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A Comment on "The Limits of Liability in Promoting Safe Geologic Sequestration of CO2"

August 2013

Citation: ELR 10656

Author: Raymond B. Ludwiszewski and Karyn B. Marsh

David Adelman and Ian Duncan provide a reality check for potential liability arising out of geologic sequestration in their article, "The Limits of Liability in Promoting Safe Geologic Sequestration of CO2." As a Research Scientist in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, Ian Duncan gives a much-needed scientific perspective on the material risks that geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) actually poses, and using law and economic analysis, Professor Adelman, the Harry Reasoner Chair in Law at the University of Texas, adeptly translates how these risks might be mitigated through common law and ex ante regulation. Their proposed approach, new federal legislation that combines regulation and tiered-tort liability, is sensible given the technical characteristics of geologic sequestration, and
would adequately address the probable risks.

Raymond B. Ludwiszewski is former General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and currently a Partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Karyn B. Marsh is a professional geologist and staff attorney in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

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