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
Date Written: February 1, 2016
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: Suggested Citation