Environmental law and policy raise profound questions about Congress’s role and responsibilities. Many environmental regulatory statutes leave the Environmental Protection Agency with broad discretion. Although these grants of discretion create flexibility and take advantage of EPA expertise, they also invite congressional passivity, create administrative problems, and increase special-interest pressures on the EPA and Congress alike. Congressional-EPA relations matter now more than ever because many major federal environmental laws are now more than 40 years old. The EPA is using currently enabling language from old environmental organic acts to regulate global climate change and other cutting-edge problems. What are the proper relations between Congress and the EPA? If these relations are out of alignment, can Congress realign them and how? Panelists will explore these questions with examples ranging from hydrofracturing through clean water and clean air regulation.
This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Saturday, November 14, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
Environmental Law: The Role of Congress in Environmental Law
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Prof. Eric R. Claeys, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
- Mr. Matt Leggett, Policy Counsel on Energy, Environment, and Agriculture, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee
- Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson, University Professor on the Environment, and Kerlin Professor Emeritus, Pace University School of Law
- Prof. David Schoenbrod, Trustee Professor of Law, New York Law School
- Moderator: Hon. Steven M. Colloton, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
The Mayflower Hotel