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Environmental Law & Property Rights

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  • Energy & Natural Resources
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  • Hazardous Waste & Toxic Tort
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  • Wetlands & Endangered Species

Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference

The Relationship between Congress and the Executive Branch
Ronald A. Cass, Neil Eggleston, Todd F. Gaziano, Sally Greenberg, Kathleen Grillo, Lisa Heinzerling, Grace Koh, Michael S. Lee, Abbott (Tad) Lipsky, James C. Miller, David M. McIntosh, Mike J. Rogers, David C. Vladeck, Adam J. White, Benjamin Wittes, M. Edward Whelan May 17, 2017

The Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference will examine the changing and often convoluted relationship between the legislative and the executive branches in the United States government. This daylong conference will feature plenary panels, addresses, and breakout panels on topics such as “The Unitary Executive,” “Chevron Deference,” and “Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights.”

The Conference will begin with an opening address by Senator Mike Lee.

State 'Around Market' Action and FERC: The End of Competitive Wholesale Electric Markets? - Event Audio/Video

Telecommunications & Electronic Media and Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Groups
Larry Gasteiger, Raymond L. Gifford, Cheryl A. LaFleur, William W. Hogan, Steven Schleimer, Anthony T. Clark April 24, 2017

For the past two decades, the U.S. has experimented with “market”-based competitive wholesale electric markets.  Through FERC-superintended regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs), large regions of the country have procured electricity through a competitive generation model.  Recently, those markets have been questioned as baseload electric resources – nuclear, coal and combined-cycle gas – have become unprofitable in the face of tax-favored renewable energy and low cost natural gas.  States, in particular, have engaged in regulatory and legislative steps to rescue distressed baseload resources.  The New York Clean Energy Standard, the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill and moves by states as politically disparate as Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut, Texas and California have brought the issue of the future of electric markets to the fore.  This program will examine the legal and regulatory issues facing the states, the FERC, the courts and the entire electricity industry. 

This program was held at the National Press Club on April 18, 2017, and included an opening Keynote from Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur followed by an expert panel discussion.

Featuring:

  • Larry Gasteiger, Chief, Federal Regulatory Policy for PSEG
  • Ray Gifford, Denver Managing Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
  • Hon. Cheryl A. LaFleur, Acting FERC Chairman
  • Prof. William (Bill) Hogan, Research Director, Harvard Electricity Policy Group, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard University
  • Steven Schleimer, Senior Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs, Calpine Corp.
  • Moderator: Tony Clark, Former FERC Commissioner, Senior Advisor, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

National Press Club
Washington, DC

The Clean Power Plan: The EPA & Climate Change Policy

Short video featuring Mark DeLaquil
Mark DeLaquil April 20, 2017

What is the origin of the Clean Power Plan, and is it lawful? Mark DeLaquil of BakerHostetler explains how an executive order from President Obama led to the EPA's controversial Clean Power Plan and why the Supreme Court looks skeptically on new government powers derived from long-existing statutes.  

State ‘Around Market’ Action and FERC: The End of Competitive Wholesale Electric Markets?

Sponsored by the Telecommunications & Electronic Media and Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Groups
William W. Hogan, Steven Schleimer, Larry Gasteiger, Raymond L. Gifford, Anthony T. Clark, Cheryl A. LaFleur April 18, 2017

For the past two decades, the U.S. has experimented with “market”-based competitive wholesale electric markets.  Through FERC-superintended regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs), large regions of the country have procured electricity through a competitive generation model.  Recently, those markets have been questioned as baseload electric resources – nuclear, coal and combined-cycle gas – have become unprofitable in the face of tax-favored renewable energy and low cost natural gas.  States, in particular, have engaged in regulatory and legislative steps to rescue distressed baseload resources.  The New York Clean Energy Standard, the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill and moves by states as politically disparate as Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut, Texas and California have brought the issue of the future of electric markets to the fore.  This program will examine the legal and regulatory issues facing the states, the FERC, the courts and the entire electricity industry. 

This program will include an opening Keynote from Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur, and will be followed by an expert panel discussion.

Featuring:

  • Larry Gasteiger, Chief, Federal Regulatory Policy for PSEG
  • Ray Gifford, Denver Managing Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
  • Hon. Cheryl A. LaFleur, Acting FERC Chairman
  • Prof. William (Bill) Hogan, Research Director, Harvard Electricity Policy Group, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard University
  • Steven Schleimer, Senior Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs, Calpine Corp.
  • Moderator: Tony Clark, Former FERC Commissioner, Senior Advisor, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

 

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council at 25 - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
James S. Burling, Eric R. Claeys, Michael A. Wolf April 07, 2017

This spring marks the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council.  In Lucas, a 5-4 Court majority held that a state law can effect a "regulatory taking" and trigger inverse condemnation requirements if it deprives an owner of all viable uses of his land.  Join our panel to hear a discussion of questions such as: Did Lucas mark a major change in Supreme Court regulatory takings doctrine? Was the decision about right, or did it go too far or not far enough?  Is Lucas still relevant to regulatory takings law today, and what are the chances that the decision might be reconsidered or extended?  

