The goal of Administrative Law is to provide students with a working knowledge of the general principles of administrative law, a general knowledge of the workings of bureaucratic institutions, and an understanding of the critiques of government. The course examines the implementation of legislative policy through administrative agencies, including the role of administrative agencies in the governmental process, rulemaking, adjudication, and judicial review of agency actions. This course is approved for JD Credit.
Our world is fundamentally dependent on energy flows, yet the fuels and sources that have sustained us for the last century all seem to be showing tight limits or tragic flaws. This course explores the emerging field of renewable and alternative energy supplies. It reviews local, state, and federal laws and policies that promote (and impede) such sources, and considers emerging distributed generation models.
Climate change is the most profound social and environmental issue of the 21st century. This course will integrate the emerging science and law of climate change along with economic and intergenerational equity aspects of the problem. We will consider how existing federal laws such as the Clean Air Act and NEPA may be used to address climate change as well as how new more comprehensive laws may be fashioned. Different policy instruments will be considered including carbon taxes and emissions trading.
The heat is on, in the courts as well as the biosphere. Seeking to prod faster governmental response to the growing menace of climate change, advocates are turning to a variety of different legal, advocacy, and technological methods to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and reduce the overall impact of climate change on the planet. Climate litigation has brought together an intriguing coalition of states, environmentalists, and "green" economic interests. Emboldened by the landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts v.
The energy industry is both a key to the life that billions seek and America's most significant source of pollution. Environmental problems are the energy industry's most important constraint. This course examines key issues in American energy policy, and searches for ways to resolve or ease the strains, which that policy puts upon environmental sustainability. We will review fundamental facts about our energy demands and sample regulatory orders and legal writings that address many of those elements from the perspective of a legal review.
The course introduces students to the discipline of environmental economics and exposes them to debates over the use of market-based instruments in environmental, energy, and climate policy. It also introduces students to basic economics and finance concepts, examines key principles about market behavior and efficiency, and applies these basic elements and concepts to common environmental problems and actual case studies. Approved for Master’s credit only.
This course provides an overview of the U.S. Farm Bill and other federal laws that impact growing policy, animal husbandry, and food production. Students will examine federal farm and agriculture law with specific emphasis on the Farm Bill and its myriad of agriculture, nutrition and environmental programs. This course will explore the ways in which the Farm Bill, the single largest funding source for everything from childhood nutrition to land trust acquisition, impacts everything from U.S. international policy stances to the availability of local food resources.
This course will provide students an introduction to the legislative process, regulatory agencies, and agency law-making. Students will learn to navigate modern U.S. government institutions and processes, with a particular emphasis on the legislative process and the administrative state. Key topics include the structure and animating principles of the U.S.
Ecology is an integrative science that can provide insight into many contemporary environmental problems. This course will explore the principles of ecology using a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach. Course work stresses the inventorying of biotic and physical components of a landscape (pieces), examining how these pieces are distributed (patterns), and determining what forces drive these patterns (processes). Topics will include interpreting the natural and cultural histories of a landscape, biodiversity conservation, and the scientific method, among others.
Human activities are causing a global mass extinction of plants and animals that rivals the five great extinction events over the earth's geologic history. Historically, habitat loss, overharvest, introduction of invasive species, and pollution has been the principal causes of this "Sixth Great Extinction." There is now a strong scientific consensus that the greatest threat to global biodiversity is climate change caused by anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide.
A successful environmental professional should possess the ability to advocate, counsel, investigate, persuade, research, and educate. This course will develop those skills through various writing and oral advocacy projects. In addition to other writing projects, students will compose a Freedom of Information Act request, draft a public comment letter, write a grant proposal letter of inquiry, and create an environmental communication campaign. Different skills will be emphasized through the exploration of these diverse types of writing.
This course builds on the course Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World. The course exposes students to the legal, economic, and structural issues involved in both energy regulation and energy markets, focusing on electricity. The course examines the evolution, theory, and techniques of the monopoly regulation. Students learn how utilities are regulated. We examine rate setting, rate design and regulatory alternatives to traditional rates such as performance-based rates. The course then examines evolving competitive, market-based alternatives.
This course explores the characteristics of environmental disputes, examines alternative dispute resolution processes (including mediation, arbitration, negotiated rulemaking, and facilitation), and assesses relevant policy and practical considerations in selecting the most effective method of resolving environmental disputes.
This course is an introduction to the law of pollution control, management of hazardous materials, and preservation of natural resources, with a particular emphasis on major federal environmental statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Superfund.
This survey course brings together American law impacting agriculture and food and explores the traditional divisions between agriculture, food, and environmental regulation. The course provides a hard look at the agriculture and food production sector and involves not only an examination of traditional farming and food safety policies but the ways in which these policies intersect with environmental law and health care policy, as well as important sectors from local land use planning to international trade.
One third of the nation's land base belongs to the American public and is managed by the United States Forest Service and agencies of the Department of the Interior. The federal lands provide significant wildlife habitat and clean water, and are important sources of timber, forage, and energy. They also offer opportunities for recreation. Through this course students will examine the statutes and regulations governing the management of the federal lands and their resources.
This course reviews oil and gas regulation, both up and down stream, in the United States and around the world. With an eye toward the hot issue of the day – Fracking, the proposed natural gas pipeline through, Middle East oil reserves and trade, and so forth – this course gives students a clearer understanding of the legal regime that makes the oil and gas exploration, extraction, refining, distribution and sale markets work around the world. This class is approved for JD Credit.