The eJournal is sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at the Vermont Law School, home to one of the nation's leading environmental law programs. Since establishing the Environmental Law Center in 1978, Vermont Law School has been training people to be environmental leaders in government, nonprofits, corporations, and private practice - locally, nationally, and internationally. With the largest and deepest graduate environmental law program in the country, the Environmental Law Center offers the most comprehensive environmental law and policy curriculum in the nation for law students, and also confers the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) and Master of Laws in Environmental Law (LLM) degrees, as well as a joint JD/MELP degree. The Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center is also home to the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Environmental Tax Policy Institute, Climate Legacy Initiative, Land Use Institute, Partnership for Environmental Law in China, and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.
NATURAL RESOURCES LAW & POLICY eJOURNAL
Sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School
"The Future of Swiss Hydropower - A Review on Drivers and Uncertainties"
MICHAEL BARRY, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland
PATRICK BAUR, University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur
LUDOVIC GAUDARD, University of Geneva
GIANLUCA GIULIANI, University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur
WERNER HEDIGER, University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur
FRANCO ROMERIO, Universite de Geneve - CUEPE
MORITZ SCHILLINGER, University of Basel - Center for Economic Science
RENÉ SCHUMANN, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland
GUILLAUME VOEGELI, University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur
HANNES WEIGT, WWZ, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät der Universität Basel
Swiss Hydropower (HP) is currently facing a wide range of challenges that have initiated a debate about future prospects and its role within the envisioned energy transition. Building on this debate, this paper provides an overview of the status and prospects of Swiss HP by identifying and evaluating the different drivers and uncertainties that Swiss HP faces. Based on a review and the perceptions held by some of the main Swiss HP stakeholders the two main topics that need to be addressed are the market driven impacts and the political, legal and social aspects. While the market dynamics cannot directly be influenced by Swiss companies or authorities, the regulatory framework can and needs to be adjusted. However, this requires a comprehensive stakeholder process and is at least a medium-term process.
"Antimonopoly in Public Land Law"
MICHAEL C. BLUMM, Lewis & Clark Law School
KARA TEBEAU, Lewis & Clark Law School
Public land law is often thought to be divided into historical eras like the Disposition Era, the Reservation Era, and the Modern Era. We think an overarching theme throughout all eras is antimonopoly. Since the Founding, and continuing for over two-and-a-quarter centuries into the 21st century, antimonopoly policy has permeated public land law. In this article we show the persistence of antimonopoly sentiment throughout the public land history, from the Confederation Congress to Jacksonian America to the Progressive Conservation Era and into the modern era.
Antimonopoly policy led to widespread ownership of American land, perhaps America’s chief distinction from England and Europe. The policy fostered acreage limits in federal grants, a preference for bona fide settlers, and eventually an evolution from land sales to free land under the Homestead Act. Antimonopoly principles were also present in public timber, mining, and rangeland policies from the earliest days. In the Progressive Conservation Era antimonopoly fueled a public land withdrawal and reservation movement, landmark leasing and licensing programs that maintained public control over fuel minerals and waterways, and the first explicit federal policy concern over future generations. The modern era has seen the codification of multiple use management, the enactment of comprehensive land planning statutes, and the rise of multi-species concerns, among other antimonopoly policies.
Although antimonopoly policies seem to be under some threat from recent Congresses, a turn toward monopoly would amount to a renunciation of centuries of public land policy. This history strongly counsels against such these proposals as, however imperfectly realized on-the-ground, antimonopoly has been always been cardinal feature of public land law and policy and is deeply embedded in the nation’s identity as a reflection of republican values of individualism and equal opportunity.
"Constitutions as Counter-Curses: Revenue Allocation and the Resource Curse"
Brooklyn Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 24, 2016, Forthcoming
TOM BROWER, Vinson & Elkins LLP, University of Virginia - School of Law, Alumnus or Degree Candidate Author
The resource curse -- the paradoxical relationship between natural resource abundances and poorer economic growth, weaker political institutions, and higher levels of conflict -- remains one of the most confounding issues in international development. Although the literature has proffered a plethora of institutional solutions to the resource curse, they have been vexed by a common theme: their unsuccessful implementation in developing countries without the proper institutional foundations that act as a bulwark against policy reversal and the perpetuation of rent-seeking behavior. This paper introduces constitutionally-protected natural resource revenue allocation institutions as a superior mechanism for a state to allocate rents from natural resources. Constitutions act as credible commitments both by formally entrenching rules and institutions against legal change as well as by serving as coordination mechanisms that significantly deter policy reversal due to the significant costs associated with ignoring or undermining constitutional provisions. As a result, constitutional revenue allocations are more likely to endure, assist in managing and distributing natural resource revenue in an efficient and equitable fashion, and help counter the resource curse. Ultimately, this paper makes a significantly conceptual and theoretical contribution to one of the most pressing issues facing international development.
