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Natural Resources

Zeroing Out Climate Change: A “Hard Look” at Trump’s Social Cost of Carbon

President Donald Trump has referred to climate change as a “hoax,” and in March 2017 issued Executive Order No. 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth. Section 5 of this Order directs federal agencies to discontinue...

Superstorm Sandy at Five: Lessons on Law as Catalyst and Obstacle to Long-Term Recovery Following Catastrophic Disasters

Nine of the 10 costliest U.S. hurricanes on record have ravaged the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the first two decades of the 21st century, yet federal, state, and local governments continue to struggle with devising an efficient and...

Managing Property Buyouts at the Local Level: Seeking Benefits and Limiting Harms

Efforts to conduct buyouts of at-risk properties are an increasingly popular resilience tool, especially in response to massive flooding losses in recent years and the financial predicament of the National Flood Insurance Program. Calls...

National Parks Conservation Ass'n v. Semonite

A district court dismissed groups' NEPA and CWA claims against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in connection with its approval of a 17-mile transmission line across the James River near historic Jamestown, Virginia. The Corps took a "...

Arch Coal, Inc. v. Acosta

The D.C. Circuit held that a mining company must exhaust its administrative remedies before it can challenge potential claims filed against it under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA). The BLBA grants coal miners the right to monthly...

Western Organization of Resource Councils v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management

A district court held that BLM violated NEPA by failing to adequately consider climate change in the resource management plans (RMPs) for Buffalo, Wyoming, and Miles City, Montana, both located within the coal-rich Powder River Basin....

M.L. Johnson Family Properties, LLC v. Zinke

A district court upheld a surface coal mining permit issued to a company even though the cotenant objected to any mining on the property. The company cotenant conveyed the right to enter and surface mine coal to an affiliate, but the...

In re Border Infrastructure Environmental Litigation

A district court upheld the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS') decision to waive the legal requirements of NEPA, ESA, and CZMA for two border wall construction projects in San Diego, California. DHS made its waiver...

Little Traverse Lake Property Owners Ass'n v. National Park Service

The Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing residents' NEPA lawsuit against the National Park Service (NPS) concerning its approval of a scenic trailway through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan....

NRDC v. NRC

The D.C. Circuit denied environmentalists' attempt to challenge an NRC decision to issue a uranium mining license in Wyoming. The mining company sought a license from NRC to mine uranium at the Ross Project in Crook County, Wyoming. NRC...

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