interior Blogs & Resources banner image

Blogs & Resources

ACOEL members contribute regularly to the ACOEL Blog, writing on topics of current interest in their respective fields. Recently-published blogs are featured below, or you can search the ACOEL blog archive using the search feature.


Current Blogs

blog image
Reflections from My Octopus Teacher
April 08, 2021

Since the pandemic started, like many people, I have watched way more TV than I had previously watched. Recently, my daughter suggested we watch a film entitled My Octopus Teacher on Netflix. (I will be honest, the title did not generate great enthusiasm in me, but I reluctantly agreed...

blog image
Houston Highway Tests Biden’s Promise of Equitable Infrastructure
April 07, 2021

The Biden Administration has acknowledged the racist history of the U.S. interstate highway system and its ongoing negative impacts on many Black neighborhoods. Presidential Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies (Jan. 26, 2001). Last week, the Administration announced its...

blog image
Interior Secretary Debra Halland: Restorer of Balance?
April 05, 2021

Debra Halland made history when the Senate voted 51-40 on March 15, 2021 to confirm her to be Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI). She is the first Native American ever to serve in a cabinet position. DOI has a budget of more than $12 billion and...

blog image
Canada Given Green Light to Carbon Pricing: Why the Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision Should Matter to Those South of Our Northern Border
April 01, 2021

On March 25, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (“GGPPA”), which establishes a national pricing benchmark for greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, case numbers 38663, 38781, and 39116. Several provinces challenged the law, arguing that it...

blog image
A Property Right To Exclude Others: Cedar Point Nursery’s Implications For Regulatory Enforcement
March 30, 2021

The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid (No. 20-107), a case that has generated considerable amicus participation and press coverage. In that case, union organizers, relying on a California law, entered the property of a fruit nursery with bullhorns in hand in...

blog image
The Massachusetts Climate Bill is Very Much “Not Dead”
March 23, 2021

In January, when Governor Baker vetoed the Legislature’s effort to go big on climate, my colleague Zach Gerson made clear that the bill was not even “mostly dead.” I am pleased to say that Zach’s diagnosis was correct. The climate bill is very much alive.

blog image
A pencil and calculator on top of a printout of graphs, charts, and figures.
Thirteen Years Later, D.C. Circuit Says “Reasonable Possibility” Provision of NSR Rule Is Good Enough
March 17, 2021

On March 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied a challenge to a more than decade-old EPA rule related to the records that source owners must keep in order to support claims that certain of their activities are not subject to EPA’s New Source Review...

blog image
March 16, 2021

The American College of Environmental Lawyers (“ACOEL”) announces its annual Stephen E. Herrmann Environmental Writing Award (“Herrmann Award”) for the 2020-21 academic year. Stephen E. Herrmann is a distinguished, nationally recognized environmental lawyer. For some forty years, Mr. Herrmann has been a leader in the area of environmental...

blog image
Loving—and Living with—the Neutrality of Administrative Law
March 15, 2021

One salutary feature of administrative law—the core practice of many environmental litigators—is its predominant neutrality. There is nothing partisan about the principles that an agency must draw a “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made” when issuing regulations; must base important decisions on “genuine” not “contrived”...

blog image
Photo of a factory with active smoke stacks
March 04, 2021

The Obama administration adopted the Clean Power Plan to reduce power sector greenhouse gas emissions in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement climate accord. The Clean Power Plan invoked Clean Air Act § 111(d)’s “Best System of Emissions Reductions” to require states to implement low-carbon electricity dispatch...

blog image
Lower Granite Dam, Snake River, Washington (earthen berm portion at left) Photo: US Army Corps of Engineers
March 02, 2021

I first saw Grand Coulee Dam as a 10-year old. My family and I were on our way to Spokane, Washington to attend Expo ’74, officially titled the “International Exposition on the Environment.” Expo ’74 was notable for being the first environmentally themed World’s Fair. It...

blog image
Cost-Benefit Analysis Is Very Complicated — And Very Important
March 01, 2021

It’s only a slight rhetorical exaggeration to say that the limited bandwidth left to environmental issues other than climate change in recent years has been largely occupied by concerns about PFAS – Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as “Forever chemicals.” A fascinating story in Bloomberg Environment & Energy...

blog image
“Go back to where you came from” – a personal journey
August 07, 2019

Posted on August 7, 2019 by Brenda Mallory The first time that I remember being told “go back to where you came from,” I was 18. Although not the first time I was targeted because of my race, it was the first time I remember those words. I had...

blog image
“DISCARDED” or “NOT DISCARDED”: That Is the Question (or “Asked and (finally) Answered!”)
July 31, 2019

Posted on July 31, 2019 by Karen Crawford On July 2, 2019, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition brought by an environmental group for review of EPA’s Transfer-Based Exclusion for secondary hazardous materials in California Communities Against Toxics v. EPA (D.C. Cir. July 2, 2019) (No. 18-1163). ...


image resources
Environmental Law Clinics Not Only Persevere But Flourish in 2020
February 3, 2021

Posted on February 3, 2021 by Seema Kakade As 2020 came to a close, more than forty Directors of environmental law clinics, from law schools across the country, came together to...

image resources
Looking for an outlet? The EVs are Coming, the EVs are Coming!
February 2, 2021

Posted on February 2, 2021 by Samuel I. Gutter On January 29, General Motors stunned the vehicle world by announcing that by 2035, its goal is to phase out all vehicles...

image resources
January 29, 2021

Posted on January 29, 2021 by Ronald R. Janke In the twilight of the Trump Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency issued an internal procedural rule entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying...

image resources
A Personal Note: My View of Environmental Justice Through the Lens of Covid-19
January 27, 2021

Posted on January 27, 2021 by Earl Phillips As Covid-19 swept through our country, I was struck by this virus’s patterns of spread and severity, which challenged its supposed impartiality. Latino...

image resources
What a Difference a Day Makes
January 26, 2021

Posted on January 26, 2021 by Brian Rosenthal Co-authored by Brian Rosenthal and Timothy Webster On Day One, the 46th President of the United States signaled his focus on climate, the environment, and energy...

image resources
January 26, 2021

Posted on January 26, 2021 by Dick Stoll On January 19, 2021, the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited decision on the Trump EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.  American Lung Assn. v....

image resources
President Biden Pulls the Plug on Keystone XL — Let’s Make Sure It Sets the Right Precedent
January 25, 2021

Posted on January 25, 2021 by Seth Jaffe Last week, President Biden hit the ground running on environmental policy, issuing an Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring...

image resources
Battling Over Battlegrounds: Climate Torts Return to the Supreme Court
January 22, 2021

Posted on January 22, 2021 by Tracy Hester The brawl over climate tort liability has returned, again, to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In its first skirmish in 2011, the Court in...

image resources
There’s a First Time for Everything
January 21, 2021

Posted on January 21, 2021 by Robert M Olian Anyone with even a passing interest in environmental law has seen numerous articles over the past four years noting the Trump administration’s...


ACOEL Announces New Website
March 2, 2021

The American College of Environmental Lawyers is pleased to announce the availability of its new website to ACOEL members...

ACOEL announces the admission of 27 new active Fellows for 2020
October 1, 2020

ACOEL is pleased to announce the admission of 27 new active Fellows for 2020. The names of our new...