Promoting 'Climate Change Plus' Industries Through the Administrative State: The Case of Marine Aquaculture
54 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2021 Last revised: 22 Jun 2022
Date Written: June 22, 2022
Climate change has reached its “all hands on deck” moment, requiring simultaneous mitigation and adaptation efforts and the participation of all branches of government at all levels—including (and maybe especially) the administrative state. However, while certain agency exercises of climate change discretion have received considerable attention and commentary, less attention has been paid to the ability of federal agencies to promote what this Article terms “climate change plus” (CC+) industries—that is, new, emerging, or expanding industries that can assist climate change mitigation or adaptation (or both) despite having different primary purposes or goals. Unlike renewable energy, these industries often do not have an immediately obvious connection to climate change—and, indeed, different facets or subsets of these industries may have radically different relationships to climate change. These potentially obscure and varying contributions to national climate change policy goals simply underscore why the administrative state needs to carefully evaluate emerging and expanding industries through a climate change lens.
This Article focuses on U.S. marine aquaculture (mariculture) as a rapidly expanding industry in need of CC+ administrative evaluation, because certain aspects of this industry deserve selective promotion as part of a national climate change policy. Marine aquaculture is recognized worldwide as an increasingly critical facet of food security. However, many kinds of mariculture also contribute to climate change mitigation, coastal adaptation, and water quality improvement. This Article argues that focusing on marine aquaculture as a potential CC+ industry provides all the federal agencies, coastal states, and tribes involved in its regulation with a mechanism for coordinating, streamlining, and promoting the expansion of this industry’s most multiply beneficial forms.
Keywords: aquaculture, mariculture, climate change, water quality, Aquaculture Opportunity Areas, ocean acidification
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