Environmental Law

Who Controls Fracking?: Two Critical Court Decisions - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Eric R. Claeys, Hannah J. Wiseman May 24, 2016

Unconventional oil and gas production (or "fracking") has generated new wealth, new jobs, and new sources of energy for many Americans. But fracking has also generated local congestion and pollution problems, and some believe that it creates significant risks for state fresh water supplies or global climate change. In many states, localities opposed to fracking are trying to ban the practice or impose long moratoriums on it within municipal limits, notwithstanding statewide political support for fracking. The tensions between state-level energy policies and local restrictions raise legal questions about when statewide energy regulations should preempt local efforts to restrict fracking using local powers over land use. Earlier this month, the Colorado Supreme Court handed down two new and important preemption decisions, City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil & Gas Association, and Longmont v. Colorado Oil & Gas Association. Our experts discussed both cases, their significance in Colorado, and their implications for fracking and preemption law elsewhere in the United States.


  • Prof. Eric R. Claeys, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Prof. Hannah Wiseman, Attorneys' Title Professor, Florida State University College of Law

Governmental Power versus Free Speech? - Podcast

Practice Groups Podcast
John S. Baker, Jr., C. Boyden Gray, Scott Pruitt May 16, 2016

Several state attorneys general have banded together to investigate what ExxonMobil did and did not know about global warming over the past decades.  A subpoena issued by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands seeks Exxon records dating back to 1977, including communications with some 90 private organizations and dozens of private individuals.  Other subpoenas have been issued to private organizations.  Our panel of experts discussed the merits of the investigation, how widely it might range, and its implications.


  • Prof. John S. Baker, Jr., Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Hon. C. Boyden Gray, Founding Partner, Boyden Gray & Associates
  • Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, State of Oklahoma

Free Speech and Climate Change

Short video featuring Andrew Grossman
Andrew Grossman April 19, 2016

Andrew Grossman, Partner at BakerHostetler, explains the investigation of the fossil fuel industry and public policy groups skeptical of climate change by the Attorneys General of nineteen states. He underscores the importance of free speech in public policy debates on climate change. Mr. Grossman is also Counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

WOTUS comes to SCOTUS: Oral Arguments heard in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Company - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Mark Miller March 31, 2016

Can the Feds keep the courthouse doors closed to you when they have effectively frozen your property? That is the question the Supreme Court of the United States considered on March 30th, when the Solicitor General, representing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Pacific Legal Foundation, representing Hawkes Company, squared off regarding the Corps’ decision that Hawkes Company could not use its property for peat farming without first spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in pursuit of a federal wetlands permit under the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. Pacific Legal Foundation argues that its client should be allowed to challenge that decision, called a Jurisdictional Determination, in court; the Corps disagrees. What will the justices say? The co-counsel for the Hawkes Company who appeared before the Supreme Court discussed the case, how the oral argument went, and what we might expect to see in the Court's decision.


  • Mark Miller, Managing Attorney, Atlantic Center, Pacific Legal Foundation

Will the Clean Power Plan Stay? - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights and Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Groups Podcast
Elbert Lin March 08, 2016

Everyone has heard of the Clean Power Plan, but fewer people actually understand its contours and requirements. Most recently, on February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the rule, pending judicial review. Our expert discussed the scope and impact of the rule and the latest developments in the litigation.


  • Elbert Lin, Solicitor General, West Virginia