Volume 35, Number 1


Raisins and Resilience: Elaborating Horne's Compensation Analysis with an Eye to Coastal Climate Change Adaptation

Joshua Ulan Galperin, Clinical Director and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, lecturer and Environmental Law and Policy Program Director at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
The State of New Jersey, the Borough of Harvey Cedars, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers were all preparingfor an event like Hurricane Sandy years before the 2012 super-storm made landfall along the Mid-Atlantic coast. The governments began, for instance, a major dune restoration project in 2005 in order to protect the New Jersey coast from massive storm surges that could destroy homes and businesses. To carry out the effort, the local governments sought to purchase the right to build along the seaward portion of property owners' land, and would then construct roughly twenty-foot-high, thirty-foot-wide dunes. If the government and the landowner could not agree on a price or the landowner refused to sell, the government would acquire the necessary strip of property using eminent domain: the right of government to take private property for public use as long as it offers just compensation. This Article is about the proper way to calculate just compensation when government partially takes private property for a use that provides a degree of benefit to the remaining property.
  • February 2016
  • 35 Stan.Envtl.L.J. 3
  • Article

A Tale of Three Markets: Comparing the Renewable Energy Experiences of California, Texas, and Germany

Felix Mormann, Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Law and Faculty Fellow at Stanford's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
Dan Reicher, Executive Director of Stanford's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Professor of Practice at Stanford Law School, and Lecturer at Stanford's Graduate School of Business
Victor Hanna, Associate in the Energy & Infrastructure Finance Group at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
The Obama administration has repeatedly identified the large-scale build-out of clean, renewable energy infrastructureas a key priority of the United States. The President's calls for a cleaner energy economy are often accompanied by references to other industrialized countries such as Germany, hailed by many as a leader in renewable energy deployment. Indeed, the share of renewables in Germany's electricity generation mix is twice that of the United States, and the ambitious "Energiewende" commits the country to meeting 80% of its electricity needs with renewables by 2050. While some praise the German renewables experience as successful proof of concept, others are concerned with the impact of ramping up renewables on electricity rates, the stability of the electric grid, and the international competitiveness of local industry. The mixed response to Germany's commitment to solar, wind, and other renewables raises questions as to how much and what, if anything, the United States can learn from Germany's renewable energy experiment-and vice versa. This Article seeks to answer some of these questions by comparing the German renewables experience to that of California and Texas, two leaders in renewable energy deployment in the United States and globally, albeit with very different policy approaches and political leadership. California and Texas have had significant success in large-scale renewables but not without their own challenges. Our comparison of the renewable energy paths taken by what amount to three large and highly distinct "countries" elucidates some of the most prominent (and controversial) themes in the transatlantic renewables debate, including electricity costs, policy design, output intermittency, grid stability, and soft costs. As the Paris climate accord and the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan await implementation, we offer comparative insights and identify best practices to guide policymakers and regulators in the transition toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy economy.
  • February 2016
  • 35 Stan.Envtl.L.J. 55
  • Article