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
One Op-Ed + One Book = ACOEL Blog
December 3, 2020

Posted on December 3, 2020 by Krista McIntyre An opinion in this week’s Los Angeles Times, One of American’s great wildernesses is being destroyed, bit by bit, in a silent massacre (Ben Raines,...

image resources
Combating Climate Change with the Clean Air Act’s International Air Pollution Provision
November 23, 2020

Posted on November 23, 2020 by Michael Burger As the key staffing decisions and priority policy agendas for President-elect Joseph R. Biden begin to take shape, the questions of when and...

image resources
November 19, 2020

Posted on November 19, 2020 by Karl Coplan One potent EPA option in the Clean Air Act toolkit is the authority to add greenhouse gases  (GHGs) to the CAA § 108...

image resources
November 18, 2020

Posted on November 18, 2020 by David Flannery As I review USEPA’s current proposal to address the Good Neighbor provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA) with respect to the interstate...

image resources
An Oily Test for the Public Trust Doctrine
November 17, 2020

Posted on November 17, 2020 by Jeffrey Haynes On November 13, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (“That woman from Michigan!”) issued a notice to Enbridge Energy that by May 2021 it must cease transport...

image resources
An Uncommon Dialogue: All We are Saying, is Give Peace a Chance
October 22, 2020

Posted on October 22, 2020 by Richard Glick Those of a certain age will remember this plaintive, kumbaya-seeking line from John Lennon’s Vietnam War protest song.  Naïve, perhaps, but an Uncommon...

image resources
Regulating Guidance As Though It Were Regulation
September 18, 2020

Posted on September 18, 2020 by Seth Jaffe I’ve been complaining about guidance for most of the 33 years I’ve been in practice.  The summary of the issue provided in Appalachian Power...

image resources
“Purple Haze … Is It Tomorrow, Or Just the End of Time?”
September 14, 2020

Posted on September 14, 2020 by Samuel I. Gutter We are in Yosemite, midway through our month-long RV trip out west.  We planned this trip long before the world heard of...

image resources
Not Quite the Same as Making Mexico Pay For the Wall
September 9, 2020

Posted on September 9, 2020 by Seth Jaffe As the New York Times has documented, President Trump stated numerous times that Mexico would pay for the border wall. With this context, it...


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...