Greenhouse gas litigation and NEPA: A split in the courts

Vol. 43 No. 5

Jeff Thaler is the University of Maine Visiting Professor of Energy Policy, Law & Ethics, and its Assistant University Counsel.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its fifteen state counterparts are increasingly involved in climate change litigation. This article will summarize how federal and state courts have wrestled, often inconsistently, with review of a particular project’s impacts upon climate change. In the absence of a national consensus on how to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there likely will be more divergent rulings and litigation challenges to come.

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