Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content


Volume 38, Issue 2 — February 2008


The Next Greenhouse Gas Executive Order?

by Charles Openchowski

Editor's Summary: Although the United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, governments at local, state, regional, and even federal levels have taken steps to begin reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this Article, Charles Openchowski explains that five presidential Executive Orders mentioning GHGs have been signed since the Kyoto Protocol was drafted, two others related to GHGs have been issued, and several state governors have signed similar orders. He examines the orders on both the federal and state levels and proposes text for what the next presidential Executive Order could look like. He concludes the Article with some predictions on climate change's growing import on the political and economic fronts.

From Caveman to Cave Protector: the Quest for Responsible Cave Protection Legislation

by Henry L. Welch

Editors' Summary: Caves and their valuable repositories of ecological, geological, and archaeological data are at risk from human activities such as tourism and vandalism. Structures that took millions of years to form may be destroyed in seconds by careless or malicious visitors, and delicate cave-dwelling species such as bats are vulnerable to human disturbances. In this Article, Henry L. Welch examines the statutory protections that currently exist for protecting the structures and ecosystems of caves at both the federal and state level, as well as the appropriateness of these protections given the special nature of caves as a resource. He then provides a comprehensive model cave protection statute that balances the diverse and sometimes conflicting desires of cave owners, visitors, scientists, and conservationists.

Common Law Remedies: A Refresher

by Denise E. Antolini and Clifford L. Rechtschaffen

Editors' Summary: Recent lawsuits by state and local governments, public interest organizations, and private citizens against electric companies, automobile companies, and lead paint manufacturers signify the reemergence of the common law as a powerful tool for protecting the environment. In this Article, Denise E. Antolini and Clifford L. Rechtschaffen provide a broad introduction to various common law theories that can be used to protect the environment, including trespass, nuisance, strict liability, and public trust. They conclude with a discussion of when and how environmental statutes preempt federal and state common law claims. [Editors' Note: This Article appears in the book Creative Common Law Strategies for Protecting the Environment, edited by Clifford Rechtschaffen and Denise Antolini, published in 2007 by ELI Press. The book can be ordered either by calling ELI at 800-433-5120 or logging on to the ELI website at http://www.eli.org.

Climate's Impact on Securities Disclosures

by Panel discussion

Editors' Summary: On September 27, 2007, the Environmental Law Institute and Sidley Austin LLP cosponsored a seminar to discuss drafting climate change securities disclosures. The panelists examined SEC requirements applying to climate change, examples of climate change disclosures, and what investors want to know about climate change and what they are doing to get that information. The seminar concluded with a question-and-answer period. Below is a transcript of the event. [Transcribed by ACE Transcription Service, Washington, D.C. The transcript has been lightly edited, and citations have been added, for ease of reading.]


Fishing for a Solution: The Role of the United States in Preventing Collapse of the Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Fishery

by Christine Goepp Towberman

Editors' Summary: Overfishing currently jeopardizes a variety of stocks around the world. The Atlantic bluefin tuna, a fish that has increased exponentially in commercial value in past decades, is one such species at risk. Eastern and western Atlantic bluefin populations are managed as two distinct stocks, but because the two mix significantly, overfishing in the eastern Atlantic is straining the already overexploited western Atlantic bluefin. Therefore, as Christine Goepp Towberman explains, the United States has an interest in protecting the eastern Atlantic stock even though the United States neither harvests nor consumes a significant amount of eastern Atlantic bluefin. In this Article, she focuses on multilateral measures addressing two key international fishery issues that affect the eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna: (1) controlling IUU fishing; and (2) setting a total allowable catch. She then examines the possibility of U.S. unilateral trade sanctions. Finally, she sets out recommendations for a comprehensive U.S. approach to improving Atlantic bluefin fisheries management and staving off ultimate stock collapse.