Featuring:

  • James S. Burling, Vice President of Litigation, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Professor Eric R. Claeys, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School Professor 
  • Michael A. Wolf, Professor of Law, Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council at 25

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
James S. Burling, Eric R. Claeys, Michael A. Wolf April 06, 2017

This spring marks the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council.  In Lucas, a 5-4 Court majority held that a state law can effect a "regulatory taking" and trigger inverse condemnation requirements if it deprives an owner of all viable uses of his land.  Join our panel to hear a discussion of questions such as: Did Lucas mark a major change in Supreme Court regulatory takings doctrine? Was the decision about right, or did it go too far or not far enough?  Is Lucas still relevant to regulatory takings law today, and what are the chances that the decision might be reconsidered or extended?  

Featuring:

  • James S. Burling, Vice President of Litigation, Pacific Legal Foundation

  • Professor Eric R. Claeys, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School

  • Professor Michael A. Wolf, Professor of Law, Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Courthouse Steps: Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Murr v. Wisconsin - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Podcast
James S. Burling, Misha Tseytlin March 22, 2017

On March 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Murr v. Wisconsin. This is a regulatory takings case which addresses the question: should two legally distinct but commonly owned contiguous parcels be combined, as described in Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, for takings analysis purposes?

In 1960 and 1963, the Murrs purchased two adjacent lots in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, each over an acre in size. In 1994 and 1995, the parents transferred the parcels to their children. These lots became nonconforming due to various setbacks imposed in the 1970s, but a grandfathering provision would have allowed independent and separate uses – but only if the lots were not owned by the same individuals.  Seven years later, the children wanted to sell one of the two original lots and were denied permission to do so by the St. Croix County Board of Adjustment. The Murrs sued the state and county and claimed the county’s actions resulted in an uncompensated taking of their property. The trial court granted summary judgement to the state and county and the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin affirmed.

James Burling, Vice President of Litigation at the Pacific Legal Foundation and Misha Tseytlin, the Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin, will join us to discuss this interesting case and offer their thoughts following oral argument. 

Featuring:

  • James S. Burling, Vice President of Litigation, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Misha Tseytlin, Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin

Courthouse Steps: Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Murr v. Wisconsin

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
James S. Burling, Misha Tseytlin March 20, 2017

On March 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Murr v. Wisconsin. This is a regulatory takings case which addresses the question: should two legally distinct but commonly owned contiguous parcels be combined, as described in Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, for takings analysis purposes?

In 1960 and 1963, the Murrs purchased two adjacent lots in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, each over an acre in size. In 1994 and 1995, the parents transferred the parcels to their children. These lots became nonconforming due to various setbacks imposed in the 1970s, but a grandfathering provision would have allowed independent and separate uses – but only if the lots were not owned by the same individuals.  Seven years later, the children wanted to sell one of the two original lots and were denied permission to do so by the St. Croix County Board of Adjustment. The Murrs sued the state and county and claimed the county’s actions resulted in an uncompensated taking of their property. The trial court granted summary judgement to the state and county and the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin affirmed.

James Burling, Vice President of Litigation at the Pacific Legal Foundation and Misha Tseytlin, the Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin, will join us to discuss this interesting case and offer their thoughts following oral argument. 

Featuring:

  • James S. Burling, Vice President of Litigation, Pacific Legal Foundation

  • Misha Tseytlin, Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin

Murr v. Wisconsin: The Regulatory Taking Case

Short video featuring Eric Claeys
Eric R. Claeys March 17, 2017

Has a family who has jointly owned two legally distinct pieces of land for decades suffered a regulatory taking if they can't build on one of the lots? Professor Eric Claeys of the Antonin Scalia Law School outlines the issues in the case of Murr v. Wisconsin, the result of which will impact the scope of regulatory takings liability and owners’ ability to make reasonable use of private property. Supreme Court oral argument: Monday, March 20, 2017.

Extraterrestrial Property Rights

Short video featuring Glenn Reynolds
Glenn Reynolds January 25, 2017

Can you own a piece of property on a different planet?  Professor Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee College of Law explains the basis of property rights on Mars and other celestial bodies, including how such rights would be recognized by the United States government.