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Opinion Environmental Law in the Administrative State

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Environmental law and policy decisions often turn on questions of administrative law. On Friday, the Center for the Study of the Administrative State is hosting a conference on Environmental Law in the Administrative State at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington. Registration info is here.

Conference panels will focus on state standing, evolving energy institutions and administrative review of energy projects, challenges to the Clean Air Act, and “ghost rules” and regulatory “dark matter.” Speakers include Richard Pierce (GWU), Steve Vladeck (Texas), Oklahoma Solicitor General Pat Wyrick, Daniel Lyons (BC), Amy Wildermuth (Utah) and Wayne Crews (CEI), among many others. As a bonus, five hours of CLE credit are available.

For what it’s worth, I’ll be presenting at the conference, too. Specifically, I’ll be talking about my paper, “Is the Clean Air Act Unconstitutional? Coercion, Cooperative Federalism and Conditional Spending after NFIB v. Sebelius,” co-authored with Nathaniel Stewart and forthcoming in the Ecology Law Quarterly. In this paper, we argue that the Clean Air Act sanctions regime, and the highway fund sanction in particular, is constitutionally suspect. We have some thoughts on the offset sanctions and constitutional arguments about the Clean Power Plan, too. (Short answer: The former has more problems than the latter, at least as a constitutional matter.)