Last week oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron reported declining earnings. One commentator called Chevron’s results “slightly disappointing,” while characterizing Exxon’s as “disastrous.” A Wall Street Journal reporter noted that despite the increase in U.S. oil production due to expanding use of hydraulic fracturing technology, Exxon and Chevron are “spending unprecedented billions of dollars to find and extract petroleum, hunting in harder rockers, deeper underground and farther offshore.” Even so , both oil giants are producing less oil and gas now than they were three years ago. Daniel Gilbert & Tom Fowler, Exxon and Chevron Miss Out on U.S. Oil Boom, Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2013.
Last week I finished teaching my two-week summer course on Comparative U.S./China Environmental Law at Vermont Law School (VLS). I had another great summer experience at VLS. On Tuesday members of the VLS U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law took me out to lunch. On Tuesday night John Echeverria hosted a dinner at his home in Strafford for visiting summer faculty. On Wednesday I visited the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury. Thursday I attended a “Hot Topics” talk on the history of efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay by visiting journalism fellow Timothy Wheeler from the Baltimore Sun. I am now back in D.C. and I will be leaving this afternoon to take six of my Vermont students on an environmental field trip to China. While in China we will be meeting with several environmental groups, academics, and government officials in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.
On Friday I received the first copies of the new seventh edition of my environmental law casebook Environmental Regulation: Law, Science and Policy (Aspen 2013). Thanks to the hard work of lots of Aspen editors, the book is available in time for use in fall 2013 classes. A transition guide is available on the casebook website at: http://www.erlsp.com. I am now putting the finishing touches on the new Teacher’s Manual that will be published shortly.