ed., D.C.: Environmental Law Institute 2005).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, The Story of Laidlaw: Standing and Citizen Enforcement, in Environmental Law Stories 201-236 (Richard J. Lazarus & Oliver A. Houck eds., New York: Foundation Press 2005).    [BOOK]
  • William W. Buzbee, Urban Sprawl and Legal Reform, in Sprawl City: Race, Politics, and Planning in Atlanta 161-186 (Robert D. Bullard, Glenn S. Johnson & Angel O. Torres eds., D.C.: Island Press 2000).    [BOOK]

Congressional Testimony

  • Erosion of Expectations and Expansion of Federal Control – Implementation of the Definition of Waters of the United States: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Fisheries, Water, & Wildlife of the S. Comm. on Env't & Pub. Works, 114th Cong., May 24, 2016 (Statement of William W. Buzbee) (CIS No.: Pending).    [WWW]
  • Proposed Federal Water Grabs and Their Potential Impacts on States, Water, and Power Users, and Landowners: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Water, Power, & Oceans of the H. Comm. on Nat. Res., 114th Cong., Apr. 14, 2015 (Statement of William W. Buzbee) (CIS-No.: 2015-H581-25).    [WWW]
  • Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists (Review) Act of 2015; and the Regulatory Predictability for Business Growth Act of 2015: Hearing on H.R. 3438 and H.R. 2631 Before the Subcomm. on Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 114th Cong., Nov. 3, 2015 (Statement of William W. Buzbee) (CIS-No.: 2016-H521-5).    [WWW]
  • Will EPA's 'Waters of the United States' Rule Drown Small Businesses?: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Bus., 113th Cong., May 29, 2014 (Statement of William W. Buzbee) (CIS-No.: 2014-H721-30).    [WWW]
  • The Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Transp. & Infrastructure, 110th Cong., Apr. 16, 2008 (Statement of William W. Buzbee) (CIS-No.: 2008-H751-49).   
  • The Clean Water Act Following the Recent Supreme Court Decisions in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County and Rapanos-Carabell: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Env't & Pub. Works, 110th Cong., Dec. 13, 2007 (Statement of William W. Buzbee) (CIS-No.: 2013-S321-12).   
  • Interpreting the Rapanos/Carabell Supreme Court Decision: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Fisheries, Wildlife & Water of the S. Comm. on Env't & Pub. Works, 109th Cong., Aug. 1, 2006 (Statement of William W. Buzbee) (CIS-No.: 2009-S321-18).   

Selected Contributions to Other Publications

  • William W. Buzbee, Preemption and the Price of One Voice, Trial, May 2012, at 54-58 (2012).    [W]
  • William W. Buzbee, Sprawl's Political-Economy and the Case for a Metropolitan Green Space Initiative, 32 Urb. Law. 367-390 (2000).    [HEIN]
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Rosemont, homebuilders would benefit from Trump’s proposed water rule change," coverage by The Arizona Daily Star, March 11, 2017, quoting Professor William Buzbee.

"One Rule Forward, Two Rules Back," coverage in Grist, January 31, 2017, featuring Professor Hope Babcock and Professor William Buzbee.

"California set to fight Washington over environmental protections," coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle, January 24, 2017, featuring Professor William Buzbee.

"House Set to Upend Government's Regulatory Powers," coverage by Newsweek, January 22, 2017, quoting Professor William Buzbee.

 "GOP Push To 'Repeal' Chevron Deference May Come Up Short," coverage in Law360, January 5, 2017, featuring Professor William Buzbee.

View all News

All News

"Rosemont, homebuilders would benefit from Trump’s proposed water rule change," coverage by The Arizona Daily Star, March 11, 2017, quoting Professor William Buzbee.

"One Rule Forward, Two Rules Back," coverage in Grist, January 31, 2017, featuring Professor Hope Babcock and Professor William Buzbee.

"California set to fight Washington over environmental protections," coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle, January 24, 2017, featuring Professor William Buzbee.

"House Set to Upend Government's Regulatory Powers," coverage by Newsweek, January 22, 2017, quoting Professor William Buzbee.

 "GOP Push To 'Repeal' Chevron Deference May Come Up Short," coverage in Law360, January 5, 2017, featuring Professor William Buzbee.

"Dismantling Climate Rules Isn’t So Easy," an opinion piece by Professor William Buzbee, The New York Times, December 8, 2016.

"How Donald Trump could overturn the Dakota Access Pipeline decision if he wanted to," coverage by WAOW (North Central Wisconsin), December 6, 2016, quoting Professor William Buzbee.

"CLEAN POWER PLAN: Lawyers, law profs dish in marathon court session's wake," coverage by E & E Reporter, September 28, 2016, quoting Professor William Buzbee.

Senator Jim Inhofe Wants EPA to be Held Accountable for Overreach Regarding WOTUS and Related Rules,” coverage in Oklahoma Farm Report, May 24, 2016, mentioning Professor William Buzbee as witness to the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife oversight hearing on Erosion of Exemptions and Expansion of Federal Control – Implementation of the Definition of Waters of the United States. An archived webcast is available as well as his written testimony.

Professor William Buzbee will testify at an oversight hearing by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife entitled “Erosion of Exemptions and Expansion of Federal Control –Implementation of the Definition of Waters of the United States,”May 24, 2016.

"Judiciary subcommittee members disagree on merits of reform," coverage by Environment & Energy Daily, November 4, 2015, quoting Professor William W. Buzbee.

"Water Policy: In Major Shift, New Rule Excludes Some Wetlands, Ponds," coverage in Greenwire, May 28, 2015, featuring Professor William Buzbee.  

 "Predicting Algae Links on Lake Erie," coverage by Marketplace, May 28, 2015, featuring Professor William Buzbee

"Tipton criticizes Forest Service," coverage in The Durango Herald, April 14, 2015, featuring Professor William Buzbee.

Recent News