"Legalizing Marijuana and Abating Environmental Harm: An Overblown Promise? (A Draft)" Free Download
UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 50, 2016
Pacific McGeorge School of Law Research Paper

MICHAEL VITIELLO, University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law

California appears to be on the fast track towards legalizing personal use of marijuana. Proponents of legalization argue that legalization will abate the considerable environmental harm caused by illegal marijuana production. The article takes a close look at that claim and presents arguments why that claim may be overblown.

"Temporal Spillovers" Free Download
Environmental Law and Economics, edited by Klaus Mathis, Springer 2017 Forthcoming

BRUCE R. HUBER, Notre Dame Law School

A great deal of environmental law, encompassing a wide variety of regulatory approaches, addresses physical or spatial spillovers. But spillovers can cross temporal boundaries as well as physical ones. The paper explores uses of land that deliver present benefits but entail residual risks after the cessation of the beneficial use. Paradigmatic cases include sites associated with natural resource extraction such as mining or oil and gas drilling, as well as landfills or other waste sites. The environmental harms that arise on such sites can be thought of as temporal spillovers to the extent that the actor reaping the benefits of some productive activity does not also bear the costs of remediation. Unlike physical or spatial spillovers, temporal spillovers have not received a great deal of attention from law-and-economics scholars, yet they present a serious challenge for policy makers because they are difficult to internalize. This difficulty can itself induce actors to employ temporal spillovers to shed costs. And unlike contemporaneous spillovers, temporal spillovers pose a challenge of political economy because harms may not materialize within a timeframe relevant to political elections. The paper surveys existing and proposed approaches for addressing certain forms of temporal spillover.

"The Ends and Means of Pollution Control: Toward a Positive Theory of Environmental Law" Free Download
Utah Law Review, Forthcoming

DAVID M. DRIESEN, Syracuse University - College of Law

This Article takes a large step toward creating a positive theory of environmental law by mapping pollution control law’s means and ends. Prior work on the general theory of environmental law generally adopts a critical stance informed by law and economics, often with a minimal understanding of the field’s existing structure and normative commitments. Conversely, the literature seeking to explain rather than attack existing law tends to be fragmentary and narrowly focused. This theory takes a broad look at environmental law as it exists.

The creation of a unified account of environmental law’s means and ends together yields fresh insights. It shows that the entire field has a fairly clear and coherent, but unnoticed, normative structure and invites an inquiry into the normative theory underlying this structure. It allows us to see that conflation of means and ends has led to a failure to realize emissions trading’s potential to further environmental protection, even as we deploy it to address the greatest environmental challenge we have ever faced, that of global climate disruption. And it raises a host of research questions about how to address the political economy of environmental protection, to combine pragmatism with normative philosophy, and much else.


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