Environmental Federalism (3 credits)

In this seminar, we will examine federalism issues that arise in environmental law and policy from a variety of theoretical, doctrinal and practical perspectives.  Some environmental contexts involve state governments competing with federal agencies for regulatory primacy or being subjected to federal policy prerogatives as a condition of federal funding.  More interesting, however, are cooperative federalism regimes in which state and federal agencies work together to regulate environmental issues are a provocative snapshot of the complexity and tensions of federalism in action.  We will cover some of the basics of federalism theory and theories of environmental regulation; explore some contemporary theoretical treatments of federalism incorporating economic theory, game theory, decision theory, and complexity theory, among others.  We will then apply these analytical tools to carefully and critically examine federalism-oriented environmental regulatory structures covering air and water quality, fossil fuel extraction, and other subjects.