The Oregon Public Trust Doctrine and Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Pollution: A Law Professors' Amicus Brief

55 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2016 Last revised: 4 Apr 2017

Michael C. Blumm

Lewis & Clark Law School

Mary C. Wood

University of Oregon - School of Law

Steven M. Thiel

Independent

Date Written: February 1, 2016

Abstract

In Cherniak v. Brown, an Oregon Circuit Court rejected the youth plaintiffs' arguments that the public trust doctrine applied to the atmosphere, and that the state of Oregon violated its trust obligations by failing to take action to prevent runaway greenhouse gas emissions. In its opinion the lower court also rejected the applicability of the public trust doctrine to the state's waters, fish and wildlife, and beaches and shorelands. This amicus brief supports the plaintiffs' request that the Oregon Court of Appeals reverse the lower court decision and explains in some detail why the history and interpretation of the state's public trust doctrine make it applicable actions polluting the atmosphere that threaten the stability and integrity of trust resources like the state's public waters, its fish and wildlife, and its beaches and shorelands.

Keywords: public trust doctrine, natural resources law, environmental law, climate change law, water law, wildlife law

JEL Classification: H41, K11, K32, K41, L12, L88, N5, O13, Q22, Q24, Q25, Q28

Suggested Citation

Blumm, Michael C. and Wood, Mary C. and Thiel, Steven M., The Oregon Public Trust Doctrine and Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Pollution: A Law Professors' Amicus Brief (February 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2720012

Michael C. Blumm (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States
503-768-6824 (Phone)
503-768-6701 (Fax)

Mary C. Wood

University of Oregon - School of Law ( email )

1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR Oregon 97403
United States

Steven M. Thiel

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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