In a December 8 opinion piece, professor Thomas McGarity argues that income inequality is an outgrowth of deregulation. Inequality can be addressed, in McGarity’s words, only if “political forces realign themselves and a new social bargain is struck under which the business community’s economic freedoms are once again constrained by a government that is more willing to impose greater responsibilities on powerful economic actors and a legal system that is capable of holding them accountable for the harm that they cause.”
In a December 8 article on how the state can implement the Proposition 6 conservation set-aside, the Houston Chronicle quotes Energy Center research fellow Jeremy Brown on the legal considerations surrounding decentralized infrastructure.
In a November 27 article, Aftermarket News, a trade publication for the automotive industry, quoted Professor Thomas McGarity’s testimony from a recent Congressional hearing about the adequacy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a rulemaking agency:
“According to McGarity, ‘The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has effectively given up on rulemaking unless specifically required by statute, focusing instead on its statutory power to force the recall of motor vehicles that contain ‘defects’ related to safety performance. The move away from rulemaking to adjudication gives the agency the flexibility to allow policies to evolve through the gradual process of stare decisis.’”
The Austin American-Statesman publishes an opinion piece from Melinda Taylor and Jeremy Brown on water planning in the wake Proposition 6. In it, they predict that the new infrastructure funding scheme will reshape the planning process that the state has followed for the last sixteen years.
Three attorneys from the Houston office of Baker Botts have volunteered to coach UT Law’s 2013-4 team in the Vis Arbitral Moot, the world’s premiere moot court competition focused on international dispute resolution.
Through a rigorous selection process in September, six UT Law students were chosen to compete on the team: Ashleigh Acevedo, Burton DeWitt, Lauren Miller, Josh Nosal, Hayden Schottlaender, and Zahra Usmani. Two 3Ls who represented UT in last year’s Vis moot – Becca Bennie and Garrett Martin – are returning as student coaches.
The team will be coached by Energy Center Executive Director Melinda Taylor and three attorneys from Baker Botts international arbitration practice: partners Michael P. Lennon, Jr., and Jennifer Smith ’90 and associate Dustin Appel. Ms. Smith also serves as member of the Energy Center’s advisory board.
A November 13 BNA Bloomberg article quotes Professor Wendy Wagner on legislation Congress is considering to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act:
Professor Wendy Wagner testified November 13 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on S. 1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, which if passed would result in the most significant changes to one of the bedrock federal environmental laws – the Toxic Substances Control Act – in more than a generation. To read her testimony, please click here.
In a voting guide, the Daily Texan, the University of Texas student newspaper, quotes Jeremy Brown on the workings of Proposition 6 and its potential impact for students. “Brown said the amendment would create new jobs if it passes and works the way it is intended to. ‘The exact jobs would depend on the nature of the expenditures,’ Brown said. ‘The construction of a new reservoir, for instance, would create different sorts of jobs than the installation and maintenance of water-efficient technologies.’”
A New York Times article on Proposition 6 quotes Energy Center research fellow Jeremy Brown on the relatively long lead time needed for new water infrastructure projects:
“‘It could help with future droughts, but it’s unlikely to help with the current drought,’ Jeremy Brown, an environmental law researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, said of Proposition 6.
“’By the time projects are identified, bonds are issued, and projects are actually initiated and then come online, that’s some ways down the road,’ Brown said, ‘even for the most shovel-ready of projects.’”