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Environmental Law

Courthouse Steps: Oral Argument in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum Wednesday, October 11, 02:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

Multiple legal challenges to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmenatl Protection Agency’s controversial rule redefining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) raise two important questions: (1) is the rule valid and (2) which is the proper venue for challenging such a rule – the federal district courts or the federal courts of appeals. The first question is on hold pending publication of a revised rule mandated by Executive Order.  The second question will now be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has granted review to address the venue question and oral argument is scheduled for October 11, 2017. The issue is important because it is unclear where and when regulated parties can challenge certain types of federal rules interpreting the Clean Water Act.  Filing a claim in the wrong court can result in losing the right to challenge the rule at all. Under a plain reading of Act, affected parties have six years to challenge the WOTUS rule or any subsequent rule defining the agency's general jurisdiction under the Act in a federal district court. But under the EPA's reading of the Act, affected parties would have only six months to challenge the rule in a federal court of appeals. Various State, industry, and landowner groups urge the High Court to rely on a plain reading of the Act to maximize the opportunity for the regulated public to challenge rules that define the scope of the Act.

Improving the Use of Science in Regulation - Podcast

Administrative Law & Regulation and Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Susan E. Dudley July 06, 2017

Regulations intended to address public health and environmental risks depend heavily on scientific information. Yet, they are often the subject of heated debate, involving accusations of “politicized science,” “advocacy science,” and “junk science.” Susan Dudley discussed her forthcoming paper with Marcus Peacock that explores the motivations and institutional incentives that have led to this acrimony. The paper illustrates the problem with a case study of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards issued under the Clean Air Act, and offers recommendations for improving how science is used to inform regulatory policy.

Featuring: 

  • Hon. Susan E. Dudley, Director, Regulatory Studies Center and Distinguished Professor of Practice, The George Washington University

Litigation Update: Exxon Investigation - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Ken Paxton May 10, 2017

On April 20th, eleven state Attorneys General filed a joint amicus brief in support of ExxonMobil and its request to stop an investigation into allegations of fraud and deceptive practices surrounding the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change. Texas AG Ken Paxton was joined by ten other state Attorneys General on the brief in a New York District Court. On May 9, AG Paxton joined us to share his views on the underlying investigation, whether it impinges on Exxon’s free speech protections, and the ramifications a potential lawsuit could have on the fossil fuels industry.     

Featuring:

  • Hon. Ken Paxton, Attorney General, Texas

The Clean Power Plan Goes to Court - Event Audio/Video

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group
David Bookbinder, David D. Doniger, Scott Pruitt, David B. Rivkin Jr., Adam J. White September 15, 2016

In August 2015 the President announced the Clean Power Plan, characterized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s website as “a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change.” Some six months later, on February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Plan, pending further judicial review. Later this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear en banc argument in that case, West Virginia et al. v. EPA. The suing states and power companies assert that the EPA has overstepped its authority in the Clean Air Act, and have acted beyond the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. Our experts will debate the arguments made in the various briefs and expected at oral argument.

Speakers: 

  • David Bookbinder, Founder, Element VI Consulting
  • David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, Oklahoma
  • David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Moderator: Adam J. White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution

National Press Club
Washington, DC