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Presidential Transitions: The New Rules

The Trump Administration was unusually aggressive in using an obscure set of tools to undo the Obama Administration’s regulatory legacy: Congressional Review Act disapprovals, requests that courts hold in abeyance pending cases challenging Obama-era regulations, and suspensions of final regulations. These actions could be seen as part of the Trump Administration norm-breaking approach to regulatory […]

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Cost-Based California Effects

The “California Effect” is a recurring trope in discussions about regulatory interdependence. This effect predicts that businesses active in multiple jurisdictions sometimes adopt the strictest regulatory standards that they face in any jurisdiction globally, even if the jurisdiction’s law does not require global compliance. As the argument goes, California Effects often occur because firms find […]

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Hidden Agendas in Shareholder Voting

Nothing in either corporate or securities law requires companies to notify investors what they will be voting on before the record date for a shareholder meeting. We show that, overwhelmingly, they do not. The result is “hidden agendas”: for 88% of shareholder votes, investors cannot find out what they will be voting on before the […]

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Democratizing Behavioral Economics

Behavioral law and economics (“BLE”)—arising from the insight that people make recognizable, systematic mistakes—has revolutionized policymaking. For example, in governments around the world, including the US, teams of experts seek to harness these insights, promising to do things like increase retirement savings. But there is a problem: economic experts do not look or think like […]

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The Dual-Class Spectrum

The debate over dual-class companies is longstanding and ongoing. However, scholars and regulators generally treat the question of whether a company is dual class as a binary one. If a company grants certain shareholders a separate class of stock with disproportionate voting rights, then the company is treated as a dual-class company. A company with […]

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Propertizing Environmental Attributes

Tangible environmental resources such as land and water have been the object of property rights and traded in markets for millennia. In a development largely unnoticed by legal scholars, technology now allows a new class of environmental resources that are much harder to see and touch to be measured and potentially sold—environmental attributes. Some of […]

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Foreword: On the Imperative of Adapting to Climate Change

For climate change and the administrative state, imagine two situations: Congress has enacted a Climate Change Act (CCA), which gives specific directions, and specific authorities, to an assortment of agencies: the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Interior, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and others. In the […]

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Promoting “Climate Change Plus” Industries Through the Administrative State: The Case of Marine Aquaculture

Climate change has reached its “all hands on deck” moment, requiring simultaneous mitigation and adaptation efforts and the participation of all branches of government at all levels—including (and maybe especially) the administrative state. However, while certain agency exercises of climate change discretion have received considerable commentary, less attention has been paid to the ability of […]

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Feasibility Analysis and the Climate Crisis

Agencies prepare feasibility analysis when proposing standards limiting greenhouse gas emissions and explicitly base their standard-setting decisions on what is feasible. They do this because the relevant statutes demand maximization of feasible emission reductions. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) provides a supplement to the statutorily required analysis. This Article argues that the President should limit CBA’s role […]

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Costs, Confusion, and Climate Change

In the United States, the primary tool to value greenhouse gas emissions reductions in cost-benefit analysis is the social cost of carbon (SCC), which is a metric that estimates, in monetary terms, the damages associated with climate change. Recently, some prominent public policy experts and scholars have proposed that a “marginal abatement cost” (MAC) could […]

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Valuing the Future: Legal and Economic Considerations for Updating Discount Rates

Discount rates reflect the commonly held belief that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Therefore, consistent with observed human behavior, governments use discount rates to weigh and compare present versus future costs and benefits in their decisions. The choice of discount rates greatly impacts which government regulations are cost-benefit justified, particularly […]

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Evaluating Project Need for Natural Gas Pipelines in an Age of Climate Change: A Spotlight on FERC and the Courts

As the Biden administration attempts to make climate change the focus of many aspects of its domestic and international agenda, an independent federal regulatory agency—the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—finds itself at the center of debates over the nation’s energy policies and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under Sections 4 and 5 of the Natural Gas […]

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Climate Policy Buffers

The Trump administration wreaked havoc on U.S. climate policy by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, undoing climate regulations, and undermining the foundation of future regulatory efforts. The Biden administration has begun to reverse the Trump administration’s climate rollbacks, but Democrats have struggled to enact legislation that would directly limit carbon emissions. Because federal climate policy […]

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Regulatory Oscillation

In the wake of the Reagan deregulation, America experienced twenty-eight years of regulatory progression, with precious little retrogression. That trend came to a crashing halt during the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. As a candidate, Trump campaigned on a series of pledges to reverse and undo as much of the work done by Barack […]

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Delegating Climate Authorities

The science is clear: the United States and the world must take dramatic action to address climate change or face irreversible, catastrophic planetary harm. Within the U.S.—the world’s largest historic emitter of greenhouse gas emissions—this will require passing new legislation or turning to existing statutes and authorities to address the climate crisis. Doing so implicates […]