Today a book launch conference was held at George Washington University Law School for “The Law and Policy of Environmental Federalism,” which will be published this fall by Edward Elgar Publishing. The book is edited by Professor Kalyani Robbins of Florida International University. I moderated a panel on “Climate Change and Environmental Federalism” where Professors Bill Buzbee of Georgetown and Alice Kaswan of the University of San Francisco (who is currently visiting at UC-Berkeley) spoke. Bill spoke about the importance of preserving state regulatory authority in any federal program to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases. Alice examined how federal authorities can assist state and local governments in adapting to climate change.
Four new blog posts from students in my Global Environmental Law seminar have been posted on my parallel blog at: http://www,globalenvironmentallaw.com. To access the posts go to the blog and click on "Students" at the top of the page. The posts are from the four students who participated in a group project to consider whether the state of Maryland should add an environmental provision to its state constitution. The project was inspired by rabbi Nina Beth Cardin who is part of a coalition of religious leaders on the Ecumenical Council of Maryland. The Council has identified environmental protection as an important priority for them. The students divided the research into four areas: (1) analysis of the environmental provisions that are in the constitutions of 22 other states (by Hannah Ernstberger), (2) analysis of the environmental provisions in the constitutions of other nations (by Robin Cleland), (3) a comparison of the different approaches to environmental provisions embodied in constitutional amendments and how courts have interpreted them (by Bryan Smith), and (4) analysis of the process for adopting a constitutional amendment in Maryland (by Mellissa Sager). I am using the students’ research to prepare a report for the Ecumenical Council.