Can Citizens Better Use the Ballot Initiative to Protect Wildlife?: The Case of the Mountain Lion in the West

I. Introduction In January 2012, California Fish & Game Commission President Daniel W. Richards killed a mountain lion[2] on a hunt in Idaho.[3] A photograph of Richards holding the carcass surfaced on the Internet soon after.[4] While he broke no Idaho law, citizens flooded the California Department of Fish & Game (“CDFG”) office with complaints,[5] and some called for his resignation.[6] Richards defiantly refused to resign, and seven months later, the board elected a new president.[7] In Richards’s home state, voters outlawed mountain lion hunting Continue reading →

Shark Finning: A Ban to Change the Tide of Extinction

I. Introduction Shark finning is the practice of catching a shark, cutting off one or more of its fins, and throwing the rest of the body back into the ocean—often alive.[2] This practice is controversial because it is wasteful, inhumane, and hazardous to the environment. The United States has responded to this controversy with a series of federal laws aimed at prohibiting domestic shark finning and by taking part in international agreements to conserve sharks. A few states have taken shark conservation into their own Continue reading →

The Rising Tide of Environmental Migrants: Our National Responsibilities

I. Introduction Global climate change is slowly yet significantly altering our planet. In China, the Gobi Desert is growing by 4,000 square miles every year.[2] This invasive desert is encroaching upon 4,000 villages in the Gansu province where residents face the risk of having to abandon their villages.[3] In Iran, 124 villages in the eastern provinces of Baluchistan and Sistan have been buried by drifting sand, and eighty-eight villages have become ghost towns in the area of Damavand due to lack of water.[4] In Nigeria, Continue reading →

Speech: Ensuring Reliability and a Fair Energy Marketplace

[1]*Abstract In response to the Western Energy Crisis, the Enron scandal, and a historic East Coast blackout, Congress granted broad new authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “the Commission”) in 2005. Armed with this enforcement authority and additional analytical resources, FERC has in recent years engaged in high-profile enforcement efforts intended to bolster both energy availability and confidence in a fair marketplace. Adapted from a speech given to the University of Colorado Law School, the following Article provides the thoughts of FERC Continue reading →

Horizontal Drilling and Trespass: A Challenge to the Norms of Property and Tort Law

I. Introduction This Article explores the interplay or interphase between common law property and tort concepts as they apply to surface and subsurface trespass claims and the technological developments in horizontal drilling techniques that are in widespread use in the various shale plays throughout the United States. As used in this Article, the term trespass relates to the unauthorized or unprivileged entry into or onto an interest in real property owned by another.[2] It is one of several different causes of action that may be Continue reading →

Examining the Priorities of the Canadian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council: Current Obstacles in International Law, Policy, and Governance

I. Introduction At the Arctic Council’s Ministerial Meeting in May 2013, Carl Bildt, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, passed the gavel, and hence the rotating chairmanship, to Canada’s Minister for the Arctic Council, to Leona Aglukkaq.[2] Canada’s main priorities have been made resoundingly clear: “development for the people of the North.”[3] The Arctic is a region increasingly acknowledged as being rich in many resources.[4] This Article, however, will focus on the pertinent issue of development by the offshore oil industry. Indigenous communities still heavily Continue reading →

A House Is Not a Thyroid: Analogy Issues and Other Problems for Plaintiffs Attempting to Recover in the Tenth Circuit Under the Price Anderson Act

I. Introduction In Cook v. Rockwell International Corp., a class of property owners sought to recover damages under the Price Anderson Act (“PAA”) after a nuclear plant exposed their property to plutonium radiation.[2] Following a four-month trial and three weeks of deliberation, the jury awarded the class just over $926 million.[3] The Tenth Circuit subsequently remanded the case because, among other reasons, the plaintiffs did not show that exposure to nuclear radiation constituted damage to their property or that they were deprived of any use Continue reading →

How to be a Good Neighbor: The Failure of CAIR and CSAPR, Uncertainty, and the Way Forward

I. Introduction On August 21, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR”) was struck down by the D.C. Court of Appeals in EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA.[2] The rule was the EPA’s most recent attempt to regulate nitrogen oxide (“NOx”) and sulfur dioxide (“SO2”) emissions under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). The rule was intended to serve as a replacement for the embattled Bush-era Clean Air Interstate Rule (“CAIR”), which the D.C. Circuit had ordered the EPA to replace Continue reading →

“Economy of Use” in the 1997 UN Convention on Shared Watercourses: An Attempt at Elucidation

Abstract Article 6(5) of the 1997 United Nations (“UN”) Convention on the Non-Navigable Uses of International Watercourses lists “economy of use” as one of the factors to determine the reasonable and equitable use of the waters of shared international watercourses. But, as used in the Convention, the phrase is ambiguous, and a more precise definition is desirable. The treaty and academic commentary suggest that the meaning of the obligation of “economy of use” is restricted to avoiding unnecessary wastage and achieving the best possible efficiency Continue reading →

Citizen Litigants Citizen Regulators: Four Cases Where Citizen Suits Drove Development of Clean Water Law

I. Introduction One of the key innovations of the 1970s regulatory environmental revolution was the provision for citizen enforcement of regulatory standards. This innovation upset the previous bipolar regulatory model, which was a two-way negotiation between the regulated industries and the often captive regulatory agencies. By removing agency enforcement discretion as a means of underenforcing statutory norms, the citizen suit brought a new constituency to the regulatory bargaining table. The citizen suit had the intended effect of implementing a regime of full enforcement of the Continue reading →