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College of Law

Environmental Policy

Course Number: 6915
Professor: Sam Kalen
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: Fall
Required: No
Prerequisites: Students must have completed their first year of law school.
Recommended Courses: None

Course Overview: This course will explore the nature of environmental policy issues, including the fundamental causes of environmental problems; how law, science, and economics interact; the normative rationales for protecting natural resources and the environment; and the influences of politics and bureaucracies. All of these factors bear on the potential approaches for resolving environmental issues; understanding them is essential to making informed environmental policy choices. More specifically, the course will examine scientific uncertainty, market failures, mismatched scales, and other causes of environmental problems; the policy options (prescriptive regulation, penalties, incentives, property rights, etc.) for addressing these problems; and issues related to risk assessment and management, the distributional consequences of policy choices, environmental ethics, and federalism. The course will begin with a historical review of environmental protection in the U.S., followed by discussions of some basic themes of environmental law, frameworks for analyzing environmental problems, and choice of policy instruments. The class will then examine how these factors helped to shape selected federal environmental laws.

Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Course Format: Primarily discussion; secondarily, lecture.
Written Assignments: 2 short papers, comments on proposed rulemaking or legislation, and a case study report.
Type of Exam: None
Basis for Grading Student Performance: Class participation and assignments.
Other Comments:

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