Abstract for Too Liable to Regulate:

In recent years, the fossil fuel industry has begun to mirror the “too-big-to-fail” issue that plagued financial regulators during the financial crisis. One example is Diversified Energy Company (DEC), a relatively unknown and undercapitalized firm that has become the number one owner of oil and gas wells in the US. By strategically acquiring dirty and unproductive assets, companies like DEC put regulators in a difficult position. If regulators enforce environmental law, they risk creating numerous abandoned and toxic sites, potentially causing financial and environmental consequences for local communities and governments. This talk will describe DEC’s rapid growth and propose regulatory reforms aimed at addressing the broader problem.

Abstract for The Magnuson-Stevens Act:

The Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), which manages the biological resources in U.S. waters, has been lauded as a prime example of science-based policy-making in action. Translating scientific findings into legalese is no easy task, however, especially when lawmakers attempt to balance these environmental goals with the demands of their constituents. To complicate matters further, the inherent difficulty in keeping track of fish in the vast ocean creates uncertainty and doubt about the science on which the MSA is based. In my talk, I will cover some of the challenges that policymakers and stakeholders encountered when amending the MSA to reflect the scientific consensus.