On January 1, 1970, President Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act into law. A briefly worded but powerful law, NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of the actions that they take, and the actions that they authorize others to take. “By my participation in these efforts,” President Nixon observed upon signing the law, “I have become further convinced that the 1970's absolutely must be the years when America pays its debt to the past by reclaiming the purity of its air, its waters, and our living environment. It is literally now or never.”
Fifty years later, NEPA itself has had many impacts. As currently implemented by federal agencies (often under the watchful eye of courts), NEPA is credited for improving agencies’ environmental analyses but also blamed for exacerbating delays in new infrastructure development.
How should we think of how NEPA has been implemented, and how it might be implemented in the years ahead? To consider these weighty questions, the Gray Center is pleased to host a webinar featuring two leading experts:
E. Donald Elliott is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School, a longtime professor of law at the Yale Law School, and co-chair of Covington & Burling LLP’s environmental law practice. He previously served as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Assistant Administrator and General Counsel.
Michael Gerrard is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professorial Practice at the Columbia Law School, where he is the founding director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. His most recent book is Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (co-edited with John Dernbach)
The conversation will be moderated by the Gray Center’s Director, Adam White.
This event is co-sponsored by the Scalia Law School’s Society of Environmental and Energy Law, and will feature welcoming remarks from the Society’s president, Gary Bridgens.