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Volume 47, Issue 8 — August 2017

Response to Enhancing Conservation Options: An Argument for Statutory Recognition of Options to Purchase Conservation Easements

by Liz McLaurin

This Comment points out the strengths and weaknesses of the options to purchase conservation easement.


The President’s Budget as a Source of Agency Policy Control

by Eloise Pasachoff

This Article expands the view of centralized control of the administrative state by describing, categorizing, and analyzing the processes by which OMB uses the budget to get "in the stream of every policy decision made by the federal government." The Article then assesses OMB’s budget work against administrative law values and offers recommendations for how this work can better foster accountability.

How Cheap Is Corporate Talk? Comparing Companies’ Comments on Regulations With Their Securities Disclosures

by James W. Coleman

When a public company describes the impact of a proposed regulation it must consider two audiences: regulators and investors. These conflicting incentives may lead to inconsistent messages. Oil companies facing costly regulations tailor their messages to each audience, emphasizing the cost and economic danger of regulation to regulators while telling shareholders that regulation is merely a cost of doing business with few negative impacts. The findings of the article suggest that environmental regulators should monitor corporate securities disclosures to ensure that they are given an accurate picture of the true regulatory risk they may be imposing on companies.

Climate Exactions

by J. Peter Byrne and Kathryn A. Zyla

Monetary exactions are a tool that can mitigate the environmental or other public harms of land development. Local governments commonly impose fees, or monetary exactions, on new development to offset public costs such development will impose, such as exacerbated traffic congestion. This Essay argues that monetary fees offer significant potential as a tool to help local governments manage land development’s contribution to climate change.

Enhancing Conservation Options: An Argument for Statutory Recognition of Options to Purchase Conservation Easements (OPCEs)

by Federico Cheever and Jessica Owley

Land conservation transactions have been the most active component of the conservation movement in the United States for the past three decades. Practitioners use traditional real estate tools to preserve habitat, scenery, and historically significant places. The prospect of climate change diminishes the value of most real estate tools currently used by proponents of land conservation transactions. This Article outlines one potential response to the challenge of private land conservation under climate change: a reinvigorated use of real estate options to purchase conservation easements (OPCEs).


The Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review: Top 20 Articles

by Linda K. Breggin, Kline Moore, Marian Mikhail, and Michael P. Vandenbergh

The Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR) is published by the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI’s) Environmental Law Reporter in partnership with Vanderbilt University Law School. ELPAR has provided a forum each year for the presentation and discussion of some of the most creative and feasible environmental law and policy proposals culled from the legal academic literature. The student editors of ELPAR, with input from the course instructors, narrow down the pool of environmental articles published during the prior year to a list of about 20 contenders, all of which meet ELPAR’s criteria of persuasiveness, impact, feasibility, and creativity. ELPAR elected for the first time to share the year’s list of top 20 environmental articles.

Optimizing OMB: Response to The President’s Budget as a Source of Agency Policy Control

by Ali A. Zaidi

Despite the budget’s existential tie to the administrative state and OMB’s central role in the annual process surrounding the budget—from development to execution, legal literature devotes little attention to either. In her article, Prof. Eloise Pasachoff attempts to reverse this inattentiveness. This Comment adds more completeness by acknowledging context and complexity that the article either misses or minimizes, and offers three global comments regarding: (1) atomization, (2) accountability, and (3) agenda setting.

Comment on The President’s Budget as a Source of Agency Policy Control

by Russell Shay

This Comment critiques the OMB reforms suggested by Prof. Eloise Pasachoff.

Puffery or Promises: When Is Cheap Talk Actionable?

by Brian J. Wong

This Comment provides an overview of the securities disclosures framework and how upcoming regulations might fit in.

A Bridge Too Near: Response to How Cheap Is Corporate Talk?

by Jeffrey A. Smith

This Comment discusses the far-reaching implications of Prof. James Coleman's study of the corporate "two audience" problem.