Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics Newsletter

Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics Newsletter: Friday, October 16, 2015

Message From The Directors

Victor Flatt One of the best things about CLEAR is our proximity to and interactions with other academic units, institutions and think tanks. The University of North Carolina has some of the world’s best programs in public health, Innovative energy technology, sustainable business development, energy financing, and disaster planning and research. This gives our students here at UNC Law a chance to work on grants and projects that connect law and policy to the hard science and economic world of environment, climate, and energy. The Newsletter’s lead story reflects how important these partner centers are to our students’ education. The UNC Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence will facilitate our students working on climate change adaptation law and policy, particularly climate impacts associated with sea level rise.

We at CLEAR are also proud of the opportunities we have fostered for our students by partnering with EPA’s air quality center in Research Triangle Park, the Research Triangle Institute, North Carolina Sea Grant at North Carolina State University, the North Carolina Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center, and the Nicholas Institute at Duke University. All of these organizations call North Carolina home, and provide a wealth of opportunities for our students and graduates to tackle the issues associated with climate change, access to energy, and preserving our environment. I hope that you enjoy this quarter’s newsletter.

Featured Article

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched a new Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC) that was made possible through a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Office of University Programs five-year, $20 million grant. The CRC received an initial $3 million grant for its first year of operations, and expands the Coastal Hazards Center work that started in 2008.

CRC Projects

The CRC will include collaborations across a dozen partner universities in addition to interdisciplinary efforts at UNC and federal, state, and local governments. Continuing our work on potential legal implications for coastal communities, CLEAR will be a part of the team addressing key challenges with growing coastal vulnerability.

In addition to original research and working with local governments, CLEAR will also help with the CRC's mission to "educate the next generation of students that will become hazard researchers and practitioners" by having law students work on programs CLEAR is leading to address the legal challenges coastal citizens and municipalities face.

Recent News

Call for Environmental Pro Bono Projects

The Environmental Law Project (ELP), Carolina Law's student environmental group, is looking for environmental pro bono projects to work on. A helpful FAQ exists to help determine if a project can quality as a pro bono project and what Carolina Law students can work on. If you are an attorney or firm with an environmental pro bono project, contact the ELP pro bono coordinator, Brooklyn Hildebrandt, at

Support Still Needed for our Environmental and Energy Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Teams!

We're still looking for attorneys interested in helping moot our teams. Mooting will occur between the beginning of January and the beginning of March. Contact Heather Payne at if interested.

Another way to Help Students...Lunch talks to ELP

Are you interested in talking about your energy or environmental law career, sharing wisdom and stories with current students? If yes, then think about spending a lunch hour with ELP. Contact Cordon Smart, president of ELP, at to tell him you're interested and to find a time. The students would be even more appreciative if you bring lunch for the group with you; pizza, subs, even just a plate of cookies brightens their day.

Monast Discusses Clean Power Plan on E&E TV

On July 21, Jonas Monast, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and adjunct professor at Carolina Law, discussed the critical elements of the draft proposal that were likely to face changes in the final rule with E&E TV (a division of Environment and Energy Publishing). He also talked about the range of options that exist for states that are considering a multistate compliance mechanism. Professor Monast identified three key areas to look at immediately for changes when the rule is published:

  1. Whether the state targets have changed, and if so, how the formula to determine the state targets has changed
  2. Timing of implementation
  3. Whether EPA clarifies the potential for using market-based mechanisms to comply.

Legal arguments are going to come down to two points: the difference in language between the House and Senate versions of 111(d); and how EPA defines Best System of Emission Reduction (BSER). And, on the whole, research has found that states using a multistate approach will be able to comply more cheaply than states that go it alone.

New Scholars Profiled!

Since our last newsletter, we have profiled Thomas McGarity (August 2015) and Kirsten Engel (September 2015). Keep up to date by going to our Scholars page or by liking CLEAR on Facebook or following us on Twitter or Instagram (@UNCCLEAR), where the new profile is posted monthly.

Save the Date! The Environmental Law Symposium at the Festival of Legal Learning

UNC School of Law's Festival of Legal Learning will be held February 12-13, 2016. As usual, the Environmental Law Symposium will be from 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Festival of Legal Learning is the law school's premier CLE event with courses on a variety of issues. Participants may select from the broad array of courses available, but we hope you will mark your calendars and join us on Saturday morning. CLEAR will be hosting a reception with law students immediately after the Festival ends on Saturday; more details to come.

For more information, please visit or e-mail

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