Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review

The Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR) is a special issue of the Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), published in collaboration with the Vanderbilt University Law School (VULS) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) in Washington, DC. Each year, Vanderbilt Law students work with an expert advisory committee and senior staff from ELI to identify the year’s best academic articles that present legal and policy solutions to pressing environmental problems (see methodology here). The result is a one issue, student-edited volume that includes condensed versions of the selected articles, along with commentaries from leading experts from the academy, law firms, business, government and non-governmental organizations.

In conjunction with the publication, ELI and Vanderbilt co-sponsor an annual conference at which the authors of the articles and article commenters present their ideas and views to an audience that includes business, government (federal, state, and local), think tank, and non-profit representatives. More information about the 2020 ELPAR conference is available here.

ELPAR is published annually in the August issue of ELR’s News & Analysis. For subscription information, visit: https://elr.info/subscription-information.

In 2019, ELPAR began publishing podcasts where ELI staff and VULS students interview some of the country’s leading law professors about their creative legal and policy proposals for addressing a range of cutting edge environmental issues. To listen to ELPAR podcasts please visit: https://www.eli.org/podcasts/elpar-podcasts.

2020 featured articles include:

  • Bethany Davis Noll & Burcin Unel, Markets, Externalities, and the Federal Power Act: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Authority to Price Carbon Dioxide Emissions*
  • Jill E. Fisch, Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable*
  • Jim Rossi & Christopher Serkin, Energy Exactions*
  • Shana Campbell Jones; Ruppert, Thomas; Deady, Erin L.; Payne, Heather; Pippin, J. Scott; Huang, Ling-Yee; Evans, Jason M., Roads to Nowhere in Four States: State and Local Governments in the Atlantic Southeast Facing Sea-Level Rise**

* Presented at a conference at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., on April 3, 2020.

** Presented at a conference at Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, TN, on February 20, 2020.


Additionally, we selected three articles to receive honorable mentions, and will republish their abstracts:

  • Thomas O. McGarity & Wendy E. Wagner, Deregulation Using Stealth "Science" Strategies
  • Richard L. Revesz, Regulation and Distribution
  • George Wyeth; Paddock, Lee C.; Parker, Alison; Glicksman, Robert L.; Williams, Jecoliah, The Impact of Citizen Environmental Science in the United States

ELPAR 2020 Top 20 article list is available here.


2020 Washington DC Conference


The 2020 ELPAR DC conference took place on Friday, April 3, from 9:30am to 3:00 pm EST, via webinar. The webinar was free and open to the public. Please find more information about the webinar and materials here.

This conference is organized in partnership by the Environmental Law Institute and Vanderbilt University Law School. Co-sponsored by DC Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Community, Women in Government Relations Taskforce on Energy, Environment and Agriculture, and Women’s Bar Association of District of Columbia.

Topics of the conference include include:

  • Addressing the cost of carbon dioxide emissions via FERC’s authority to ensure just and reasonable interstate wholesale electricity rates
  • Improving SEC sustainability disclosure requirements
  • Imposing exactions on developers to incentivize investment in low-carbon energy supply and energy efficient buildings


Nashville Symposium at Vanderbilt University Law School

This year's Nashville Symposium took place on Thursday, February 20, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm CST, at Vanderbilt University Law School. The event hosted Shana Jones, Thomas Ruppert and Jason Evans to discuss their recent article “Roads to Nowhere in Four States: State and Local Governments in the Atlantic Southeast Facing Sea-Level Rise.” Through their analysis of localities’ efforts to protect property and infrastructure as sea-levels rise and flooding increases, the authors discussed whether climate adaptation challenges faced by localities merit the reconsideration of the duties, immunities, and authorities of state and local governments. For more information about this conference, please click here.


ELPAR also co-sponsored an event with Urban Green Lab, EELU & Climate Change Research Network at Vanderbilt Law on Febuary 19, 2020 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm at the Law School. The event featured a talk by Tatiana Schlossberg on her recent book, Inconspicuous Consumption. The event was free and open to the public, please find more information here.