College of Law

The Law & Policy Program provides actionable and pragmatic research on emerging issues affecting public lands, agency decision making, indigenous peoples, resource management, and climate change. We aim to provide real time analysis that protects the environment and promotes a just and democratic society through wise and thoughtful policies.

Posts from the Desk describes our work, offers thoughts, and provides commentary from our team members. Occasionally, we also have guest posts from Stegner Faculty and other partners.

Commentary on Current Trends in Environmental Law & Policy


 

 

Great Salt Lake legislative update: Feb. 22, 2024

Feb 23, 2024

In each week’s report, we will identify the most impactful bills (favorable or unfavorable) that could significantly affect Great Salt Lake.

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Great Salt Lake legislative update: Feb. 15, 2024

Feb 16, 2024

In each week’s report, we will identify the most impactful bills (favorable or unfavorable) that could significantly affect Great Salt Lake.

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Great Salt Lake legislative update: Feb. 8, 2024

Feb 08, 2024

In each week’s report, we will identify the most impactful bills (favorable or unfavorable) that could significantly affect Great Salt Lake.

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Great Salt Lake legislative update: Feb. 1, 2024

Jan 31, 2024

In each week’s report, we will identify the most impactful bills (favorable or unfavorable) that could significantly affect Great Salt Lake.

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Great Salt Lake legislative update: Jan. 25, 2024

Jan 25, 2024

In each week’s report, we will identify the most impactful bills (favorable or unfavorable) that could significantly affect Great Salt Lake.

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Great Salt Lake legislative update: Jan. 18, 2024

Jan 19, 2024

A key focus of the Great Salt Lake Project is the Great Salt Lake Policy Accelerator, which encourages policymakers to prioritize and accelerate law and policy to effectuate the meaningful change the lake so desperately needs. This short legislative and policy update will be provided on a weekly basis during the Utah legislative session.

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Correlativity of rights and duties: Why should I care? (Part 1)

Dec 27, 2023

This post introduces correlativity by addressing the “why” and “how” of the disappearance of correlativity as a fundamental jural concept, while the libertarian, as well as the law and economics and schools of jurisprudence, have gained predominance.

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The Bureau of Land Management’s Changing Landscape

Nov 09, 2023

In 2003, Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior, observed, “The day is coming, I believe, when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), so often dismissed as the Bureau of Livestock and Mining, will be better known as the Bureau of Landscapes and Monuments.”[1] Twenty years later, it is still uncertain whether Babbit’s statement was prescient or aspirational. However, the BLM appears poised to take a meaningful step toward the latter moniker.

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Sympathy alone cannot close the water gap in Indian Country

Sep 28, 2023

Yesterday the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on tribal access to water—a neglected issue that is increasingly recognized but still unaddressed. […]

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Determining the reasonableness of permitting timeframes: Lessons from the Canadian criminal justice system

Aug 28, 2023

It has been almost a year since Senator Manchin thrust the phrase “permit reform” onto center stage, arguing that the permitting process for energy projects […]

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A permanent homeland for the Navajo Nation requires access to water

Aug 03, 2023

Born on the Navajo Nation reservation, it was several years before I became aware of the stark difference in resources available on the reservation versus […]

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Conservation Has Always Been a Part of the Bureau of Land Management’s Multiple Use Mandate

Jul 21, 2023

Current Conditions on Public Lands Justify the BLM’s Proposed Conservation and Landscape Health Rule On April 3, 2023, the Bureau of Land Management proposed new […]

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Responding to Questions for the Record

Jun 14, 2023

Ideally, congressional hearings provide a forum for lawmakers to gather information, learn more about specific issues, and make informed decisions. After the hearing concludes, committee […]

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Testifying Before Congress on Evidence-Based Recommendations for Permit Reform

Jun 05, 2023

The Law and Policy Program aims to produce actionable, pragmatic research on emerging legal issues to facilitate sound governmental decisionmaking that protects the environment and […]

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Applying Lessons from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to Permit Reform

Apr 21, 2023

Thirteen years ago, on April 20, 2010, an explosion tore through BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killing eleven people and spewing over four million barrels […]

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Stegner Research Professors File Amicus Brief Supporting Water Access for the Navajo Nation

Mar 22, 2023

“For the Navajo people, tó éí iiná até, water is life.” –Amicus Brief of DigDeep Right to Water Project and Utah Tribal Relief Foundation   […]

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The Tension Between Speed and Safety

Mar 15, 2023

On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the Roosevelt Institute will host a one-day in-person conversation about permit reform in Washington D.C. Common conversations about permit reform […]

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The Cost of Denial About Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Feb 23, 2023

Carbon capture and sequestration is the latest rage, but is it worth the hype?  In Chasing Squirrels in the Energy Transition, Environmental Law, Vol. 52 […]

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Talking About Permit Reform with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Feb 08, 2023

We recently joined five other experts to explore the nuances of the permit reform debate in an article published by the  Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. […]

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Finding and Leveraging Allies

Feb 02, 2023

Many tribes are matrilineal. In these communities, women historically played a significant role in holding and dispensing traditional knowledge. Women also held positions of leadership, […]

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Piecing Together the Fragmented Legal Doctrines Governing “Pore Space”

Jan 27, 2023

As carbon capture and sequestration technologies gain traction, the nature of underground rights is increasingly surfacing as an important, but fractured area of law.  I […]

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Distinguishing between Productive and Unproductive Causes of Delay in Critical Mineral Permitting

Nov 15, 2022

Our latest article, Playing the Long Game: Expediting Permitting Without Compromising Protections, recommends three actions to expedite mine permit processing times without sacrificing analytical rigor:  […]

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Podcasting with Center for Western Priorities about Permitting Reform

Oct 01, 2022

We had a great conversation with Kate Groetzinger and Aaron Weiss from Center for Western Priorities on their podcast, The Landscape.  Our conversation can be […]

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Utah Scholars Ask Lawmakers to Look at the Data with Permitting Reform

Sep 21, 2022

Great article by Zak Podmore in the Salt Lake Tribune about permitting reform.  As he points out, assumptions held by NEPA critics don’t always align […]

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Do we have to choose between speedy development and the environment?

Aug 30, 2022

We were thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with Laura Gersony at Circle of Blue  about our research on causes of delay in the […]

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A Big Step Forward for the National Environmental Policy Act

May 02, 2022

So pleased to have our Op-Ed, A Big Step Forward for the National Environmental Policy Act published by the Hill today.  As the Biden Administration […]

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Evidence-Based Recommendations for Improving the National Environmental Policy Act

Apr 10, 2022

We look forward to presenting the results of our research at the Climate Change Symposium hosted by the Sabin Center for Climate Change and the […]

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