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AREC 576
Natural Resource Law and Economics

Course Outline
Reading List
Course Outline

Issues in Environmental and Natural Resource Law and Economics: A Selective Survey

I. Introduction: An Overview of Environmental Law and Economics

A. The Academic Field of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

B. Environmental Policy and Alternative Controls of Environmental Risk

C. Organization of the Course

II. Evaluating Environmental and Natural Resource Policies: A Review of Fundamental Economic Concepts

A. Allocative Efficiency and Pareto Optimality

B. Pareto Improvements

C. Distributive Equity

D. The Coase Theorem

E. Regulatory Controls of Environmental Risk Versus Liability Controls
Application: Small Numbers River Pollution Example

III. Privately-Initiated, Ex Ante Controls of Environmental Risk

A. Legal Entitlements and Protections

B. External Cost, Nuisance Law, and Incompatible Land Uses
Application: Right-to-Farm Legislation

C. Public Powers and Private Property Rights
Application:Takings and Federal Wetlands Policy

IV. State-Initiated, Ex-Ante Controls of Environmental Risk

A. Environmental Standard Setting
Application: Standard Setting under Safe Drinking Water Act

B. Economics of Pollution Control: An Overview
Application: Tradeable Permits, Acid Rain, and the Clean Air Act

C. Dynamic Efficiency, User Cost, and Low-Intensity Land Uses
Application: The Preservation of Prime Agricultural Land

D. U.S. Energy Policy: Oil and National Security
Application: Oil Exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

E. Distributional Considerations in Environmental Policy
Application: Environmental Justice and Siting Potentially Polluting Activities
Application: Environmental Justice and Enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act

V. Privately-Initiated, Ex Post Controls of Environmental Risk

A. Environmental Liability and the Economic Analysis of Tort Law

B. Liability Rules: Strict Liability and Negligence
Application: Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Tort Litigation

C. Liability Rules Continued: Joint and Several Liability and Sovereign Immunity
Application: Arizona Aquifer Protection Program and Exemption Legislation
Application: Liability for Climate Change Damages

VI. State-Initiated, Ex Post Controls of Environmental Risk

A. Deterrence with Monetary and Non-Monetary Sanctions

B. Remediation of Contaminated Land
Application: Environmental Justice and the Enforcement of Superfund/CERCLA Cleanups

C. Environmental Crimes
Application: Criminal Sanctions for Violations of the Clean Water Act

Last updated January 12, 2012.
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