"Promoting Transparency in Central African Mineral Development"
(2015) 6:4 Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Journal 233-239
CHILENYE NWAPI, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law
ALLAN INGELSON, University of Calgary - Faculty of Law
With growing international interest in mineral resources in Central Africa, the importance of transparency in resource development cannot be overemphasized. Without transparency, the region cannot maximize revenues from resources. Although the importance of transparency is beginning to be recognized, many factors can hold back the gains of transparency from resulting in real economic development for the countries involved. This paper reviews current financial, economic, and development literature for Central African countries, with a focus on identifying underlying conditions and specific transactional conditions impacting the effectiveness of transparency in mining development in the region.
"Drilling Down on Royalties: How Canadian Provinces Can Improve Non-Renewable Resource Taxes"
C.D. Howe Institute Commentary 435
ROBIN BOADWAY, Queen's University, CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute), Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPEE)
BENJAMIN DACHIS, C.D. Howe Institute
From coast to coast, non-renewable-resource taxation is a key source of provincial government revenue – and political rancour. Alberta has recently started a comprehensive review of its oil and natural gas extraction tax system. Newfoundland and Labrador is looking at a redesign of its royalty system. And British Columbia has set up a new tax on liquefied natural gas production. These provinces can all improve their current resource tax systems to raise more money without jeopardizing investment. The key problem with current resource taxes in Canada is not the tax rates, but the design of the taxes. Canadian policymakers should be looking at international best practices in resource tax design. Australia and Norway have best-in-class resource taxes that are based on the cash flows of resource production. That better design means that resource companies in those countries pay a high tax rate on cash flows but still have a strong incentive to invest. Western Canadian provinces instead rely on economically distorting gross-revenue royalties for most onshore oil and gas taxation. These provinces should change their gross-revenue royalties to more efficient cash-flow taxes. Cash-flow taxes are a better way of reflecting the cumulative costs that resource companies face to extract energy than are gross revenue royalties. Although Alberta’s oil sands cash-flow tax and Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore royalty follow many international best practices, both have room for improvement. Those provinces should rethink the rules around how companies pre-pay gross revenue royalties, the limits on the kinds of expenses companies can deduct, and having a royalty rate that fluctuates with oil prices. British Columbia’s mining tax hits many of the right notes. However, the province’s tax on liquefied natural gas exports would be unnecessary if it changed its gross-revenue royalties on natural gas extraction to cash-flow taxes. Likewise, the federal government should consider reforms to its own corporate income tax system to tax cash flows, not profits. Canadian provinces have collected about $79 billion in resource-specific tax revenues from 2009 to 2013. But the provinces can collect more while not harming investment in mining and oil and natural gas extraction if they change their distortive gross-revenue royalties into better designed cash-flow taxes.
About this eJournal
Sponsored by: Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School. This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts dealing with the regulation, management, and distribution of natural resources. The eJournal will discuss a diverse array of natural resource topics such as public and private land use, wildlife and biodiversity, forest protection, mineral rights, parks and wilderness, the public trust doctrine, water and wetlands, and tribal lands and resources.
Editor: Melissa K. Scanlan, Vermont Law School
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ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURAL RESOURCES LAW EJOURNALS
BERNARD S. BLACK
Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
RONALD J. GILSON
Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for LSN-Sub.
Natural Resources Law & Policy eJournal
LEE P. BRECKENRIDGE
Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law
James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
TIMOTHY P. DUANE
Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
Professor of Law, University of California - Hastings College of the Law
ROBERT V. PERCIVAL
Robert F. Stanton Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland - Francis King Carey School of Law
Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School
J. B. RUHL
David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University - Law School
MARK STEPHEN SQUILLACE
Professor of Law and Director of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado Law School
Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law