News Types: Op-Eds


The American College of Environmental Lawyers announces its annual Stephen E. Herrmann Environmental Writing Award for the 2016-17 academic year.  The Herrmann Award is a stipend of $3,500 to the author of the winning submission (whether an article, note, case comment or essay) and $500 to the submitting law journal. The winner of this year’s Herrmann Award will be invited to present his or her submission to the Fellows at the 2017 ACOEL Annual Meeting in Charleston.

We urge College members – particularly our members in academia – to spread the word on this opportunity.  In addition to the amount of the award, those interested should know the following:

· Submitting Candidate Notes/Articles:  Student-edited law journals or equivalent publications published by accredited U.S. law schools are eligible to submit annually a single candidate article, note, case comment or essay selected for its ability to promote understanding of legal issues in the broad field of environmental law, including natural resources law and/or environmental or resources aspects of energy law.

· Evaluation Criteria:  The prize will be awarded to the author of a student article, note, case comment or essay published by the submitting law journal during the current academic year, or scheduled for publication in the next academic year, that in the judgment of the ACOEL best presents a current topic within the broad field of environmental law.  Submissions will be judged based on originality, quality of research, presentation and writing, and significance of contribution to the field of environmental law.  Entries will be judged by the ACOEL Stephen E. Herrmann Award Committee.

· Submission Logistics:  Those interested in participating should email one electronic copy of their submissions to the Stephen E. Herrmann Environmental Writing Award, ACOEL, using same as the email “Subject” line, c/o J.B. Ruhl and Mary Ellen Ternes with the email addresses below.  Entries must be received no later than June 10, 2017.  Each entrant should include with the entry a cover letter or e-mail message stating the name of the submitting law journal, email address(es) of author (with post-graduation email address(es) if applicable), year of author’s graduation, and a statement that the submission was not written as part of paid employment.

Anyone having questions about the award or process for submitting a piece for consideration should contact J.B. Ruhl (jb.ruhl@Law.Vanderbilt.Edu) or Mary Ellen Ternes ( To ensure a prompt response, please reference the Stephen E. Hermann Environmental Writing Award in your communication.

David Spence, “The Founders might actually have liked the ‘deep state'” – Washington Post

On March 15, 2017, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Dr. David Spence on the ways executive-branch resistance to the Trump agenda does not necessary subvert democracy but, to the contrary, often affirms it. According to Spence, “The Trump administration has made clear its intent to roll back regulation in ways that may contradict agencies’ [like the Environmental Protection Agency] enabling legislation. When that happens, expect courts to push back. If Republicans want to “deconstruct” the administrative state, as Trump senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon says, changing presidents is not enough. They will have to change the law.”

About the Author
David Spence is Professor of Law, Politics & Regulation at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches in both the McCombs School of Business and the School of Law.

New York Times Cites University of Texas Full Cost of Electricity Report

In a Dec. 26, 2016 op-ed, The New York Times cited a report published that month by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin extensively. According to the report, which is titled titled “New U.S. Power Costs: by County, with Externalities,” natural gas and wind are the lowest-cost technology options for new electricity generation across much of the U.S. when cost, public health impacts and environmental effects are considered.

Other Media Coverage
Ralph K.M. Hauerwitz, “UT report: Wind, natural gas cheapest electricity if full cost tallied,” (December 8, 2016).

Ferit Ucar, “Groundbreaking Study Shows New Coal Plants are Uneconomic in 97 Percent of US Counties,” EDF Blogs (December 8, 2016).