Natural Resource

Designating a Critical Habitat for Humpback Whales

Designating a Critical Habitat for Humpback Whales

In this post, 3L staffer Ian Young writes about the humpback whale populations threatened by extinction, analyzing how a group comprised of Native Americans and environmental organizations have filed suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service’s response to the EPA’s requirements under the Endangered Species Act.

Open for Business in Uncharted Waters: Leasing the Outer Continental Shelf

Open for Business in Uncharted Waters: Leasing the Outer Continental Shelf

The U.S. Department of the Interior dove into 2018 with a proposal to open roughly the entire U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (hereinafter “OCS”) for potential oil and gas lease sales. The  proposal is in furtherance of the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (hereinafter “National OSC Program”). The National OCS Program currently preserves ninety-four percent of the total OCS acreage  by prohibiting any oil and gas exploration, or development therein. However, the January proposal made by U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, would open ninety-percent of the total OCS acreage for potential offshore drilling—almost a complete conversion from closed to exposed.

A Call to Modify the Section 201 Safeguard for the Solar Panel Industry

A Call to Modify the Section 201 Safeguard for the Solar Panel Industry

After three months to consider the USITC’s submission, President Trump elected to implement a tariff-quota on solar cell imports. Following the President’s announcement, stocks in U.S. based companies that could benefit as a result of the tariff imposition on solar equipment experienced an aggressive increase. Conversely, the loss of twenty-three thousand jobs and the delay or elimination of billion-dollar investments seems to be probable.

A Monumental Mess: Can President Trump’s Administration Find Legal Ground to Support Its Decision to Modify National Monuments?

A Monumental Mess: Can President Trump’s Administration Find Legal Ground to Support Its Decision to Modify National Monuments?

On Monday, December 4, 2017, President Trump signed presidential proclamations to shrink both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, resulting in the largest reduction of public-lands protection in the history of our nation. While some have supported the decision, there are many others who have strongly opposed it, bringing an unexplored legal question into the limelight: Does the 1906 Antiquities Act give the president the power to modify or eliminate national monuments, as well as designate?

Who’s the Real MVP? A “Quick-Take” Eminent Domain Battle Between Private Landowners and the MVP Pipeline

Who’s the Real MVP? A “Quick-Take” Eminent Domain Battle Between Private Landowners and the MVP Pipeline

EQT Corporation is planning to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), in a first-time joint venture with four other gas companies, which will cut through the Blue Ridge Mountains in West Virginia and Virginia. The controversy surrounding the project, slated to break ground in February 2018, is in full swing.At the heart of the controversy, however, is a private company using the federal power of eminent domain to take away private landowners’ property for a pipeline that many argue is not even needed.

 

State and Federal Budget Cuts to Harm Conservation Districts

State and Federal Budget Cuts to Harm Conservation Districts

On January 16, 2018, the Office of the State Budget Director in Kentucky published the Executive Budget for the 2018–2020 fiscal years. Included in the budget is the elimination of seventy state-funded programs, one of which is Direct Aid to Kentucky’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). Rowlett says that Direct Aid is necessary to fund district initiatives like technical assistance to landowners with Agricultural Water Quality Plans, funding for Envirothon teams, and other educational endeavors that help fulfill the districts’ conservation mission.