The Refined State: Tar Sands, Pet Coke, and the Front Lines of Great Lakes Oil Cities

The Freshwater Lab, a program of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has hosted a year-long series exploring the oil-water mix in the Great Lakes. Next Tuesday, April 19, is the final event, titled The Refined State: Tar Sands, Pet Coke, and the Front Lines of Great Lakes Oil Cities. I’m very excited to be presenting (thanks Rachel Havrelock for organizing and inviting me) and will discuss our region’s... Read more →


Lee Paddock visiting Wayne Law Thursday October 22, 2015 to discuss fracking and environmental law enforcement

Wayne Law’s Environmental Law Society and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center are honored to host a visit from Lee Paddock, Associate Dean for Environmental Law Studies at George Washington University Law School, this Thursday October 22 at 12:10 (Room 2249). His public talk will focus on hydraulic fracturing regulation, citizen enforcement, and corporate enforcement of supply chain requirements. I’ve known Lee for nearly 15 years, dating back to our days with the Minnesota Center... Read more →


Paris Preview: How the New Global Climate Agreement is Shaping Up

Wayne Law is honored to host Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions in Washington, D.C. He will be sharing insights on the upcoming negotiations on a new global climate change agreement. In December, world leaders will gather in Paris to negotiate an agreement to limit greenhouse gas pollution. Mr. Diringer offers an optimistic behind the scenes look at the Paris talks, previewing the policy issues and global politics... Read more →


In the early spring of 2012, a black pile three stories high and as large as many of the surrounding buildings appeared along the shores of the Detroit River. This pile was made up of petroleum coke, or “petcoke,” a byproduct created by the process of transforming heavy tar sands oil into useable fuel. While petcoke is not traditionally burned in the United States, competitive markets exist for petcoke in the developing world. This pile’s... Read more →


Wayne Law student wins Environmental Law Institute’s Beveridge & Diamond writing competition for paper on state energy policy and the dormant commerce clause

Paul Stewart, a second-year student at Wayne State University Law School, has won the Environmental Law Institute’s national 2013-14 Beveridge & Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition. His winning entry, The Overlooked Vulnerabilities of State-Level Greenhouse Gas Regulations Under Pike Balancing and Possibilities for Addressing Those Vulnerabilities, assesses the viability of state regulations on greenhouse gas emissions in the face of legal challenges under the Dormant Commerce Clause, a legal doctrine that restricts states from... Read more →


My new book, Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protections, has been published by Foundation Press and is available on Amazon. I was honored to work with two superb co-authors on this book - Robert Adler, Interim Dean and James I. Farr Chair in Law, and Robin Kundis Craig, William H. Leary Professor of Law, both at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public... Read more →