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Volume 37, Issue 1 — January 2007


Stabilizing and Reducing U.S. Energy Consumption: Legal and Policy Tools for Efficiency and Conservation

by John Dernbach

Editors' Summary: Rising global demand for energy, high energy prices, climate change, and the threat of terrorism all point to the need for greater energy efficiency and conservation in the United States. While technological innovation is plainly needed, our laws and institutional arrangements must also play an important role. The United States has scores of legal and policy tools from which to choose to improve energy efficiency and curb energy consumption. This Article, which grows out of a Spring 2006 seminar at the Widener University School of Law, evaluates a handful of these tools: transit-oriented development; fuel taxation; real-time pricing for electricity use; public benefit funds; improving the efficiency of existing residential and commercial buildings; and expanding the use of rail freight. Greater efficiency and conservation based on those and other tools may allow us to stabilize U.S. energy consumption and then reduce it. As challenging as that goal might be, there is considerable evidence to believe that it is achievable.

Environmental Contamination Treatise: Overview of the Litigation Process

by Gary Mason, Nicholas Migliaccio, Dennis Reich, and Michael Howell

Editor's Summary: Toxic torts are among the most complex legal cases, often requiring extensive discovery and the use of expert witnesses. In this Article, authors Gary Mason, Nicholas Migliaccio, Dennis Reich, and Michael Howell provide a comprehensive overview of the toxic tort property damage litigation process. They begin with case evaluation, explaining how to identify potential plaintiffs, defendants, and causes of action. They cover class certification, discovery, and expert witnesses, concluding with sections on damages and settlement.

Can You Really Kill Two Birds With One Stone?

by Eric A. Koester

Editor's Summary: The government has faced an ongoing dilemma in its quest to balance its policy decisions with the waste-to-energy industry. In this Article, Eric Koester examines what it will take for the industry to again become a significant solution in our energy and solid waste dilemmas. First, he looks at the impact of environmental regulations on the industry, including air emissions and waste ash products. He examines the impact changes in energy regulation have had and what the future of energy regulation and deregulation may yield for the waste-to-energy industry. He goes on to examine the impacts of Supreme Court rulings, project finance, and changes in tax programs on the waste-toenergy industry. Finally, he discusses what the future holds and determines if conditions have evolved over the past 30 years to again produce a scenario right for waste-to-energy development.

Coordination and Planning Tools That Can Be Applied to Biodiversity Conservation

by Robert B. McKinstry Jr., James McElfish, and Michael Jacobson

Editors' Summary: An institutionalized planning process for biodiversity conservation can help fill in gaps left by legal tools that are inadequately designed or rarely implemented. In this Article, authors Robert McKinstry Jr., James McElfish, and Michael Jacobson explain the role that effective planning can play in the conservation of biodiversity. They discuss different types of planning, such as land use planning and planning to protect specific areas valuable to biodiversity, and reveal the mechanisms that can be used to implement these plans.


The Godavarman Case: The Indian Supreme Court's Breach of Constitutional Boundaries in Managing India's Forests

by Armin Rosencranz, Edward Boenig, and Brinda Dutta

Editors' Summary: With its ruling in the 1995 Godavarman case, the Supreme Court of India commandeered for itself the roles of policymaker, administrator, and interpreter of the law. The Court's actions pursuant to this ruling have had serious effects on India's forest policy. In this Article, Armin Rosencranz, Edward Boenig, and Brinda Dutta explore the ramifications of the Supreme Court's actions. The authors begin with an overview of changes in forest policy following the 1995 ruling and describe the deleterious effects that these changes have had on Indian forests. They then analyze the constitutionality of the Court's actions and evaluate whether these actions have had the effect that the Court desired. Finally, the authors conclude with some suggestions for resolving the problems created by the Court's overstepping of its judicial role.